How to Register with ODS
The steps for registering with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) are as follows:
- Provide ODS with documentation of the disability. Documentation can be sent to ODS:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (email is the most expeditious during the COVID-19 campus curtailment)
Attn: Disability Services
One Armory Square
Springfield, MA 01102
- Your documentation will be reviewed.
- You will be assigned to an ODS counselor who will contact you for an individual appointment.
Guidelines for Documenting a Disability
Any student with a documented disability is eligible to register for services.
Documentation should be completed by an appropriately credentialed practitioner (who is an impartial individual and not a family member of the student). Students should submit documentation of their disability prior to meeting with the ODS Staff.
Early planning is essential for many of the accommodations provided. Students meet with the ODS Staff prior to the start of each semester to review accommodation needs.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Documentation requirements for students with learning disabilities requesting accommodations and/or services are as follows:
- The student should provide ODS with current documentation and assessment data from certified professionals. Testing must be comprehensive. It is not acceptable to administer only one test for the purpose of diagnosis. Minimally, domains to be addressed must include (but not be limited to):
- Aptitude: The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales -IV (WAIS-IV), with all subtest scores is the preferred instrument.
- Achievement: Current levels of functioning in reading, mathematics, and written language are required. The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT III) with all subtest scores is the preferred instrument.
- Note: The Wide Range Achievement Test-4 (WRAT-4) is not a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore not suitable.
- Ideally, test results should be current. This means testing that has been conducted within the past three years. However, documentation older than three years is accepted.
- Actual test scores and subtest scores must be provided. Standard scores are required; percentiles and grade equivalents are not acceptable unless standard scores are also included.
- IEPs (Individual Education Plans) are not accepted as the sole source of documentation. Professionals conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses of learning disabilities must be qualified to do so.
- If you have questions call Joy L. Ferwerda, Learning Disabilities Specialist, Office of Disability Services, at (413) 755-4513.