Disability Services at UMass Amherst

Information For Students Who Have Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a persistent pattern of inattention or hyperactivity/impulsivity manifested in academic, employment, or social situations. In academic and employment settings, ADHD may be demonstrated by careless mistakes and disorganized work. Individuals often have difficulty concentrating on and completing tasks, frequently shifting from one uncompleted activity to another. In social situations, inattention may be apparent by frequent shifts in conversation, poor listening comprehension, and not following the details or rules of games and other activities. Symptoms of hyperactivity may take the form of restlessness and difficulty with quiet activities.

Common Accommodations

Although accommodations are determined on an individual basis, the following list includes those most frequently employed to eliminate barriers to access for students with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Once a student and their Consumer Manager determine reasonable accommodations, the Consumer Manager, with the student’s permission, sends a letter to the student’s professor or other University personnel requesting the accommodations.

Extended time
Test format modification
Seating in the front of the classroom
Permission to use tape recorders
Note-taking Services

Tips For Students

If you feel comfortable, discuss your disability with your professors. Talk with them about the accommodations you need. Establishing an open relationship with your professors can benefit you in the long run.

Learn all that you can about your disability. The more you understand it yourself, the better you can explain it to others. Also, the better you understand your disability, the better you can establish routines that work for you.

If needed, identify places on campus where you know you can be alone for periods of time.

Use an organizer or date book to help you keep track of important deadlines.

Make sure you know whom your advisor is, and meet with him or her.

Meet with your Consumer Manager often, especially if you are having problems. Don’t wait until a small problem becomes a big one.

Take advantage of your professors’ and TAs’ office hours.

Before meeting with a professor, prepare what you want to say at the meeting and decide what you hope to accomplish. Your Consumer Manager can help you decide how to approach meetings with professors.

Be open-minded to accommodations proposed by your professors that differ from those that you and your Consumer Manager have discussed.

Learn about and take advantage of the resources available both on and off campus.

Develop a support system that you can rely on.