Accessibility is a core value at MCLA. Everyday our staff work with students who have
a variety of disabilities ~ providing academic support services, individualized accomodations,
and self-advocacy guidance.
Helping build pathways to learning for students with disabilities.
MCLA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to students with documented
disabilities. We work to provide students with equitable access to all MCLA programs
and services. Our philosophy and programs assist eligible students in fostering independence
in college to the fullest extent possible, embracing self-advocacy, and in developing
skills to transition and succeed in their careers. We believe that disability is a
natural part of human variation and an essential aspect of diversity. The Office of Disability Resources provides students with individualized support services
based on the nature of the documented disability. An accessible testing center proctors
exams for students with approved testing accommodations. Disability Resources also
provides one-on-one personalized training on general technology and on assistive
The start strong program
offered an early start to success for 16 first year students last fall. Start Strong introduced students to college
campus life while diving deeper into some of the common transition challenges experienced
by first year students, " It is like the short, safe version of the beginning of the
first year." Students gained a more in-depth understanding of what to expect in college
and what would be expected of them, completed a formal assessment of their study habits/skills
and heard tips from student leaders on how to balance school with other demands.
Fall 2023 Start Strong Program
Get an early start on YOUR SUCCESS. Students will be expected to complete a series of self-paced modules built in Canvas
throughout the first 8 weeks of the semester. A weekly in-person "roadside" checkpoint
will bring all participants together for fun and activities. The Start Strong Program
uses the metaphor of a road trip for getting through college’s tougher transition
challenges. This metaphorical road trip gives students an entirely different way to
see the college experience. So grab your backpack, jump aboard and roll down the window.
Upload your completed form and email to Disabilityresources@mcla.edu Disability Resources will reach out and schedule a time to meet with you. All appoIntments are being conducted in-person, by phone, or virtually (Teams) during
our regular office hours Monday - Friday, 8:30 am to 4:45 pm.
BRING CURRENT AND COMPREHENSIVE DOCUMENTATION of your disability to your appointment. Documentation serves the following:
It establishes that the student can be considered a person with a disability, and
therefore potentially eligible for accommodations to protect against discrimination
on the basis of disability.
It supplements the information the student provides regarding the barriers that prevent
the student from having equal access to MCLA's programs, services and activities.
It informs the development of reasonable accommodations designed to remove those barriers
SOURCES OF DOCUMENTATIONSources of information used for determining a disability and/or accommodations may
include a student’s self-report, direct observation and interaction with the student,
and/or documentation from qualified evaluators or professionals. If you participated
in an individudalized education program in high school, this document can help identify
the type of accommodations you may need; however, it will not suffice as proof of
disability.WHAT IF I DONT HAVE DOCUMENTATION?Our office understands that there are a variety of factors that can impact your ability
to obtain documentation. We recognize the disparities that exist within our healthcare
system and the systematic disparities in society at large, and that these can directly
affect a student’s ability to provide documentation of a disability. Please let us
know if you are unable to access supporting documentation. You may still be eligible
for accommodations based on the information that you provide to us and our interactive
interview and observations. Plese note that in some cases we may request supporting
documentation before accommodations can be approved.
MEET WITH A DISABILITY RESOURCE OFFICE REPRESENTATIVEIn this meeting, you will provide your documentation and concrete details about the
challenges/barriers you face. You will also discuss the type of accommodations you
need in order to thrive in college.
Based on documentation, reasonable accommodations might include:
Priority access registration
Alternative format materials
Assistance with notetaking
Assistive technology devices/software
Please note that these represent some accommodations provided to MCLA students. Students'
needs are reviewed on an individual basis and specific accommodations will reflect
each individual student.
On-Campus Housing Accommodations are available to students who qualify. While not a complete list, housing accomodations
include single room, 1st floor location, a wheelchair accessible room and emotional
Success coaches provide one-on-one support to students throughout their first year
at MCLA. Coaches work in partnership with students to improve academic skills, to
identify resources, and to address any obstacles to academic success. Success coaches
are currently available via TEAMS or in-person. If you would like to opt into the
coaching program please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (413)662-5314.
Don't forget to ask about taking the LASSI (Learning & Study Skill Assessment).Become more aware of your strengths and what areas you can work on to improve your
academic and study skills.
The Disability Resource Office provides screenings on a variety of accessible general
use technologies as well as assistive technologies and software applications. Screenings
provide an opportunity for students and the Disability Resource staff to review and
discuss various technologies and software that may be useful. Screenings are also
a chance to discuss any current or past challenges with different technology. Introductory
sessions on how to get started are available by request.
An Assistive Technology (AT) Center is now open in the Mark Hopkins Computer Lab located
in Room 111. The AT Center offers a variety of assistive technology hardware and software
tools designed to meet the needs of students with various disabilities.
Helpful Links and Resources for Parents and prospective students
Family Guide to Transition Services in Massachusetts, https://fcsn.org/transition_guide/english.pdf Brought to you in partnership by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and
the Federation for Children with Special Needs.
make it mcla
Dear Prospective Student: The Office of Disability Resources understands that student's rights and responsibilities
change considerably from high school to college. We want you to make a successful
transition. We welcome prospective students with disabilities to schedule a meeting with us to
discuss some very important transition items ! We also know that students with health conditions and physical disabilities are often
assessing different aspects of campus life than their non-disabled peers when they
go on a college tour. They might be considering:
Is the campus accessible for me?
Can I navigate campus independently?
Will I be able to receive accommodations that will allow me to be successful?