Disability Services

This online policy content is provided as a resource for the students, faculty, staff, and administration of Dickinson College. Content is subject to change. Please contact the appropriate person or office to obtain the most current information.

Dickinson College is committed to ensuring that the college's programs and facilities are accessible to all qualified students on a nondiscriminatory basis. A student with a disability is not required to disclose a disability unless he or she is seeking accommodations.

The procedure for disclosing a disability and requesting accommodations is provided on the Office of Disability Services website. Dickinson College acknowledges that each student's circumstance is unique, and that a flexible approach should be taken in determining reasonable accommodations. To support eligibility for reasonable accommodations as an individual with a disability--covered under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)--a student must disclose his or her disability and provide documentation that meets the college's guidelines to establish that the student has a physical or mental impairment substantially limiting one or more major life activities. Documentation should substantiate each functional limitation and its nexus to each accommodation request.

The college does not provide assessment for disabilities. The student is responsible for obtaining the appropriate testing or evaluation report by referring to the Guidelines for Documenting a Disability on the ODS website. The Office of Disability Services will be happy to provide those who ask with a list of psychologists in the area who perform psychoeducational and neuro-psychological testing.

If you have a physical, psychological, learning, or other type of disability and are in need of accommodations in either the academic or living environment, or if you have any questions regarding your options, please contact the Office of Disability Services for a confidential consultation by emailing disabilityservices@dickinson.edu or by calling at 717-245-1734. Disability documentation can be sent by email to disabilityservices@dickinson.edu, or via fax to 717-254-8139.  

Academic Accommodations

Students requesting academic accommodations are required to register with ODS to verify their eligibility for reasonable and appropriate accommodations.  Once documentation has been reviewed, students are to schedule an accommodations meeting as early as possible in the semester with Marni Jones, Director of Learning Skills and Disability Services, to review any potential accommodations. Students are not eligible to receive academic accomodations retroactively.

Eligible students will receive an accommodation letter to give to the professors of their choosing, informing them of the accommodation(s) for which they are eligible. Students should schedule a meeting with the professor of each class in which they are seeking accommodations to discuss how each accommodation will be implemented for that class. Both the student and professor are to complete and sign an Accommodations Implementation Plan form, which the student will need to return to ODS within three days of the meeting.

Students seeking test-taking accommodations will need to take both their schedule and each professor's schedule into consideration when determining whether or not test proctoring is needed. Requests for test proctoring are to be made at least one week prior to any scheduled exams. Questions regarding test proctoring can be sent to proctoring@dickinson.edu

Students seeking support with academic success strategies are encouraged to contact Marni Jones, Director of Learning Skills and Disability Services, at jonesmar@dickinson.edu and to refer to the numerous resources found on the Learning Skills and Study Strategies website.

Housing Accommodations

Dickinson is a residential college and the residential experience is understood to be an integral part of a Dickinson education. Dickinson is fully committed to the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of College Life, including residential life. At times, students with disabilities may require an accomodation in their living environment. The Office of Disability Services works in cooperation with professionals in Residence Life & Housing, the Wellness Center, and other relevant campus partners to evaluate requests for accomodation from students with documented conditions and will determine eligibility for reasonable accommodations. Housing accommodations are made only in situations where the documentation clearly demonstrates that the accommodation is necessary to mitigate a functional limitation resulting from the disability.

Students who wish to request a housing accommodation need to have rendered to ODS all the documents outlined in the "Disability Housing Accommodations Procedures and Guidelines" (found at www.dickinson.edu/ODS-Housing)

Note that consideration of housing accommodation requests and possible subsequent assignments will begin two weeks prior to posted deadlines. While requests and documentation submitted after these dates will be accepted and considered, Dickinson College cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet late applicants' accommodation needs, including any needs that develop during the semester.

Dietary Accommodations

A major facet of living at a residential college is dining together, and the opportunity for developing a sense of community that arises in this setting. To this end, all students living on campus at are required to purchase a Meal Plan. Occasionally, however, students have special dietary needs based on documented health conditions, which may necessitate dietary-based accomodations. Dickinson College is committed to the full participation of students with disabilities in all aspects of College life, including dining experiences, and Dining Services can often accommodate these needs. Accommodations to the way in which a student participates in the meal plan are granted when a diagnosis and supporting documentation clearly demonstrates that an accommodation is necessary to mitigate a functional limitation resulting from the disability. Exemptions from participation in the Meal Plan are extremely rare, however and are only considered when needs cannot be accommodated by Dickinson Dining Services.

Dickinson College offers many dining options capable of accommodating a multitude of dietary needs, including but not limited to lactose-free meals, gluten-free breads and meals, vegetarian and vegan options, and kosher dining, in addition to a wide array of healthy eating choices. There are also a variety of atmospheres in which students can eat, ranging from the large Dining Hall to smaller venues, such as Union Station and the Quarry. Please visit the Dining Services Web site to learn more.  

Students who wish to request a dietary accommodation will need to complete and submit to ODS all the forms outlined in the "Dietary Accomodations" (found at www.dickinson.edu/ODS-Dietary) by the following dates:  

  • July 31st for the Fall semester
  • December 31st for the Spring semester

While applications submitted after these dates will be accepted and considered, Dickinson College cannot guarantee that it will be able to meet late applicants' accommodation needs, including any needs that develop during the semester.