2016-2017 Student Handbook

Disability Services for Students

Daniel Newman

Executive Director Academic Support Services (ADA/504 Coordinator)


The University is committed to the full participation of students in all programs. The Disability Services office promotes equity and excellence in education, maximizing each student's educational potential. Our philosophy is one that encourages self-awareness, self-determination, self-advocacy, and independence while providing a safe, caring, respectful environment that cultivates growth and positive learning.  

The Disability Services office provides a variety of individualized support services for students with disabilities.  The office works with faculty, staff, and students on and off-campus to create and implement appropriate accommodations that allow all students an equal opportunity inside the classroom and around campus.  For more information about the services and support available to our students visit the website of the Disability Services office: http://intranet.lesley.edu/disability-services/ and read the policy “Reasonable Modifications of Policies, Practices, and Procedures for Students with Disabilities” here: http://intranet.lesley.edu/disability-services/policies/. That policy and our website provide information about eligibility for disability services, policies and procedures for requesting modifications to accommodate disabilities, examples of accommodations, our confidentiality policy, and grievance procedures. 

Eligibility, Documentation, and Confidentiality 

All qualified students with disabilities are eligible for accommodations and support services.  It is the student's responsibility to initiate the accommodation process with Disability Services. 

The process for obtaining reasonable accommodations is an interactive one that begins with the student contacting the appropriate director whose names are listed below in the Disability Services Administrators section.  In the context of reasonable accommodations, Disability Services may request documentation concerning an individual’s disability and/or the need for accommodations. Documentation may set forth recommended accommodations and come from a physician, clinician, psychologist, or other approved provider. For more information regarding documentation guidelines, refer to the website, http://intranet.lesley.edu/disability-services/documentation-guidelines/.

It is important to note that student diagnostic information and use supports provided by Disability Services is confidential and not disclosed without the student’s permission. 

Lesley University will make reasonable modifications to our rules, policies, practices, and procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities. 


The obligation to make reasonable accommodations extends broadly to all programs and services offered by the University.  It includes a wide range of supports, including classroom accommodations, use of service animals, and support for dietary allergies.  Lesley University ensures effective communication through the use of auxiliary aids and services, the provision of testing accommodations, and the establishment of barrier-free supports.

Common classroom accommodations include extended time and distraction-free space for exams and quizzes, extended time on course requirements, and note taker. 

Student Responsibilities to Obtain and Utilize Disability Support Services
  1. To initiate the process with Disability Services.
  2. To provide documentation of the disability or disabilities and other relevant information based on guidelines outlined on the website. To work with Disability Services to determine appropriate accommodations and to deliver accommodation letters to course instructors early in the semester.
  3. To deliver accommodation letters to course instructors early in the semester.
  4. To renew the request for disability support services every semester.
  5. To work cooperatively with the University.
  6. To adhere to the Disability Services policies and procedures regarding acquisition of accommodation and supports.

It is not necessary to say the words “reasonable modification” when making an accommodation request.  Any request for an exception, modification, or adjustment to a rule, policy, practice, or procedure because of a disability will be treated as an accommodation request. Accommodation requests can be submitted orally or in writing and can be made by a student with a disability or by someone acting on the student’s behalf if the student also wants the requested accommodation and works cooperatively with the University.

Disability Services Administrators

Daniel Newman, Executive Director, Academic Support Services, serves as the ADA/504 Coordinator for students and supervises the two areas listed below. Any questions or concerns regarding ADA/504 accommodations for either of these service areas can be directed to Daniel Newman.

Documentation should be presented to the appropriate contact person listed below. 

Students attending classes in Cambridge:

Learning Disabilities, Attention Disorders, and Autism Spectrum Disorders/Asperger Syndrome
Kimberly Johnson, Director of the LD/ADD Academic Support Program
30 Mellen Street, Doble Hall, 2nd floor, Cambridge, MA 02138 
617.349.8462    kjohnso7@lesley.edu          
Fax: 617.349.8324   

Physical, Sensory, Psychiatric and Medical Conditions

Ruth Bork, Director of Access Services for Students with Disabilities
11 Mellen Street, 1st floor, Cambridge, MA 02138
617.349.8194    rbork@lesley.edu     
Fax: 617.349.8558  
TTY: 617.349.8544

Students Attending Classes in Off-Campus Programs: 

Daniel Newman, Executive Director Academic Support Services (ADA/504 Coordinator)

30 Mellen Street, Doble Hall, Cambridge MA 02138

617.349.8572    dnewman@lesley.edu

Fax: 617.349.8324

Disability Discrimination Statement

Lesley University is committed to the full participation of its students in all of its programs.  In addition to this long-standing Lesley philosophy, students with disabilities have specific legal rights guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law enacted to protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of disability.  Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of public accommodations, such as universities.[1]  The preceding information is a summary of Lesley University’s policies and procedures for students with disabilities seeking reasonable accommodations under the ADA (sometimes colloquially termed and referred to by Lesley as “reasonable accommodations”). An essential component of Title III of the ADA is the right of a qualified individual with a disability to a reasonable modification of policies where necessary to afford such individual an equal benefit.

Any student who believes that she or he has been discriminated against or harassed on the basis of her or his disability is encouraged to notify the University.  For more information about the University’s policy against discrimination and harassment, please see the Lesley University Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Violence Policy (http://www.lesley.edu/policies/discrimination-and-harassment/).

Students may file complaints of discrimination and harassment with:

  • The University's Office of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion/Title IX Coordinator (equalopportunity@lesley.edu) or   
  • The Dean of Students and Academic Development and Interim Title IX Coordinator (Nathaniel G. Mays: 617.349.8539 or nmays@lesley.edu).   

For information regarding the complaint process, please see the Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Resolution Procedure (http://www.lesley.edu/policies/complaint-resolution/).

Lesley University students also have the right to pursue other avenues of recourse. If students believe that they have experienced, or are experiencing, unlawful discrimination or harassment at Lesley University or at any Lesley University-sponsored activity or event, they may contact other resources, including the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Education.  The contact information for the Massachusetts OCR office follows:

Office for Civil Rights / U.S. Department of Education

33 Arch Street, Suite 900,

Boston, MA 02110-1491

Telephone: 617.289.0111

Fax: 617.289.0150

TDD: 877.521.2172 

Email: OCR.Boston@ed.gov

OCR Website:  www.ed.gov/ocr


1 Postsecondary institutions, whether public or private, that receive Federal financial assistance are also subject to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination against otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities.