How to Request Accommodations


Incoming and Newly Disclosing Students

Academic Accommodations

In order to ensure there is ample time to process accommodation requests prior to the start of the semester, it is recommended that students initiate the process before August 1st for the Fall semester and December 1st for the Winter semester.  These dates are meant to be guidelines and not deadlines, as accommodation requests are accepted at any time.

Processing time for new accommodation requests is generally 2 weeks. Once approved, some types of accommodations (for example: peer note-taking and text in alternate format) may take several weeks to fulfill, so it is important to make the request as soon as possible.

Housing Accommodations

Incoming students who are requesting housing accommodations are encouraged to submit their requests by June 1.

Current Bates students are encouraged to submit their housing accommodation requests by February 1 for the following academic year. These dates allows the Housing Accommodation Review Committee adequate time to review requests prior to the complex lottery process, which begins in March.

Please visit the Residence Life and Housing Accommodations page for more information.

Current Students with Approved Accommodations

Academic Accommodations

Approved accommodations must be registered each semester. Students registered with Accessible Education will receive notification by email prior to each semester with information about how to register their accommodations.

Housing Accommodations

Returning students with previously approved housing accommodations will need to be prepared to provide current information concerning their disabilities and the appropriateness of their housing accommodations for the next academic year.  In January, Carson Dockum will contact each student regarding accommodations for the following academic year.  Please contact Carson with questions at any time.

Application Process for Academic Accommodations

Incoming and current Bates students with disabilities who have not previously registered with Accessible Education and Student Support and wish to request an accommodation should follow these steps:

1. Complete an application: You can do this through the Accessible Information Management Portal (AIM) on our website by clicking here: AIM Portal.

  • Incoming students who have not yet received their Bates email address will not have access to the AIM portal and should skip step one. Creation of the AIM Portal can occur after the student has been given their Bates email.

2. Submit documentation of disability: Specific guidelines regarding documentation requirements are provided. Students may submit documentation in advance through the AIM Portal or at the time of the initial appointment. Documentation may also be sent to:

Carson Dockum
Director of Accessible Education
Office of Student Affairs
Bates College
Ladd Library G35, 48 Campus Avenue
Lewiston, ME 04240
Fax: 207-786-8290

3. Schedule an appointment: You will need to schedule a 30 minute initial appointment with Carson Dockum, Director of Accessible Education. Current students may do this through BatesReach. His office hours will be listed. Incoming students should contact the office by email or phone to schedule an appointment. If you need further assistance feel free to contact us through email at or call 207-786-6222.

4. What to expect in your initial meeting 

  • Your initial meeting with Accessible Education will typically last no longer than 30 minutes
  • We will work together to identify barriers to your Bates experience and implement accommodations to remove those barriers, as applicable
  • If you have received accommodations in the past, it is helpful for us to know what accommodations you received and whether they effectively removed any barriers you were encountering
  • Come prepared to share any questions or concerns that you might have.

5. Determination: Upon completion of the initial appointment and after documentation of disability and the request has been reviewed, students will be contacted with one of three notifications. In some instances, a subsequent meeting with Carson may be necessary:

  • Accommodations Approved: If a student’s request is approved, the student will receive written notification that includes instructions for how to register their accommodations.
  • Request for More Information: In some instances, more information may be needed to evaluate a request. Students will be notified as to what additional information is being requested and a meeting may be necessary.
  • Application for Services Not Approved: When an accommodation request is not approved based on the information submitted, the student have the opportunity to engage in a further dialogue with Carson before a final determination is made.

Application Process for Housing Accommodations

Please visit the Residence Life and Housing Accommodations page for more information.

Reasonable Accommodations

In the college setting, accommodations cannot alter the essential elements of a course or program. In assessing whether a student’s accommodation request is reasonable in the context of a particular course or program, the Director of Accessible Education may need to consult with faculty and/or college administrators for input. Students should be aware that certain accommodations, even when approved, may not be appropriate for every course. Students should contact Carson Dockum directly with concerns about implementation of an accommodation in a particular course or program.