Policies and Procedures

Disability Documentation Guidelines and Procedures

All students with disabilities who are requesting accommodations or services through the Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services (CARDS) are required to provide appropriate disability certification. The guidelines below describe the necessary components of acceptable documentation for students with learning disabilities/ADD. Students are encouraged to provide their clinicians with a copy of these guidelines. View guidelines here: Disability Documentation Guidelines


Student Disability Accommodation Grievance Procedure

Eligibility for disability accommodations for students is determined through an interactive process between the individual student and the Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services (CARDS). Documentation supplied by a licensed clinician must include recommendations for disability accommodation. The recommendations made by clinicians are weighed in determining accommodations, but are not binding in nature. CARDS reserves the right to evaluate recommendations made by a clinician when granting disability accommodation requests. Disagreement with recommendations provided by licensed clinicians may be due to many factors, including, but not limited to, differences in learning environments; lack of direct application between the student's disability accommodation request and the licensed clinician's recommendation; and inappropriate use of the term "accommodation." If eligibility for an academic or housing accommodation is denied, the student may seek an appeal of that determination. Appeals can be resolved informally or formally using this process described here: https://barnard.edu/disabilityservices/resources/manual-forms/grievance-procedure


Foreign Language Modification Procedure

All students, including those with learning disabilities who anticipate difficulty in satisfying the Barnard language requirement, are expected to attempt elementary courses in language during their first year at Barnard. Students with diagnosed learning disabilities who experience severe problems in language learning may choose to submit a petition to the Committee on Programs and Academic Standing for a possible modification of the requirement. Students should discuss their specific situations with their advisers and their CARDS case manager and then meet with their class dean. Learn more here:  Barnard Language Modification Request 


Reduced Course Load Procedure

Students who need to take a reduced course load (typically between 9-11 credits) can request to do so on a per-semester basis. This requires official approval from CARDS as a disability-related accommodation.

To begin the request process, students will need to follow these steps:

  • Ensure that you are registered for a minimum of 12 credits by the end of the shopping period. All reduced course load approvals will be granted after the conclusion of the shopping period.
  • Submit your Reduced Course Load Request Form by the October 1 priority deadline (for Fall 2019).
  • Meet with your CARDS case manager to discuss your reduced course load request. In most cases, we will ask for documentation from your medical provider that supports your request.
  • Submit your Reduced Course Load Drop/ Withdrawal form to your CARDS case manager. If your request is granted, your case manager will sign your form and you will submit it to the Registrar's Office so that your drop or withdrawal can be processed.


Housing Accommodation Policies and Procedures

The Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services works closely with Residential Life & Housing to respond to the individual needs of Barnard students with disabilities who wish to reside in on-campus housing. Students must follow the linked procedures and provide all of the required information & documentation in order to be considered for disability housing accommodations each year. Learn more about the process here:  Housing Accommodation Process and timeline/ deadlines


Service and Support Animal Policies

Barnard College will reasonably accommodate persons with disabilities who require the assistance of Service or Support Animals. Each request will be evaluated on a case‐by‐case basis.

Service Animals Policy

Service Animals are usually dogs who have been trained to perform a specific task that assists the individual with a disability. Service Animals are allowed in public spaces on campus, but should be approved by CARDS if a student is requesting access for their animal in classroom spaces and/or other spaces not open to the public. Please review the Service Animal Policy above for more information.

Support Animals Policy

Support Animals are other animals that have not necessarily been trained for a specific purpose, but that provide comfort and/or emotional support for an individual with a disability. Support Animals are not otherwise allowed in public spaces on campus, but are allowed on a case-by-case basis for students with disabilities within their living space in the Residence Halls, with appropriate approval from CARDS. Students seeking approval of a Support Animal must first review the Support Animal Policy, secure supporting documentation (this should include how the support animal fits into an ongoing treatment plan), and then schedule a meeting with their CARDS case manager to begin evaluation of the request. The process for evaluating a Support Animal request can take up to six weeks, depending on the time of year that the request is received. 


Personal Care Attendant Procedure

Students who wish to have live-in or per diem personal care attendant (PCA) must be approved for this accommodation before bringing their assistant onto campus.

A student with this approved accommodation cannot move into campus housing until a primary PCA has been secured. Before moving in, the student will also have a contingency plan and secondary PCA in place. The contingency plan and second PCA are required in care the primary PCA becomes unavailable for any reason. The student will ensure that the contingency plan can be activated quickly. Students are encouraged to have a third PCA alternative in place should the primary and secondary PCAs become unavailable. Please note that the College is not responsible for providing a PCA on an interim basis. We ask that you notify us of your primary PCA and contingency plan at least one month before move-in. This will allow us to complete the required background check process (detailed below) before move-in. 

Temporary Assistance from family

If a PCA is unable to start their duties immediately upon move-in and the student requires the temporary assistance of a family member in campus housing until the PCA is available, the family member will be allowed to stay with the student for a two week period of time, after which the family member will leave the residence hall. If a PCA has not been secured to start by that time, the student will also vacate the residence hall.

Required background check

Before allowed access to any campus housing unit, all PCAs will be subject to a background check pursuant to Barnard College policies and procedures. The student is responsible for the cost of the background check. The student and the primary PCA, as well as all alternate PCAs, are required to complete and sign a Personal Care Attendant Agreement each academic year.