Disability Support Services

Division of Student Services

Accommodations Process

Disability Support Services’ policies, procedures, and practices strive to provide all students with disabilities meaningful access while at Reed. DSS works with students who seek disability-related accommodations in an individualized and interactive process 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 take a highly individualized approach to providing disability services and and working with students to provide reasonable academic and campus accessibility 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. Get started by scheduling an appointment with DSS and providing relevant disability documentation to our office. Current and incoming students are encouraged to begin the accommodations process as soon as possible once a potential accommodation need has been identified.
    • Documentation may be submitted to DSS via fax, email, or postal service. 
    • Students who do not have documentation of a disability, or are not sure whether DSS is an appropriate resource for them, are welcome to email us or schedule an appointment to learn more about: the accommodations process, how to obtain disability documentation, and other resources that may be available with or without disability accommodations.
  1. Engage in an individualized and interactive process with Disability Support Services to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations. During this process, the student and DSS staff will meet to discuss the functional impact of the student's condition or disability and any related accessibility needs.
    • Due to the individualized nature of accommodations, DSS staff may, at times, consult with relevant faculty or staff members to review course or program requirements. This information may be necessary to help DSS evaluate students' requests and to identify reasonable and appropriate accommodations and/or viable alternatives. If needed, DSS may also ask the student to provide additional information or disability documentation in order to better understand the nature of the student's condition and their specific accessibility needs.
    • Students who are approved for accommodations will receive a letter from DSS that lists the approved accommodations. The letter will be sent via email to the student and to the relevant instructor or staff member.
  1. Follow through with any additional steps that are required for the implementation of your accommodations. Certain accommodations may require additional follow-up from the student to ensure successful implementation (e.g., submitting a brief online form to indicate the courses in which note taking assistance is requested, or communicating with DSS or faculty around alternative testing arrangements). In such cases, the student’s accommodation letter will contain instructions for the student and/or instructor or staff member, as applicable.
    • We strongly encourage all students who have academic or PE accommodations to speak with their instructor(s) about their accommodations, and to do so early in the semester whenever possible. We find that collaboration between students and instructors results in a smoother accommodations process. If students would like assistance or guidance in communicating with instructors, DSS staff can provide strategies and support.
  1. Remain in communication with DSS and your instructors around your accommodation needs. Contact DSS as soon as possible if your accommodations are not meeting your needs; your needs have changed; you would like to request additional or different accommodations; you encounter any barriers in implementing your approved accommodations; and/or if you would like to request assistance in communicating with faculty or staff around your accommodation needs.
  1. Request to renew your accommodations in a timely manner. Most academic and PE accommodations remain in effect until the end of the term for which they were issued. Housing accommodations remain effective until the end of the academic year for which they were issued. To request accommodations for subsequent terms or housing cycles:
    • If the nature of your disability and your accommodation needs have not changed substantially: You may email DSS to request the renewal of previously-approved accommodations. In some cases we may ask for additional information or updated disability documentation to help us evaluate your request. If your request 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.
    • If the nature of your disability and/or your accommodation needs have changed significantly, or if you would like to request new accommodations for which you have not previously been approved: Please schedule an appointment with DSS to discuss your accommodation requests and engage in an individualized and interactive process as described above. If necessary, we may ask for additional information or updated disability documentation to help us evaluate your request. If your request is approved, you will be issued an updated letter of accommodation from DSS.

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 evaluating and facilitating accommodation requests. Relevant information is only shared on a need-to-know basis with other professionals within Reed College to evaluate and coordinate accommodations.

DSS encourages students to retain original versions of their disability documentation and to submit copies of their documentation to DSS. 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