Grinnell College is dedicated to educating students whose achievements show a high level of intellectual capacity, initiative, and maturity. Every year, this highly qualified group of students includes people with disabilities.

The coordinator for disability resources, Autumn Wilke, advises students about the College's disability-related policies, procedures, and resources.

The coordinator oversees compliance with College policies and laws and, along with Ann Isgrig, assists in the day-to-day provision of support and accommodations for individual students’ academic needs.

The coordinator also provides campus educational resources and training.

To request accommodations, contact the coordinator, who will walk you through the process. In your first meeting Autumn will want to get to know you, talk to you about how your disability affects you, discuss your needs, and review your documentation. She'll then work with you and your adviser to ensure you get the accommodations and services you need.

Once your paperwork is completed, you will be responsible for delivering the information to your professors at least one week before the need for any accommodation you are entitled to. Autumn will work with you on strategies for how to approach them, if that is a concern. Each semester thereafter you will contact the coordinator to review your accommodations and get new letters for each of your faculty.

For more information, please see:

Documenting Your Disability

The documentation should include a diagnosis or description of your disability(ies), list results of tests (if appropriate) and include the recommendations of a specialist regarding appropriate academic accommodations. In Academic Advising Documents, we provide Guidelines for Documentation of a Disability and the Request for Accommodations.

Policy on Student Disability Accommodation Requests

Grinnell College, Division of Student Affairs

Grinnell College, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and with the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, recognizes that qualified students who have diagnosed or identified disabilities are entitled to benefit from the educational programs of the College if reasonable accommodations can be arranged.

Costs associated with diagnosis, evaluation, and testing are the responsibility of the student except in cases of severe financial need demonstrated to, and upon recommendation of, the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Requests for adaptive equipment needs for academic purposes will be submitted through the Dean for Student Academic Support and Advising, who will consult with the Dean of the College. The Dean will assess the need and determine whether the college will purchase the adaptive equipment.

Requests for curricular accommodation outside of the Grinnell College academic and residential model or the character of learning and instruction at this institution shall be taken to the Committee on Academic Standing for a recommendation to the Dean of the College.

Appeals of decisions regarding a students’ academic accommodation shall follow the Disability Accommodation Appeal Procedure.


"No otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

"No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation." Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The ADAAA (which also amends Section 504 and the ADA) defines disability to means "any person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, or (2) has a record of such an impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment." "Major life activities" refer to functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, concentration, thinking, and working; also "major bodily functions" such as normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, immune system, and reproductive functions.

"Specific learning disability" means "a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual handicaps, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include children who have learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage." Section 504.

"A qualified handicapped individual" is defined as "one who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the recipient's education program or activity." Code of Federal Regulations, Title 34, revised as of July 1, 1988, Part 104.3. Note: The ADA regulations adopts this language by reference to public accommodations.

"Grinnell College is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in matters of admissions, employment, and housing, and in access to and participation in its education programs, services, or activities. No person shall be discriminated against on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, creed or disability." Grinnell College Catalog.

Grievance Procedures

To appeal your accommodations decision, see the Disability Accommodation Appeal Procedure.

Testing Room

When a faculty member doesn't have a reasonable place for exam-taking, students with documented disabilities and testing accommodation can use the testing room on the third floor of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center.

The testing room may be used for the following testing accommodations:

  • extended time;
  • use of a computer;
  • a “distraction-reduced” environment; and
  • needing the test questions in auditory format.

Students who want to reserve the testing room must do the following at least one week in advance of their scheduled exam:

  • Email Ann Isgrig or call 641-269-3702 to ask if the room is reserved;
  • provide the start time and end time of the exam;
  • provide the name of the instructor and the course;
  • ask the instructor to be in touch with Ann about
    • how the exam will be delivered to her (or to the student) in time for the test and
    • any testing guidelines/rules such as use of notes, etc.; and
  • verify with Ann and with the instructor that the arrangement has been made.

The downside of using this testing room is that the student will not be in proximity of the instructor. Clearly it's best for the student to be near their professor in case he or she has a question.