Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibit discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. The Dean of Students Office is responsible for coordinating disability support services for students, with other College departments assisting in the provision of accommodations for students. Assistant Dean Sonia De La Torre-Iniguez serves as the College’s Section 504 Coordinator for students.  Dean De La Torre-Iniguez is in the Dean of Students Office in Balch Hall and can be reached at (909) 621-8277 or

“Qualified” with respect to postsecondary educational services, means “a person who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the education program or activity, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies or practices; the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers; or the provision of auxiliary aids and services.”

Eligibility for Accommodations

Individuals with a condition that rises to the level of a disability are entitled to reasonable accommodations. The Americans with Disabilities Act defines disability as “with respect to an individual: (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment.” 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2). Disabilities may include, but are not limited to, learning differences or disabilities, physical and mobility impairments, sensory impairments, psychological disorders, and/or chronic health impairments.

Note: Having received accommodations in high school through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 plan does not automatically make a student eligible for services in college. The student must register for services and provide supporting documentation for review; IEPs are not acceptable forms of documentation. If it is determined that a student is eligible to receive accommodations, the recommended accommodations may be different from those the student received in high school.

How to Request Accommodations

If a student wishes to formalize disability support services the student must self-identify needs for accommodations in advance with the Dean of Students Office. The student must submit a completed “Request for Disability Support Services” form along with current documentation which establishes that the student has a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (see Documentation” for further details).It is recommended that the student submit the request form and documentation after acceptance of admission to Scripps but prior to the first semester so that appropriate accommodations can be in place at the beginning of the college career. The request form and documentation will be reviewed and the student will be notified if the documentation is acceptable and complete, or if further information is required. Once eligibility is established, the student will be notified in writing of the approved accommodation(s). If the student would like to meet with a staff member to discuss approved accommodation(s) please contact Sonia De La Torre-Iniguez at to schedule an appointment.

While a student may register for disability support services and request accommodations after the school year has started, accommodations may not be immediately available because the support services staff will need to receive and review documentation. A student may request accommodations at any point in a semester; however accommodations cannot be applied retroactively.

Determination of Accommodations

Appropriate and reasonable accommodations are determined on an individual basis based on the current and anticipated impact of the student’s disability at Scripps. The request form and supporting documentation will be reviewed and reasonable accommodations will be identified and discussed with the student. Unless there is a change in the impact of the disabling condition, or unless the student wishes to discuss different accommodations, the accommodations will remain in effect as long as the documentation is current. It is the responsibility of the student to request modifications if the provided accommodations are not effective. If a student is not granted an accommodation that the student believes is necessary, the student may request an additional review by the Dean of Students Office.

If a student believes that the student has been the subject of disability discrimination or harassment because of a disability, the student may assert a claim under the College’s Civil Rights Grievance Procedures, which can be found here.  In any such proceeding, the College’s Section 504 Coordinator for students will manage the grievance process in place of the College’s Title IX Coordinator.

Examples of Academic Accommodations

Following are examples of specific disability-related accommodations that students have used successfully at Scripps.

  • Note-taking Assistance
  • Extended time on exams
  • Proctored exams
  • Distraction reduced testing environment
  • Early access to requisite readings
  • Priority registration
  • Breaks
  • Extensions on assignments
  • Assistive technology
  • Use of a word processer
  • Alternate format for requisite readings
  • Part-time enrollment
  • Use of a calculator

The College does not provide services of a personal nature (such as attendants, care takers, homework assistance or tutors), typing services or prescriptive aids such as eyeglasses or hearing aids, nor does it provide diagnostic evaluations of disabilities.

Unreasonable accommodations would include those that impose an undue economic or administrative burden on the College or would fundamentally alter the academic program or lower the standards of the College (e.g., waiver of essential course requirements, attendance, etc.).


In order to establish eligibility for accommodations the student must provide documentation which identifies that the condition substantially limits performance in one or more major life activities.

The student with a disability is the best source of information regarding necessary accommodations. In postsecondary settings it is the student’s responsibility to request disability related accommodations. In most circumstances, the College will not accept documentation that purports to state that a parent or family member is the student’s treating health care professional or an expert retained to assess the student’s disability.  In the event that a parent or family member is serving in such capacity consistent with the ethical guidelines of mental or medical health care professionals the documentation should state as such. Appropriate documentation must be provided by the treating health care professional on letterhead and should address the following guidelines:

  • Licensure and experience of health care professional
  • A specific diagnosis of limitations
  • A description of how the diagnosis was reached methods and procedures, test results and evaluation of test results
  • A description of the specific changes that have occurred since the original report and recommendations were made that indicate a need to adjust accommodations as originally made
  • What and how any major life activities are limited by the impairment
  • How the disability causes any academic difficulties
  • A list of any and all accommodations, which might be needed to facilitate the student’s participation in the academic program

Notifying Faculty of Approved Accommodations

While it is the student’s responsibility to self-identity a need for accommodation, faculty are encouraged to include a statement in their syllabi informing students about disability support services. The Dean of Students Office will provide formal notification to faculty of approved accommodations for a student. Notification is provided via email at the beginning of each semester.

If a student is registered for a course at another Claremont College, the e-mail will also be sent to that faculty member as well as the Dean of Students Office at that institution.

After notification of accommodations, students are encouraged to meet each of their faculty to discuss their accommodations. The e-mail is meant to serve as a starting point in discussions between students and professors and will not identify the specific disability. If it is determined that a student is eligible to receive accommodations but does not wish to access them, students should e-mail Sonia De La Torre-Iniguez to indicate they do not wish to access their accommodations and thus do not want faculty notified. If a student fails to communicate approval to notify faculty of accommodations, a notice will not be sent out to faculty, which may result in a delay in receiving accommodations that semester. Accommodations cannot be applied retroactively.


A Disability Support Services file is created for the student and maintained by the Dean of Students Office. The Disability Support Services file, including documentation, is considered confidential information and does not become part of the student’s permanent record. Information contained in the Disability Support Services file is not normally shared with other campus offices or individuals without written consent unless such information is needed to implement the accommodation(s).

Off-Campus Study Information

Many countries do not have comprehensive legislation similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These countries may not recognize the special needs which affect individuals with physical, psychological, or learning disabilities. If the student has a disability that might impact the experience abroad, students are well advised to discuss it with a member of the Off-Campus Study staff before departure. Contact Sonia De La Torre-Iniguez to have information from the Disability Support Services file released to the Office of Off-Campus Study to assist in the discussion.



DIDA is a student-led group for disabled students. DIDA is committed to creating safe spaces for discussions surrounding issues of disability and to promoting awareness of disability issues on campus.

  • Disability Mentor Network- 5C peer mentoring group (information coming soon)
  • DO-IT

The DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center is dedicated to empowering people with disabilities through technology and education

The Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) is the centralized resource center for support for students with disabilities at the Claremont Colleges. The SDRC works closely with the Disability Coordinators on all the campuses to ensure that students receive academic support services and accommodations to empower them to achieve their academic goals, while ensuring equitable treatment and access to all programs and activities across all campuses.

The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal sector employers nationwide with highly motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs.

Useful Teaching Techniques

  • Select course materials early so that students have enough time to translate or find resources in which materials can be translated to audiotape, Braille, and/or large print.
  • Make syllabi, short assignment sheets, and reading lists available in electronic format (e.g., CD, electronic mail, WWW).
  • Design course web pages to be accessible to students with disabilities.
  • Face the class when speaking. Repeat discussion questions.
  • Write key phrases and lecture outlines on the blackboard or overhead projector.
  • Take a student on a tour of the lab he/she will be working in. Discuss safety concerns.
  • Assign group lab projects in which all students contribute according to their abilities.
  • Arrange lab equipment so that it is accessible to and usable by everyone.
  • Give oral and written lab instructions.
  • Assure that exams test the essential skills or knowledge needed for the course or field of study.
  • Some students will require extra time to transcribe or process test questions; follow campus policies regarding extra time on examinations.