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Skidmore College

Disability & Off-Campus Study

OCSE offers 118 programs in 45 different countries. Within these options are different types of program models and varying levels of support. In the early planning stages of your time off campus, it is important to be aware of the cultural differences about disability and accommodations in the program location(s).

First steps:

  • Disclose your disability needs to OCSE and your program provider, so arrangements can be made in advance.
  • Explore what types of accommodation are typically provided at your host university or program center, keeping in mind that they may have different ways of accommodating your disability.
  • Research your host culture and how they view disabilities. Every country has different perspectives on disability and accommodation.

Academic Accommodation

Skidmore College cultivates an inclusive and supportive learning community and values the diverse learning styles of our students. We are committed to providing students with disabilities meaningful access to off campus study and strive to provide individualized accommodations necessary for students when possible. Students are strongly encouraged to contact an OCSE Program Manager and Skidmore’s Coordinator for Students with Disabilities as early as possible to discuss their needs for studying off campus.

If you are a student with a disability and believe you will need academic accommodation when studying off campus, you must formally request accommodation from Meg Hegener, Coordinator for Student Access Services, at Skidmore College and provide documentation which verifies the existence of a disability that supports your request. The application form and documentation requirements are also available online. For further information, stop by the office of Student Academic Services in Starbuck Center or call 518-580-8150.

Commonly requested academic accommodations include:

  • Extended test time
  • Test taking in a distraction reduced location
  • Books in alternative format (electronic)
  • Supplemental note taking
  • Test reading
  • Converted class and test materials (enlarged, audio-taped etc.)

If the student's documentation is conclusive, the Coordinator will work with the student to determine which accommodations requested are reasonable for the college setting and, in turn, off campus study. The Coordinator will prepare a Memo of Academic Accommodations, which identifies the student as disabled (but does not state the type of disability) and lists the accommodations s/he is entitled to receive for the semester. The student should share this Memo of Academic Accommodations with OCSE (for Skidmore programs) or directly with their program provider (for Non-Skidmore Approved Programs) when requesting accommodations for their off campus study. Some Non-Skidmore Approved Programs may request specific documentation of the disability in addition to Skidmore’s Memo of Academic Accommodations.

As it is on campus, the success of disabilities support abroad depends significantly on the student’s willingness and ability to seek the help he/she needs and to follow through with academic and other recommendations. Requests for accommodations and documentation of the disability should be provided to your off-campus study program as early as possible. Each situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and every effort will be made to work collaboratively with eligible students to facilitate an accommodation. However, please keep in mind that in-country conditions and resources do vary by site, and specific program locations have limited accessibility.

Online Resources