Student Disabilities Services
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

For Students: Procedures for Requesting Academic Accommodations

Disability Services is responsible for ensuring that students with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations (academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and services). This office is not responsible for advocating for the personal preferences of students. The goal of the accommodation process is to properly balance the interests of the student with those of the Institute. Additionally, this process attempts to ensure that student requests are considered in a manner which is both expedient and effective. The need for accommodations depends upon the student's disability and academic program, and because those factors may change during the course of a student's education at MIT, the student accommodation may be subject to review and adjustment from time to time. The determination of what specific accommodations will be provided is based upon an evaluation of the individual student's documentation, personal needs, and academic requirements. Reasonable requests are determined on the basis of legitimate documentation of a student's disability by a relevant professional; communication with the student and faculty member(s); the student's past academic accommodations history; accepted practices of service providers in higher education; and legal precedent. Accommodations 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.

Student Responsibilities

A student with a disability has certain rights under Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act including the right to reasonable accommodations that reduce the effects of a disability on accessing programs and services at MIT. With this right comes the responsibility to follow certain procedures developed by the Institute to ensure that reasonable requests for accommodations are addressed in an effective and timely manner. It is the student's responsibility to clearly identify who is arranging the logistics of the accommodations (i.e. the instructor, department, TA, or the Disabilities Services).

Students must request accommodations so that the Disabilities Services is afforded a reasonable amount of time to review and evaluate the request and provide the necessary accommodations. See Information on Specific Accommodationsfor details on alternative exams, materials in alternative format, and instructional modification. If difficulties arise in obtaining accommodations or there are concerns related to this process, it is the student's responsibility to contact Disabilities Services and the relevant faculty member/instructor immediately.

Requesting Academic Accommodations

Accommodations may include, but are not limited to: additional time on exams; and accessing the exam through an alternative medium; note takers in class; and materials in an alternative format.


The knowledge of a student's disability is confidential. Information is provided at the student's request or with a signed consent on a "need to know" basis only. This typically means that the Disabilities Services will share information related to the student's accommodations requests for reasons directly related to the request or for personal safety. Please contact the Disabilities Services staff if further clarification is needed.

Requesting Exam Accommodations

The student's documentation must establish the need for alternative exams. Alternative exams will be scheduled at the specified Institute exam time for the class. Exceptions to this policy may apply where the accommodation requested cannot be provided at the specified exam time, or a change in the time of the exam is, in fact, the accommodation needed.

Requesting Note takers