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Accessibility Resources Center


The Accessibility Resources Center works closely with the administration, faculty, and students to identify and remove any physical, programmatic, or attitudinal barriers that might discourage frustrate or deny the full participation and integration of students with disabilities in the College’s complete range of programs, activities, and courses of study.

MassBay provides equal access for each student who self-discloses a disability and requests accommodations through the Accessibility Resources Center for learning, testing, and other areas of need. Students can:

  • Make an appointment with an Accessibility Specialist
  • Provide appropriate documentation of the disability
  • Request accommodations that will facilitate academic success

Accessibility Specialists provide guidance to students in the areas of:

  • Self-advocacy
  • Advising during course enrollment
  • Finding mentoring and support opportunities
  • Applying learning strategies for academic success
  • Universally Accessible Classrooms

Services are available both remotely and in person. Please use your MassBay email. It is the college’s primary mode of communication.

Wellesley Campus | Room 216
Monday-Friday 9am–5pm
Phone: 781-239-2234

Framingham Campus | Room 306
Monday-Friday 8am–4pm
Monday-Thursday 8am–4pm
Friday- Remote services only 8am-4pm
Phone: 508-270-4267



Contact Us/Staff (click to read more)

Our Staff / Contact Us


Phoebe Bustamante, Director of Accessibility Resources

Ellen DiMarzo, Assistive Technology Accessibility Specialist

Kelly Corrigan, Executive Function Coach

Lisa Armstrong Smith

Whitney Bowler, Accessibility Specialist

Mindy Elias, Accessibility Specialist

Thomas Sheehan, Accessibility Specialist

Coaching Services (click to read more)

We offer coaching services to students who are registered with our office. We offer executive function coaching through our office as well as through a partnership with the Easterseals College Navigator program. If you’re interested in coaching services, please contact Phoebe Bustamante:


If you don’t see a new window open when you click one of the links below, then it has downloaded a Word document to the Downloads folder on your computer.


Requesting Accommodations


Requesting Accommodations

MassBay Community College is committed to ensuring that all individuals have equal access to programs and services offered by the college. If you are a student with a documented disability seeking accommodations, please follow the guidelines below after applying to the college. MassBay now uses the Accommodate platform for all accommodation requests.

You can find Accommodate through your OneLogin.

  1. Complete the Accommodation Request Form
    Accommodation Request Form →
    Once you complete the form, our office will be in touch to schedule an initial meeting to disclose and document your disability and to register with the Accessibility Resources Center. Appropriate documentation should be submitted prior to your meeting. You can submit documentation directly to the online form or via email to:

    Note: This step is for first time requests only. If you’ve already completed this form and the registration process, proceed to step two.

  2. Complete a Semester Request through Accommodate
    Attend each of your classes at least once and consider the accommodations you might need in each course. Then, choose which of your approved accommodations you want to use for each of your courses by completing a Semester Request in Accommodate. Accommodations may differ from class to class (and semester to semester) because your needs may differ based on the academic topic and nature of instruction in a particular class. You complete this step every semester!
  3. Communicate with Instructors
    Instructors are notified of a student’s accommodations at the start of the semester through Accommodate. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with instructors regarding the use of accommodations throughout the semester. Connecting with available resources and self-advocacy skills are key to college success. Stay in touch with your instructors and the Accessibility Resources Center and reach out to us if you have questions or need support.

Download a Word document with this information:

Using Academic Accommodations →

Documentation Guidelines

The dimensions of good documentation discussed below are suggested as a best practices approach for defining reasonable accommodations. By identifying the essential dimensions of documentation, the office of Disability Resources at MassBay Community College allows for flexibility in accepting documentation from the full range of theoretical and clinical perspectives. This approach enhances consistency and provides stakeholders (students, prospective students, parents and professionals) with the information they need to assist students in establishing eligibility for services and receiving appropriate accommodations.

  1. The Credentials of the Evaluator(s)
    The best quality documentation is provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience, and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated.  A good match between the credentials of the individual making the diagnosis and the condition being reported is expected (e.g., an orthopedic limitation might be documented by a physician, but not a licensed psychologist).
  2. A Diagnostic Statement Identifying the Disability
    Quality documentation includes a clear diagnostic statement that describes how the condition was diagnosed, provides information on the functional impact, and details the typical progression or prognosis of the condition.  While diagnostic codes from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-V) or the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) of the World Health Organization are helpful in providing this information, a full clinical description will also convey the necessary information.
  3. A Description of the Diagnostic Methodology Used
    Quality documentation includes a description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results.  Where appropriate to the nature of the disability, having both summary data and specific test scores (with the norming population identified) within the report is recommended.  Diagnostic methods that are congruent with the particular disability and current professional practices in the field are recommended.  Methods may include formal instruments, medical examinations, structured interview protocols, performance observations and unstructured interviews.  If results from informal, non-standardized or less common methods of evaluation are reported, an explanation of their role and significance in the diagnostic process will strengthen their value in providing useful information.
  4. A Description of the Current Functional Limitations
    Information on how the disabling condition(s) currently impacts the individual provides useful information for both establishing a disability and identifying possible accommodations.  A combination of the results of formal evaluation procedures, clinical narrative, and the individual’s self-report is the most comprehensive approach to fully documenting impact.  The best quality documentation is thorough enough to demonstrate whether and how a major life activity is substantially limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the condition(s). While relatively recent documentation is recommended in most circumstances, common sense and discretion in accepting older documentation of conditions that are permanent or non-varying is recommended. Likewise, changing conditions and/or changes in how the condition impacts the individual brought on by growth and development may warrant frequent updates in order to provide an accurate picture. It is important to remember that documentation is not time-bound; the need for recent documentation depends on the facts and circumstances of the individual’s condition(s).
  5. A Description of the Expected Progression or Stability of the Disability
    It is helpful when documentation provides information on expected changes in the functional impact of the disability over time and context.  Information on the cyclical or episodic nature of the disability and known or suspected environmental triggers to episodes provides opportunities to anticipate and plan for varying functional impacts.  If the condition is not stable, information on interventions (including the individual’s own strategies) for exacerbations and recommended timelines for re-evaluation are most helpful.
  6. A Description of Current and Past Accommodations, Services and/or Medications
    The most comprehensive documentation will include a description of both current and past medications, auxiliary aids, assistive devices, support services, and accommodations, including their effectiveness in ameliorating functional impacts of the disability.  A discussion of any significant side effects from current medications or services that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral or cognitive performance is helpful when included in the report.  While accommodations provided in another setting are not binding at MassBay, they may provide insight in the decision-making process.
  7. Recommendations for Accommodations, Adaptive Devices, Assistive Services, Compensatory Strategies, and/or Collateral Support Services
    Recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the individual provide valuable information for review and the planning process.  It is most helpful when recommended accommodations and strategies are logically related to functional limitations; if connections are not obvious, a clear explanation of their relationship can be useful in decision-making.  While MassBay has no obligation to provide or adopt recommendations made by outside entities, those that are congruent with the programs, services, and benefits offered by the college or program may be appropriate.  When recommendations go beyond equitable and inclusive services and benefits, they may still be useful in suggesting alternative accommodations and/or services.

    Adapted from AHEAD: Seven Elements of Quality Disability Documentation

Download a Word document with this information:

Documentation Guidelines →

Placement Testing Accommodations

  1. Schedule an Intake Meeting with Accessibility Resources
    Schedule an intake meeting with an Accessibility Specialist to disclose and document your disability and to register with the Accessibility Resources Center. Appropriate documentation should be submitted prior to your intake meeting. Submit your documentation via email to or directly to the Specialist with whom you are meeting.
  2. Schedule an Individual Date for Placement Testing
    Contact Accessibility Resources to schedule an individual placement test date to be proctored by an Accessibility Specialist. Do not schedule on a group testing date. When you schedule the appointment, the Specialist will discuss any accommodations you may need for the test. The test consists of three parts — Reading, Writing and Math — you may schedule the parts of the test on different dates if necessary.
  3. Preparing for the Placement Test
    For more information on the placement test or to schedule a workshop to prepare for the test, go to

    You can find practice questions on the Accuplacer website as well. →
  4. After Testing
    After you complete the placement test, your proctor can review your score with you. The next step is to register for Orientation (SOAR) and there you will be connected to an Advisor who can help you choose the right classes.

Download a Word document with this information:

Placement Testing Accommodations →

High School vs. College for Students with Disabilities

Differences between high school and college for students with disabilities



I.D.E.A. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act)

Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973

I.D.E.A. is about SUCCESS


A.D.A. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and ADAAA (Amendments Act) of 2008)

Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973

A.D.A. is about ACCESS



I.E.P. (Individualized Education Plan and/or 504 Plan)

School provides evaluation at no cost to student.

Documentation focuses on determining whether student is eligible for services based on specific disability categories in I.D.E.A.


High School I.E.P. and 504 plans are not always sufficient. Documentation guidelines specify information needed to receive accommodations.

Student must get evaluation at their own expense.

Current documentation must provide information on specific nature of condition or disability and functional limitations, and demonstrate the need for specific accommodations.



Student is identified by the school and is supported by parents and teachers.

Primary responsibility for arranging accommodations belongs to the school.

Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance.


Student must self-identify to the Accessibility Resources Center.

Primary responsibility for self-advocacy and arranging accommodations belongs to the student.

Professors are usually open and helpful, but most expect you to initiate contact if you need assistance.



Parent has access to student records and can participate in the accommodation process.

Parent advocates for the student.


Parent does not have access to student records without student's written consent.

Student advocates for self.



Teachers may modify curriculum and/or alter pace of assignments.

Students are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed, and often re-taught, in class.


Professors are not required to modify curriculum design or alter assignment deadlines.

Students are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing which may not be directly addressed in class.

Students need to review class notes and text material regularly.



I.E.P. or 504 plan may include modifications to test format and/or grading.

Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material.

Makeup tests are often available.

Teachers often take the time to remind you of assignments and due dates.


Grading and test format changes (i.e. multiple choice vs. essay) are generally not available.

How tests are given (extended time, test proctors) are appropriate academic adjustments when supported by disability documentation.

Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material.

Professors expect you to read, save, and consult the course syllabus (outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected of you, when it is due, and how you will be graded.



Student’s time and assignments are structured by others.

Students may study outside of class as little as zero to two hours a week, and this may be mostly last-minute test preparation.


Students manage their own time and complete assignments independently.

Students need to study at least two to three hours outside of class for each hour in class.


Adapted from AHEAD guidelines 2010

Download a Word document with this information:

High School vs. College Students Disabilities →

Common Accommodations

Determinations of reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis using the interactive process.

  • Extended time on exams and quizzes
  • Exams Administered in a reduced-distraction environment
  • Use of Classroom Note-taker
  • Use of alternative format text
  • Use of a recording device for lectures
  • Assistive Technology

For students requesting ASL Interpreters, CART resources or other assistive technologies, please contact our Assistive Technology Accessibility Specialist, Ellen DiMarzo at or 508-270-4286.

Services that we do not provide:

  • Personal Care Attendants
  • Transportation
  • Diagnostic Evaluations
  • Modified Coursework

Download a Word document with this information:

Common Accommodations →



Transitional Scholars Program

Transitional Scholars Program Information Page