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disability services office

Seeing Eye Dog

The services featured here are specifically for students with physical, medical, temporary, or psychological disabilities, and provide an example of possible accommodations. Students who have a learning disability or ADHD not accompanied by another condition and require certain needs should contact Special Services in the Connors Family Learning Center.

Alternate Testing Format

There are situations where the possibility of an alternate testing format is presented as a reasonable accommodation for students. A student's documentation must support the need for this accommodation, and the student and faculty member must agree on an acceptable alternate testing format for a particular course.

The alternate test-taking location is in the Office of the Dean of Students (DOS), Maloney Hall Suite 212. Students requesting an alternate testing location must inform both their professor and the Assistant Dean for Students with Disabilities of an upcoming exam at least 72 hours prior to the exam in order for arrangements to be made.

Professors are responsible for emailing or bringing an exam to DOS in Maloney Hall Suite 212, as well as picking up the completed exam, as it is the office policy not to put student exams in campus mail for security reasons.

A room is reserved for a student to take an exam in the DOS office suite. The student taking the exam leaves his or her backpack and cell phone with the Assistant Dean or designee, who proctors the exam.

A full list of procedures is available online.

To request an alternate testing format, please refer to the required documentation.

Canvas and JAWS Compatibility

Boston College has implemented the Canvas Learning Management System. Faculty use this application to post class notes, class readings, and syllabi. Canvas should be completely accessible for all students, but if students experience difficulties using Canvas Vista with the JAWS screen reader software program, they should contact the Information Technology Services Help Center at 617-552-HELP (4357) for assistance.

Campus Mobility Orientation

Students with visual impairments may receive campus mobility orientation to assist them in becoming acclimated to the campus. The Assistant Dean for Students with Disabilities arranges this orientation with staff members from the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA.

CART Services for Students with Hearing Impairments

CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation), also known as realtime captioning, is a computer program that translates spoken English into realtime captioning for students with hearing impairments. Students who need CART services should contact the Assistant Dean for Students with Disabilities as soon as they have finalized their class schedule in order to make arrangements with an appropriate provider prior to the beginning of the academic semester.

Course Underloading

Students whose documentation supports taking four courses rather than five may underload during the academic year. They may make up these courses during the summer session at Boston College, at another university, or during their senior year. Students must discuss this option with their academic dean in order to receive permission for this accommodation.


Students with visual impairments who have the JAWS screen reader software program installed on their computer may be interested in obtaining their required textbooks in electronic format. In order to allow sufficient time to obtain textbooks in this format, it is imperative that students provide the Assistant Dean for Students with Disabilities with the title, author, publisher, and year of publication for each text as soon as they have confirmed their course selection. It is equally imperative for professors to provide students with this information at their earliest convenience, since it may take several weeks for publishers to respond to requests for this alternate format.

The complete procedures regarding accessible texts can be found online.


Students with hearing impairments who are interested in using interpreters in their classes must inform the Assistant Dean for Students with Disabilities of the need for this accommodation at their earliest possible convenience following course registration due to the time needed to secure interpreters for the following academic semester. There is no guarantee that an interpreter will be found if a student does not provide sufficient notice of this need.

If you would like to request an interpreter, please complete the Interpreter Request Form available online.

Library Vision Services

The website at provides resource information on the services available for patrons of O'Neill Library with visual impairments. There are two work spaces in O'Neill: one contains a PC workstation equipped with JAWS and Open Book, and the other contains Zoom Text as well as scanner and inkjet printer connections.

Modified Deadlines for Assignments and Examinations

There are students whose documentation supports the need for a modification of deadlines for assignments and examinations, particularly if multiple exams and assignments are due on the same day. Students in need of this accommodation make arrangements for these modifications with their individual professors.


The protocol for securing a notetaker for students who qualify for this accommodation is as follows:

  1. A request is made to the professor to ask for a notetaker for the class. If a student's preference is to remain anonymous: the professor does not mention the student's name.
  2. Prospective notetakers must send an email to stating their interest to be hired as a notetaker (include course number and professor's name). Dean Durrett will reply by email if he or she has been selected to be a notetaker.
  3. Notetakers must complete and submit the required paperwork for student employment (tax forms, I9, etc.), available on the Human Resources Service Center website
  4. The notetaker submits the notes directly to the Office of the Dean of Students with the course number and name of the professor.  Notes must be comprehensive, neat, and done consistently for each class. Notes must be submitted the day after class to the Office of the Dean of Students, Disability Services, Maloney Hall, suite 212.
  5. Notetakers are paid $8.50 an hour to take notes for class time and the time it takes to organize and submit them to the Disability Services Office.
  6. Students pick up their notes in the Office of the Dean of Students, Maloney Hall 212.

To request a note-taker, please complete the Note-Taker Request Form online.

Temporary Impairments

Temporary impairments are not listed as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); however, every attempt is made to provide support and assistance to students who experience a temporary disability. Accommodations may include the use of a laptop, extended time on exams, use of the Eagle Transportation van service, or having swipe card access to the Government Documents Room in order to bypass the O'Neill Library stairs next to 21 Campanella Way.

Use of Laptop for Examinations

Students may request the use of the Disability Services laptop as indicated for medical reasons. Internet access is disabled, and students may either type responses themselves or request the assistance of a scribe if necessary.

This page links to PDF files. Use this link to download Adobe Reader if needed.