CTL Expands Resources for Students with Disabilities – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

CTL Expands Resources for Students with Disabilities

New software makes submitting and managing accommodations faster and easier.

Thanks to the generosity of parents and an alumnus, the Center for Teaching and Learning has launched a new system that makes it easier for students with disabilities to request accommodations as they relate to all aspects of student life on campus. The Accommodate software system provides students the ability to engage in the process of registering with Disability Services for accommodations in areas such as academics, housing, dining and assistance animals.

“Specific accommodations such as exam proctoring through CTL, alternative format text requests, and peer note taking are now accessible to the students that receive those accommodations in a central location that they may access at their convenience,” says CTL Director Susan Pliner. “The software allows for streamlined communications, and all parts of the process take place in one secure portal. For example, students who receive notes in classes can log into their account and download the notes that have been uploaded by a peer note-taker. Students no longer have to come to CTL to copy or pick up notes.”

Support for the new software system comes from Peter and Josephine Grayson P’18 and their son Bradley Grayson ’18, whose gift funded the Colleges’ purchase of Accommodate from the developer, Simplicity. Accommodate is graciously being funded at HWS for the next six years through a gift from Rebecca Gould P’22 and Robert Lagoyda P’22.

“I remain so grateful to the Graysons, Rebecca Gould and Robert Lagoyda for their generosity,” says Pliner. “Their continued support of the CTL and their commitment to making sure students have the resources they need is appreciated by all of us at the CTL and our students. We could not ask for better partners.”

The software’s rollout has gone smoothly, Pliner says. “Students like the ease of using the new system. Students previously established with Disability Services appreciate being able to see their documentation and accommodations request easily with the click of a button. The biggest draw is everything is in one location [on the HWS website] making the request for accommodations a very simple process.”

CTL plans to launch a separate portal for faculty this fall, simplifying the steps required to arrange academic accommodations for students. This will provide faculty the same ease of accessing the accommodation information, that has been sent to them by their students, in a single location from wherever and whenever they may need it.

“We are hopeful that the automation will result in an accelerated and accessible service to our students,” says Pliner. “The new software will increase the time we have available to collaborate with staff and faculty, and to explore how Disability Services in the CTL can continue to support the HWS community.”

Learn more about Accommodate here.