Accessibility & Educational Opportunity Office
The Office for Accessibility and Educational Opportunity (AEO) provides support and resources for students diagnosed with learning differences (including ADHD), psychological disorders, chronic health conditions, mobility or orthopedic impairments, sensory loss, and substance abuse/recovery needs. The office coordinates accommodations for academic courses, residential life, meal plans, college-sponsored extracurricular activities, and college jobs.
Our goal is for every student to achieve the highest standards of academic excellence, reach their personal goals, and maintain their personal integrity and independence. Please download the AEO Student Handbook for more information about the accommodation process at Vassar.
The process of registering with the Office for Accessibility and Educational Opportunity involves three steps:
Step 1: Self-Disclose
- Students receive a self-identification form (in red print) in the matriculation packet. This is the form that officially registers you with AEO. You only need to complete this form once. Additional copies of this form are available from the office and online.
Step 2: Provide Documentation
- In general, documentation refers to a detailed letter from a physician, psychologist, or psychiatrist or a psychoeducational evaluation. Documentation of a disability must be provided by an appropriate, licensed professional who is not a family member. If documentation is considered incomplete or inadequate to support an accommodation request, additional documentation will be required. A prior history of accommodation without demonstration of a current need does not warrant the provision of accommodations.
- Documentation should be sent to: Office for Accessibility and Educational Opportunity Vassar College, Box 164 124 Raymond Avenue Poughkeepsie, NY 12604-0164
Step 3: Interview with the Director
- Finally, students must participate in an interview/meet the director either the summer before they matriculate or as the need or wish to request accommodations arises. The interview helps create a more complete picture of the student rather than relying solely on testing documentation. This conversation allows AEO to understand the impact the diagnosis has on everyday activities and how the student has previously managed the accommodation process. Eligibility for other accommodations is also discussed. Under the recently-amended ADA, the student’s personal narrative has become of primary importance in the reporting – and supporting – the need for accommodations on the basis of disability.
- Students with disabilities are entitled to privacy and discretion in the handling of all disability-related information. Disability information will be used for the sole purpose of enabling Vassar to provide supportive, academic and other services related to the individual’s disability. Disability-related information, including the comprehensive documentation which established the existence of a disability and need for accommodations, is collected and maintained on separate forms from other academic and employment information and is kept in secure files with limited access. Disability information, documentation, or record of accommodation is not a part of a student’s permanent academic record. Information is shared only on a need-to-know basis.
Accessibility Information for Vassar College Buildings
- Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 72 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at 845-437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For more information, please click here.
Exam Proctoring Services
- If you are approved for exam accommodations and wish to use AEO’s exam proctoring services, you must complete this exam proctoring request form at least one week before the date of your exam. It is imperative that you speak to your professors at the beginning of the semester to discuss your exam arrangements. We urge you to ask your professors if they can proctor your exams for you so that you have direct access to them in case you have questions. If your professors are unable to proctor your exam, or you require a reduced-distraction environment, AEO can proctor your exams for you.
- If you receive extended time on exams, it is important that you check your schedule before you submit your request to ensure that your exam end time will not conflict with another class. If there is a scheduling conflict that you do not know how to resolve, please contact AEO for assistance.
- While we only require one week’s notice for regular semester exams, we require a minimum of three weeks’ notice for final exams.
- You will receive a confirmation letter with information regarding the time and location 1-2 days before the scheduled exam.
- SensusAccess allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to automatically convert documents into a range of alternate media including audio books (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi) and digital Braille.
- Check out this SensusAccess PDF to learn about the best uses for the most common types of conversion.
- You will need a valid vassar.edu or alum.vassar.edu email address to access this service. If you are part of the Vassar community and would like to use this service but don’t have one of these email addresses, or if you have questions or would like training, please contact email@example.com.