Incoming Students

Welcome to UMass!

  1. Students and family members are invited to learn more about their rights and responsibilities as a person with a disability in higher education. This will be essential to your success! 

  2. Following the videos, if you have additional questions, please join us for NSOT Zoom Drop In Sessions. We offer sessions for parents and sessions for students. 
  3.  DS staff will also be available for more private consultation during Day 2 of summer Ready for the U dates. 

  4. Please be sure to register with Disability Services. In higher education, there are major shifts to your rights and responsibilities as an adult. You must let us know you are here and what you need! Once you are registered, you'll receive an email encouraging you to schedule a first appointment with an Access Coordinator

  5. Stay tuned to your UMass email, our website for updates and FAQs for students and parents.

  6. Check your email! You will receive information confirming your registration with DS and other important information regarding our services. Put these dates in your calendar.

We are eager to work with you. Welcome!

FAQ for New & Prospective Students Transitioning to UMass

What type of documentation is needed to register?

Here is a link to a documentation guide to help you. Documentation requirements vary depending on your disability and the types of accommodations you will be requesting. The best starting place is to have your licensed healthcare provider complete our Disability Disclosure Form on your behalf. 

If you do not have any current documentation (past 5 years) or a formal diagnosis, you are still encouraged to complete the online registration form and meet with an Access Coordinator. During your Welcome Meeting, the Access Coordinator will gather more information about your experience and help determine if documentation will be required in order to provide the accommodations you're requesting. If there will be required documentation, the Access Coordinator can provide referrals and suggestions as to how to obtain this.

How do accommodations work?

When first registering with the Disability Services Office, you will need to meet with an Access Coordinator. During this Welcome Meeting, the Access Coordinator will ask you some questions about your experience as a student with a disability and learn more about your request for accommodations. They will also discuss any additional documentation that may be required to support your request. Accommodation requests are processed by our Review Committee, a team of trained Disability Services staff, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Once they have been determined, your Access Coordinator will invite you to set up an Accommodation Review Meeting to discuss your approved accommodations and explain how to access them.

At the start of each semester, be sure to login to the Clockwork for Students portal, You are responsible for sending out an accommodation letter for each of your professors (through the Review and Request Accommodations (Submit Letters) icon), so they are aware of the accommodations that you are eligible to receive during the semester. If you have note taking or exam accommodations, that is also the time to select in which class(es) you will need notes, by using the Course Notes icon, and you may also begin scheduling exams on Clockwork to be taken through the Exam Proctoring Center by selecting the Schedule an Exam icon.

If you are a student eligible for accommodations, but do not currently need them, please register anyway. Should you find yourself in a health crisis down the road, we can assist you quickly. This will avoid you tracking down paperwork when in crisis. We cannot provide any accommodations retro-actively. Whether you use your accommodations in a class or not, is up to you.

Students also have a responsibility to communicate and follow up in a timely fashion with their professors when requesting class accommodations. Some accommodations will require clarification with faculty/instructors. Do not wait until the last minute to meet with instructors about extensions or exam arrangements. We assist with and teach self-advocacy skills to help students navigate situations, such as communicating with professors. We want students to be able to communicate their needs and to self-advocate (with our assistance when needed) as they progress through their university life. These are key skills for success at UMass and beyond!

Students will need to build rapport with faculty throughout their educational career. It’s good advice for any student to make time to meet with their faculty through office hours. It is imperative that students with disabilities make this time. The better faculty know you, the more opportunities you will benefit from. You may not need much from them now, but you may need recommendations for internships, and graduate school applications down the road. Invest the time now.