Paths to Freel Library and Bowman Hall

Disability Resources

Accessibility is a core value at MCLA. Everyday our staff work with students who have a variety of disabilities ~ providing academic support services, individualized accomodations, and self-advocacy guidance. 

 

 

Helping build pathways to learning for students with disabilities.

 

MCLA is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities. We work to provide students with equitable access to all MCLA programs and services. Our philosophy and programs assist eligible students in fostering independence in college to the fullest extent possible, embracing self-advocacy, and in developing skills to transition and succeed in their careers. We believe that disability is a natural part of human variation and an essential aspect of diversity. 

The Office of Disability Resources provides students with individualized support services based on the nature of the documented disability. A accessible testing center proctors exams for students with approved testing accommodations. Disability Resources also provides one-on-one personalized training  on general technology and on assistive technology hardware/software.

 

The start strong program

offered an Early Start to Success for 22 first year students last fall. Start Strong introduced students to college campus life while diving deeper into some of the common transition challenges experienced by first year students, " It is like the short, safe version of the beginning of the first year." Students gained a more in-depth understanding of what to expect in college and what would be expected of them, completed a formal assessment of their study habits/skills and heard tips from student leaders on how to balance school with other demands. 

Fall 2022 Start Strong Program Registration is NOW OPEN !!!!! 

Get an early start on YOUR SUCCESS. Students will be expected to complete a series of self-paced modules built in Canvas throughout the first 8 weeks of the semester, starting August 29, 2022. A weekly in-person  "roadside" checkpoint  will bring all participants together for fun and activities. The Start Strong Program uses the metaphor of a road trip for getting through college’s tougher transition challenges. This metaphorical road trip gives students an entirely different way to see the college experience. So grab your backpack, jump aboard and roll down the window. It’s Road Trip Time! 

Start Strong Registration Form 

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Dear Family Members and Friends -   

Our office recognizes that families with new college students may  also be experiencing a transition. We welcome you as partners on the path to student success.   JOIN US for an interactive workshop and get answers to your questions about Disability Resources and learn ways to a.) best support your student's transition to college. b.) identify when your student is struggling and  c.) learn how YOU can help them.    If you can't make it on these dates, call us at 413-662-5314 to schedule an appointment. 

 

Welcome New trailblazers!

How to begin Disability Support Services:

  1. Review the Office of Disability Resources webpage for information. A pre-admission visit to the college is highly recommended. 
  2. Complete the Registration form provided below.  Provide current and comprehensive documentation of your disability. Suggested documentation includes: High School IEP or 504, psychoeducational assessments, diagnostic documentation from qualified, licensed professional, medical doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist or clinical social worker. 
  3.  Schedule an intake meeting with a staff member in the Office of Disability Resources.  Through an interactive process  the student and Disability Resource staff will determine accommodations that are appropriate and reasonable. Together they will formulate an Accommodation plan that lists approved accommodations.
  4. Student presents a copy of their accommodation plan to their faculty each semester. Students are strongly encouraged to schedule a meeting  with their faculty to discuss their plans. 
  5. Student should keep a copy of all disability documents and a copy of their accommodation plan. It may be useful for graduate school or professional licensure.   
  6. Student is encouraged to stay in touch with the Office of Disability Resources throughout their time at MCLA. Our door is always open. 

Typical Accommodations

Based on documentation, reasonable accommodations might include:

  • Priority access registration 
  • Alternative testing
  • Note takers or recording devices
  • Accessible instructional materials
  • Assistive technology

  • On-campus housing

Please note that these represent some accommodations provided to MCLA students. Students' needs are reviewed on an individual basis and specific accommodations will reflect each individual student.

Success Coaching

Success coaches provide one-on-one support to students throughout their first year at MCLA. Coaches work with students on transition competency areas to develop the structure and framework necessary to be successful in college.  Coaches work in partnership with students to improve academic skills, to identify resources, and to address any obstacles to academic success. Success coaches are currently available via TEAMS or in-person. If you would like to opt into the coaching program please email dpoulton@mcla.edu or call us at (413)662-5314.

Don't forget to ask about taking the LASSI (Learning & Study Skill Assessment). Become more aware of your strengths and what areas you can work on to improve your academic and  study skills. 

Accessible  Technology

The Disability Resource Office provides screenings on a variety of accessible general use technologies as well as assistive technologies and software applications. Screenings provide an opportunity for students and the Disability Resource staff to review and discuss various  technologies and software that may be useful. Screenings are also a chance to discuss any current or past challenges with different technology.  Introductory sessions on how to get started are available by request.

Helpful Links and Resources for Parents and prospective students

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities This publication from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights is relevant to  any postsecondary student going to any college or university. Be familiar with the information in this booklet as you begin to look at colleges and universities for your student. 

Auxiliary Aids and Services for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities This booklet can give you more specific information about the types of assistance that are generally available to students with disabilities at the postsecondary level. 

Family Guide to Transition Services in Massachusetts, https://fcsn.org/transition_guide/english.pdf   Brought to you in partnership by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and the Federation for Children with Special Needs. 

make it mcla

Dear Prospective Student: The Office of Disability Resources understands that student's rights and responsibilities change considerably from high school to college. We want you to make a successful transition. We welcome prospective students with disabilities to schedule a meeting with us to discuss some very important transition items ! We also know that students with health conditions and physical disabilities are often assessing different aspects of campus life than their non-disabled peers when they go on a college tour. They might be considering:                                                                             

  • Is the campus accessible for me?
  • Can I navigate campus independently?
  • Will I be able to receive accommodations that will allow me to be successful?
  • Does the campus have a student health center?

Take a virtual tour today. 

  If you are interested in scheduling an Early Transition meeting please contact Disability Resources at (413) 662-5314 or email Cindy.MacDonald@mcla.edu.