Disability Support Services

Division of Student Services

Accommodations Process

Disability Support Services’ policies, procedures, and practices are designed to ensure that students with disabilities who seek accommodations for disability-related needs have an opportunity to engage in an individualized and interactive process with Reed staff to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations. We comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and we work with students to determine the most effective and appropriate accommodations for their specific needs.

Students who do not have documentation of a disability, or are not sure whether DSS is an appropriate resource for them, are welcome to meet with us to learn more about the accommodations process, how to obtain disability documentation, and other resources that may be available with or without accommodations.

How to Request Accommodations
Accommodations for Temporary Conditions
Student Privacy and Information Sharing

How to Request Accommodations

To request accommodations at Reed, students should follow the following procedures:

  1. Contact Disability Support Services to begin the accommodations process and request an appointment.

  2. Provide relevant documentation and meet with DSS staff. Engage in an individualized and interactive process to discuss your specific needs, ensure your disability documentation meets our guidelines, and determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations. Students may submit documentation via fax, mail, email, or in person at our office in the Dorothy Johansen House.

    • If your request for accommodation(s) is approved, you will receive a letter from DSS listing the recommended accommodations.

    • If your request for accommodation(s) is not approved, or cannot be approved based on the information provided, we will invite you to meet with us to further discuss your needs. We may ask you to submit additional documentation or information in order to evaluate your request.

  3. Receive your letter of accommodation and follow up as needed with the recipient(s).

    • Academic accommodations: You will receive a printed letter from Disability Support Services listing your recommended accommodations. You may then deliver and discuss your accommodation letter with your faculty and your adviser. We strongly urge students to talk with their faculty about their accommodations, as we find that collaboration between students and faculty results in a smoother accommodations process. If you would like assistance or guidance in communicating with your faculty, we can provide strategies and support.

    • Housing accommodations: DSS will email a letter listing your approved housing accommodations to you and to Residence Life. Residence Life requires this information to implement any housing accommodations that have been approved by DSS. For implementation purposes, Residence Life may consult with DSS or contact you to clarify the nature of your accommodation needs, if needed.

  4. Let us know as soon as possible if your accommodations aren’t working. If your accommodations are not meeting your needs, or you would like to request changes to your accommodations, please contact us to discuss your concerns.

  5. Renew your accommodations in a timely manner: Academic accommodations remain in effect until the end of the current semester; housing accommodations are effective until the end of the current academic year. To continue using accommodations, contact DSS to request that your accommodations be renewed.
    • If your request to renew your accommodations is approved, you will be issued an updated letter of accommodation from DSS. This process helps ensure that the accommodations in place at any given time will best meet your needs.
    • In some cases (e.g., if you request changes to previous accommodations and/or your documentation does not contain current information about the functional impact of your disability) we may ask you to provide additional documentation or information in order to evaluate your request.

Accommodations for Temporary Conditions

Students who have a temporary condition that significantly impacts their ability to participate in Reed’s programs are welcome to engage in the accommodations process described above to request accommodations on a temporary basis. A student receiving accommodations on a temporary basis may be asked to sign a statement acknowledging the date that the temporary accommodations expire. If the condition persists or develops into an ongoing disability, the student may provide updated medical documentation in support of the ongoing use of accommodations.

Student Privacy and Information Sharing

All information maintained by Disability Support Services (DSS) is part of a student’s educational record and as such is protected by the Federal Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA). Registration and participation with DSS does not appear on a student’s transcript or on class rosters. 

Disability-related information is kept in secure files, access to which is generally restricted to those with whom the student has shared the information directly, or those to whom the student has explicitly granted permission to access their information (as discussed with the staff in Disability Support Services). When a student has graduated or is no longer a student at Reed College, the student’s file is kept for seven years and then destroyed.

Documentation and information provided to Disability Support Services is used for the purpose of facilitating accommodations. Relevant information is only shared on a need-to-know basis with other professionals within Reed College in order to coordinate accommodations.

DSS encourages students to retain original versions of their disability documentation and to submit copies of their documentation to our office. Upon request, DSS will provide students with a copy of the disability documentation that has been submitted to our office.

Contact Disability Support Services


Phone: 503/517-7921
Fax: 503/517-5532
Office: Dorothy Johansen House

Theresa Lowrie
Dorothy Johansen House

Jess Gibson
Assistant Director
Dorothy Johansen House