Accommodations and Accommodation Types

Accommodations are tools that grant students with disabilities access to educational opportunities. Accommodations are not intended to alter or lower the standards or expectations of a course or exam; they are designed to assist students in learning the same material and meet the same expectations as their classmates who do not have a disability. In certain cases, the Office of Accessible Education needs professional documentation to support the request of certain accommodations. The Office of Accessible Education will partner with students and faculty to reasonably accommodate individuals with a disability unless such accommodation would pose an undue hardship, would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the HMC activity, program or service or in undue financial or administrative burdens. Reasonable accommodations are determined on an individual basis after considering the specific disability and documentation of functional limitations in accordance with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that enables a qualified individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to an individual without a disability.

Unreasonable accommodations would include those that might fundamentally alter the academic program or lower the standards of the College (e.g., waiver of essential course requirements, attendance, etc.).

Accommodations are determined for each student on an individual basis through an interactive process between the Office of Accessible Education and each student. Requested accommodations must be supported by the documented effects of the disability. Following are some common accommodations available through or provided by the Office of Accessible Education. This list is not inclusive and the accommodations listed will not apply to the effects of every disability.

Communicate with The Office of Accessible Education Regarding Any Questions, Concerns, or Delays

Students have a responsibility to keep the Office of Accessible Education informed of any issues they may be having with the implementation of their accommodations. If a student experiences any difficulty in obtaining or receiving accommodations or if any additional accommodations are needed, please follow up with Dennis Kamakana, the Coordinator for Student Accessibility Services at

Classroom Accommodations

  • Accessible Furniture in Classrooms
  • Accessible Instructional Materials
  • Accessible Videos and Audio
  • Alternative Testing Services for Students
  • Assistive Listening Device
  • Audio Recording Lectures
  • Classroom Relocations
  • Disability-Related Absence
  • Flexibility With Deadlines
  • Interpreting and Real-Time Captioning
  • Notetaking Services
  • Priority Registration
  • Reduced Credit Load

Housing Accommodations

  • Wheelchair accessible room with access to a private bath
  • Room equipped with a visual fire alert
  • Single bedroom options that include spaces in apartments or suites
  • Various bathroom access based on disability management needs
  • Furniture adjustments
  • Service and Emotional Support Animals

What are not accommodations in Higher Education

The Office of Accessible Education works to ensure access for students with disabilities by designing and implementing accommodations. However, there are some items that are not considered accommodations in higher education; this includes, but is not limited to:

  • Individualized instruction
  • Tutoring
  • Personal care attendant
  • Modifying curriculum
  • Requiring a professor to change a teaching style

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

Temporary Accommodations

Temporary impairments such as broken bones, temporary illnesses, concussions and recovery from surgery or medical conditions are generally not regarded as disabilities, as the degree of functional limitation and the duration of such impairments are typically not substantial enough to cause the temporary condition to be considered a disability. However, the Office of Accessible Education recognizes that individuals with temporarily disabling conditions that are a result of injuries, surgery or short-term medical conditions may need access to services and resources similar to individuals with permanent disabilities. Examples of temporary disabilities may include, but are not limited to: concussions, broken limbs, hand injuries, or short term impairments following surgery or medical treatments.

Students may be approved to receive temporary accommodations at the discretion of the Office of Accessible Education. Temporary accommodations do not exceed one semester and are usually implemented to serve students with short-term physical or psychological impairments.

How to Request Temporary Accommodations

To receive accommodations for a temporary impairment, the student should review and follow the procedures outlined at Requesting Accommodations. The student will apply through the AIM Portal and upload medical documentation that addresses the following criteria:

  • Type of impairment
  • Severity
  • Functional limitations affecting academics
  • Prognosis
  • Estimated duration of the disabling condition

It is also helpful to know any adverse side effects caused by medication and recommendations for accommodations. The documentation should be recent enough to identify current limitations. Additional documentation may be requested to verify the need for continued services after the estimated duration of the condition has expired.

The student should contact the Office of Accessible Education to review the available documentation of the temporary impairment and discuss possible accommodation needs. The Office of Accessible Education will advise the student if any additional documentation will be required prior to setting up accommodations, as well as share information on potential resources.

Missing a few classes or deadlines because of acute illness, such as the flu, does not require formal accommodation and you should reach out to your professors or the Academic Deans for assistance. We are here to consult or support you in your medical and/or academic recovery.