For students seeking access, accommodations, and services, we encourage you to contact our office for assistance with engaging accommodations and services.
Policy on Providing Services
Accommodation decisions are the product of an interactive process which involves students, Disability and Access Services staff, academic advisors, faculty members and, where necessary, outside experts. The past academic history of the student is also considered. Students who provide incomplete documentation are provided guidance, and where possible referrals for additional testing and/or evaluations are made. Accommodation requests that are judged to have a negative impact on the academic integrity of the educational program (e.g. those that would fundamentally alter the program of study) will not be honored. The final determination for providing appropriate and reasonable accommodations rests with the Institute. DAS ensures that the ultimate decision conforms with well established practices in the field and pertinent legal precedents.
Definitions for Disabled
MIT is required by Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Amended Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to provide effective auxiliary aids and services for qualified students with documented disabilities if such aids are needed to provide equitable access to MIT's programs and services. Federal law defines a disability as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities." Major life activities are defined as the ability to perform functions such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, or taking care of oneself. The degree of impairment must be significant enough to "substantially limit"; one or more major life activities. Therefore, medical documentation must be provided by a qualified professional. This documentation, in addition to establishing the existence of an impairment, must also address the substantial limitation posed by the impairment. Besides impairments pertaining to vision, hearing, physical well-being, and perception, individuals with disabilities may also include those with emotional or mental illness; illness such as cancer, heart disease or AIDS; learning disabilities such as dyslexia and dysgraphia; and physical impairments. These and other types of disabilities do not necessarily impair the individual's performance but may require the individual to seek alternative methods of carrying out a given task.
This guide is a description of the policies and procedures which Disability and Access Services follows to assist individuals with disabilities at MIT in doing just that. It is important to note that an impairment in and of itself does not necessarily constitute a disability. Also, a diagnosis, in and of itself does not necessarily constitute a disability. Further, the fact that accommodations have been received in the past, does not automatically mean that accommodations will be provided at MIT.