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Disability Services

Welcome to the Office of Disability Services!

The Office of Disability Services (ODS) serves as a central point of information and leadership to ensure equal access and full participation for students, faculty, staff and visitors with disabilities in all programs and activities at Smith College. Principles of Universal Design guide us in our work as we strive to proactively identify and remove barriers to participation wherever possible. We also strive to promote a disability positive and inclusive climate at Smith that recognizes student's multiple identities and values the diverse perspectives that contribute to a multicultural learning and living environment.

Approximately 500 undergraduate and graduate students with disabilities, about 20% of Smith students, receive services or support through the Office of Disability Services. These student scholars are represented in all academic fields, many study abroad, work in jobs on and off campus, serve as campus leaders and are engaged at the national and international level in research, service, and scholarship of all kinds. Three of our students recently earned Fullbright Fellowships!!

The Office of Disability Services seeks to support students in developing academic and life skills, learning about campus and community resources, and gaining the confidence, resiliance, and empowerment needed to meet their individual, career, and life objectives. Smith's commitment to providing supports and services is balanced with a humanistic and developmental approach that requires student engagement and responsibiity in the accommodation process.

Disability Services promotes access to the curriculum, campus facilities, programs, and technology, by:

1. Identifying and addressing physical, communication, and information barriers,

2. Providing individualized accommodations and services,

3. Collaborating and consulting with other departments on campus,

3. Conducting educational programming designed to build an accessible and inclusive campus community.

Disability Services is also deeply committed to fostering community and connection among students with disabilities where self-knowledge, understanding and peer support, mentoring, empowerment, and engagement around common challenges and solutions can blossom. We help students connect with our ODS Disability Peer Mentors program and with the Disabled Student Alliance, a student org that includes students with all types of disabilities working to create community, promote visibility, and address ableism, particularly at its intersections with other social justice issues.

Students specifically interested in scholarship around disability and disability culture and its intersections with other identities and experiences, will find a growing interest in disability culture and the arts and two new courses in Disability Studies through our American Studies department in the 2015/2016 academic year.

Disabled students come to Smith College from neigboring towns, across the nation, and around the globe and bring unique strengths, talents, creativity, and experiences that strengthens and enrich the diversity of the Smith academic and residential community.

Contact Us

Laura Rauscher, Disability Services Director and Jeannette Landrie, Disability Coordinator for Academic Access, have weekly drop in hours when anyone can stop in without an appointment. Appointments can be made by calling Lisa Roberge at (413) 585-2071 or by email to ODS@smith.edu. Geary Gravel, Deaf Services Coordinator can be reached by email at ggravel@smith.edu


Quick Links


Convert Print to accessible Formats here!!!

Converting documents to digital or audio formats make them more accessible to students with visual impairments, learning disabilities, Attention Deficit, and anyone struggling with reading by creating equitable access for all learners. Use this site to quickly convert your scanned or existing electronic documents!

Photocopying and Scanning Guidelines for Creating Accessible Documents

Photocopying/Scanning for Faculty and staff



New website for Black or African American college stiudents, sponsored by AHEAD and the HBCU consortium, is filled with resources, articles, student organizations, and contact information for services and accessiblilty. Also information for college administrators about creating culturally appropriate services and promoting access at the intersections of race and disability.




Events and Meeting Access Guidelines

Events and Meeting Access Guidelines (PDF)


Smith Celebrates ADA 25!

July 26th, 2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act!!

Take our ADA Quiz and look for events throughout the year!!

Take our quiz (PDF) on rights and accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.



School for Social Work Students

Information on access and support services for School for Social Work Students with disabilities is available here


ASSETS Program

ASSETS provides structured support for entering students with Disabilities that impact learning (such as learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, mental health concerns, etc) to smooth the transition from high school to college and to help them develop the independence, self-confidence and skills necessary for academic success. The ASSETS brochure (PDF) includes a registration form.

Study Abroad Information

One of the most rewarding Smith College experiences is spending a semester or a year abroad. Attend the Study Abroad Fair at Wright Hall on Find answers and valuable resources here.


Weather Preparedness

Be prepared for inclement weather conditions, power outages and evacuations by knowing your resources and creating a GO PACK.