Requesting Academic Accommodations

Students with disabilities may request accommodations for the classroom, food service, housing or for participation in the overall college environment by submitting a completed accommodations application with related documentation.

1. Analyze your classes and your co-curricular activities

Look at the requirements for each of your classes and consider your particular disability related needs when determining which accommodations are appropriate. The accommodations for which you are eligible might not be appropriate or necessary for every class. Think about the type of activities you want to be involved in and consider if accommodations would assist in your ability to participate, both inside and outside of the classroom.

2. Submit the student accommodations application

If you are an incoming or newly disclosing student, please adhere to the steps outlined in the following application. If you have any barriers in obtaining documentation related to your disability(ies), continue to submit your application and a member of Disability Services will discuss next steps with you in your intake meeting.

Student Accommodations Application

3. Make an appointment

Accommodations are made upon the approval of the Director of Disability Services. To make an appointment with a member of the Disability Services office, contact Disability Services at (651) 696-6874 or  to schedule an accommodations meeting. The ideal time to schedule an accommodations meeting is prior to the semester start, or within the first few week of semester courses.

Upon discussion with you, review of the documentation, and consultation with other members of the Macalester staff or faculty as appropriate, Disability Services will determine the appropriate accommodations needed. The Office of Disability Services will contact the appropriate instructors, notifying them of the accommodations for which the student qualifies.

4. Make appointments with your instructors

Request appointments with your instructors or attend their office hours early in the semester to discuss your accommodation requests. It is not advisable to discuss your disability-related needs with your instructor in front of the class or just as they are entering or leaving the class. Be specific. When meeting with the instructor, discuss your specific accommodation requests. You do not need to disclose the specific nature of your disability to your instructor. If you are uncomfortable identifying your disability, keep the conversation focused on the accommodations for which you are eligible and how your learning is impacted by your disability.

You may need to remind your faculty member of your accommodations as the semester progresses (e.g., extended time arrangements 5 days prior to test days).

5. Maintain communication

You should talk with the Disability Services office and/or your instructor if you are having difficulties with any accommodation, service or class. The Director Services office can assist you with how to talk with your faculty member or, when needed, can also attend meetings with you and your faculty member to ensure you are receiving the appropriate accommodations.

Grades that have already been posted on exams, papers, projects or in overall classes prior to receiving documentation and approval cannot be changed.


Requesting Nonacademic Accommodations

If your disability requires housing or meal plan accommodations or bringing an assistance animal to campus, please contact Disability Services by emailing or calling 651-696-6874 to discuss next steps.


Appealing Accommodations Decisions

Guidelines for Filing a Grievance or Appeal Based Upon a Disability

If a student believes they have been denied equal access in the form of appropriate accommodations, modifications, auxiliary aids, or effective communication, or suffered discriminatory harassment as described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, they have a few options by which to file a grievance. Although the law does not require a student to first use the college’s grievance procedure before filing a complaint with The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Education, both the OCR and the college encourage using internal grievance procedures before filing a complaint with OCR.

Students with disabilities are responsible for contacting the Director of Disability Services if they feel reasonable accommodations are not implemented in an effective or timely manner. The Director of Disability Services works with students to resolve disagreements regarding recommended accommodations. If students feel that a professor or staff person is not providing accommodations to which they are entitled, they should contact the Director of Disability Services to discuss their concern.

If the concern is related to grade evaluations, the student should follow the appeals process for grades found in the Grading Policies and Appeals portion of the student handbook.

Appealing Accommodation Decisions Made by the Director of Disability Services

Students wishing to appeal a disability accommodation decision by the Director of Disability Services should follow the procedures outlined below:

  1. Within seven (7) calendar days after the receipt of the decision by the Director of Disability Services, the student may request in writing an appeal review by the Director of Academic Programs or their designee. The request to the Director of Academic Programs shall be in writing, and shall include a brief statement of the grounds for appeal. The grounds for appeal shall be that:
    a. There was a substantial failure by the Director of Disability Services to comply with the procedures so as to deny a fair review of the request, or
    b. The decision of the Director of Disability Services was not supported by the evidence.
  2. The appeal review will be based on the information and materials in the case file, the Director of Disability Services findings and recommendations, and the student’s written request for an appeal review.
  3. The Director of Academic Programs may affirm, modify, or reverse the decision of the Director of Disability Services, or at their discretion, refer the matter to the Dean of Students for further review and decision. The Director of Academic Programs shall notify the student in writing of their decision within 15 working days after the appeal is received. The decision of the Director of Academic Programs shall be final and not subject to further review.

Title IX Bias and Harrassment Team

The Title IX Bias and Harassment Team includes appointed staff and faculty members who have a shared responsibility for consulting with and supporting the Title IX Coordinator and may serve as the Coordinator’s designee. Members of the team may also be called upon to investigate or adjudicate complaints of sexual misconduct, bias, or harassment; review appeals of decisions; and/or facilitate informal resolutions to conflicts or complaints.