This page outlines Occidental College’s policy on Academic Accommodations.


Under the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended in 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Occidental College’s Disability Services and Student Support Office (DSSS) provides reasonable academic accommodations to qualified students who request them. This policy outlines the process for requesting academic accommodations and describes concerns students should consider when making their request.


This policy applies to all admitted students who request academic accommodations.


Students may request accommodations at any time while enrolled at Occidental College. However, it is recommended that students register for accommodations 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the semester. All requests will be evaluated by the DSSS. Accommodations and support services are determined on a case-by-case basis.

A. Process for Requesting Accommodations

To receive accommodations and support services, you must be an admitted Occidental student, and take the following steps:

1. Fill out the Request for Accommodation form 

Complete and submit a Request for Accommodation Form. During busy periods, it can take 1-2 weeks to process accommodation requests.

2. Provide disability documentation/Information

Upload your supporting Disability documentation. Documentation should contain a specific ICD-10 or DSM-5 diagnosis indicating whether the disability is temporary or permanent and concise description of the functional limitations imposed by the disability. All documentation should be in English, typed, and legible on company letterhead. If the original documentation is in another language, the student will need to provide a translated copy. While this documentation alone may be sufficient to establish that a student has a disability, that determination is separate and distinct from the determination of the need for a requested accommodation. When necessary, DSSS may ask for additional documentation concerning the disability and/or the need for accommodations. When such documentation is necessary, it will be limited to the need for the specific accommodation requested.

3. Schedule an Intake meeting 

The intake interview is a critical step toward determining eligibility and accommodations. The applicable laws envision a meaningful and informed process with respect to the provision of accommodations, through a collaboration between DSSS and the student. This process is required to be interactive, with information exchanged between the student and DSSS to arrive at a conclusion about the requested accommodation. DSSS is required to evaluate student requests through a fact-specific, case-by-case inquiry. This process may be brief, or it may require various exchanges between the student and DSSS about the nature of the disability and the accommodations requested. Returning students are required to renew their accommodations prior to the start of the academic year by completing the accommodation renewal form. All accommodation policies and procedures pertaining to the student’s accommodation plan will be reviewed. 

4. Share your Accommodation Letter with your professors

Following the intake meeting, the DSSS will email the student a PDF copy of their Accommodation Letter, listing the approved accommodations. It is the student’s responsibility to send their Accommodation Letter to their instructors in a timely manner and to arrange any accommodations that will involve instructor collaboration, such as additional time on exams.

Please contact the Disability Services office if any of the following occur:

  • You have any questions or concerns regarding your accommodations,
  • You have difficulty arranging your accommodations
  • There are needed changes to your plan at any point during the academic year.

B. Accommodation Considerations

The factors that will be considered in making accommodation decisions are:

If the proposed accommodation is necessary to ensure that any academic requirements or technical standards do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating on the basis of the student’s disability. If the proposed accommodation is necessary to provide the student with a disability meaningful access or an equal opportunity to gain the same benefits as their non-disabled peers. The proposed accommodation is logically connected to the impacts of the student’s disability and the barriers to access they experience in the academic and/or campus environment. The proposed accommodation is logically designed to address and remove the identified barrier to access. If implemented, the proposed accommodation would be effective in removing the identified barrier to access

The proposed accommodation does not:

  • Lower an essential program standard
  • Fundamentally alter an essential program element or requirement
  • Pose an undue administrative or financial burden


Responsible Officer(s):  Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs

Effective Date: 2005

Last Revision Date: January 17, 2024


Disability Services Documentation Guidelines

Request for Accommodation Form 

Contact Disability Services
Berkus Hall

Oxy's Interactive Map

Spring 2024 Office Hours

Mondays: 2-3pm
Thursdays: 2-3pm
Michelle Obergfoll
Director of Disability Services & Student Support