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 Disability Services Office. Accommodations and services are determined on a case-by-case basis.

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

1. Fill out an Accommodation request form 

Submit a Request for Accommodation Form and upload your supporting documentation.  Disability documentation should contain a specific diagnosis indicating whether the disability is temporary or permanent and concise description of the functional limitations imposed by your disability. All documentation should be provided in English and be legible. If the original documentation is in another language, the student will need to provide a translated copy. During busy periods, it can take 1-2 weeks to process accommodation requests.

2. Provide disability documentation/Information

Disability documentation should contain a specific diagnosis indicating whether the disability is temporary or permanent and concise description of the functional limitations imposed by the disability. All documentation should be legible. 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, Disability Resources may ask for additional documentation concerning your 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 DS and the student. This process is required to be interactive, with information exchanged between the student and DS to arrive at a conclusion about the requested accommodation. DS 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 DS about the nature of the disability and the accommodations requested. Returning students are required to schedule an appointment to renew accommodations at the start of each new academic year. All accommodation policies and procedures pertaining to your accommodation plan will be reviewed. 

4. Share your Accommodation Letter with your professors

Following your intake meeting, the Disability Services office will email you a PDF copy of your Accommodation Letter, listing your approved accommodations. It is the your responsibility to send your Accommodation Letter to your instructors in a timely manner and to arrange any accommodations that will involve instructor collaboration, such as additional time on exams.

Contact the Disability Services office if you have any questions or concerns regarding your accommodations, if you have difficulty arranging your accommodations, or if there are needed changes to your plan at any point during the academic year.

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.If 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.If 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