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 student disability resources, John Hirschman, serves as the primary contact for students with disabilities. The coordinator advises students about the College's disability-related policies, procedures, and resources.
The coordinator, along with Stacy Turley and Sondi Burnell, assists in the day-to-day provision of support and accommodations for individual students’ academic needs.
Your Rights and Responsibilities
As a student at Grinnell, you are responsible for meeting Grinnell’s essential requirements, with or without appropriate accommodations.
You are not required to:
- register with disability resources;
- identify yourself to instructors, staff, or other students as having a disability; or
- accept accommodations you do not need or want.
However, if you need and want accommodations, you are responsible for contacting disability resources and completing the process for requesting accommodations. If you choose to not register with disability resources or refuse accommodations, you are responsible for the consequences of your actions.
Both at Grinnell and beyond, we encourage those with disabilities to advocate on their own behalf to enjoy their right to access and equality. Individuals who do not identify themselves and request appropriate accommodations may limit their civil rights protections.
See the Student Handbook for policies and procedures.
To Request Accommodations and Discover Other Services
For disability accommodations — whether learning, psychiatric, or physical; long- or short-term — contact the coordinator of student disability resources. The coordinator will explain your rights and responsibilities, and will guide you through the process.
For best results, you should:
- Contact disability resources as far in advance as possible. You do not need to wait until you are on campus.
- Provide documentation of your requested accommodations and need.
- Complete the process for requesting accommodations, including talking to faculty when needed.
If you are granted accommodations, you choose if you want to use them. If you do, you will work with the disability resources coordinator to explain the requested accommodations to your professors or others on campus (e.g., dining if you need dining accommodations).
Accommodations are reviewed and approved by the coordinator for disability resources. The coordinator will work with you and others on campus to get you the accommodations you need. We have experts throughout campus — covering everything from dining, health and wellness, and buildings and residences, to teaching and mentoring — to help make this process run smoothly.
The coordinator will work directly with you and your faculty adviser to identify and recommend accommodation, and will coordinate with other offices on campus. When necessary, you may also work directly with faculty and with staff in facilities management, dining, academic affairs, the library, or other offices on campus.
For full details, prospective students should contact the coordinator by calling 641-269-3089.
Current students should visit Disability Resources on Grinnell Share (log-in required).
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. To assist you in documenting your disability, we provide Guidelines for Documentation of a Disability and use a comprehensive Request for Accommodations form.
Disclosure and Confidentiality
You are not required to disclose your disability; disclosure is voluntary.
The coordinator will keep a confidential record of what you’ve shared. The coordinator will not share your diagnosis with others without your express permission. If you choose, you can sign an agreement to allow the coordinator to discuss your disability or share information with certain people, such as your parents.
The College keeps documentation concerning disabilities separate from the student's general academic record. Information and records are shared with members of the College staff and faculty only on a need-to-know basis or when specifically requested by the student.
Accommodations will not appear on your transcript.
Staff and faculty are advised that a student's disability and/or accommodations are confidential and should not be shared with others.
To appeal your accommodations decision, see the Disability Accommodation Appeal Procedure.
"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. To file a discrimination grievance or to learn more read the College's Non-Discrimination Policy.