St. Mary’s College of Maryland is committed to providing access to all students who are eligible for support under the guidance of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Approved accommodations are determined on an individual basis through our interactive process with each student.
General accommodations and supports are listed below.This is not an exhaustive, rather a general list to give you an idea of common accommodations at SMCM. Click here to learn about how to request accommodations
- Extended time on exams, quizzes and in-class writing assignments
- Reduced distractions environment for testing
- Permission to audio record classes
- Permission to type notes in class
To ensure availability of special housing assignments (e.g., single room, access to a ground-floor room) students must request housing accommodations by early June for the fall semester and late October for the spring semester. If you’re experiencing a barrier after these dates related to your housing, don’t wait to start the accommodation process. We will work with your request at any time in the greatest capacity we have.
- Single room
- Comfort animal
- Access to a kitchen
- Ground level access
As an accommodation, students can be provided with a variety of supports in the form of assistive technologies. Below is a list of assistive technologies provided through our office.
- Sonocent Audio Note-taker (audio recording software)
- Dragon Speech (speech-to-text software)
- Kurzweil 3000 (text-to-speech software)
What is an Emotional Support Animal, or a Comfort Animal?
Emotional Support Animal (Comfort Animal) is an animal selected for an individual with a disability by a healthcare or mental health professional to play a significant part in a person’s treatment process, e.g., in alleviating the symptoms of that individual’s disability. A comfort animal does not assist a person with a disability with activities of daily living, and does not accompany a person with a disability at all times. An emotional support animal is not a “Service Animal.”
An Emotional Support Animal may not reside in College housing without the approval of the Office of Accessibility Services. Visit the Comfort Animal Procedures to find out more or look below for more information.
Process of Obtaining Approval
- The owner must request permission to have an emotional support animal in their on-campus housing. A student looking to bring a comfort animal on campus must go through the accommodation process.
- See Eligibility Page to see what disabilities or disabling health conditions qualify for accommodations
- Procedure to request accommodations
- A third party provider should complete a Comfort Animal Form
- If approved, the student will meet with the Office of Residence Life for further instructions as how to proceed in bringing their animal on campus. The student will be required to submit two forms to the Office of Residence Life:
- The Comfort Animal Procedures will be carefully reviewed by the student.
- The willingness of roommates to share their housing with an animal and the effect of persons with allergies to animal hair or dander will be considered. Depending on considerations, an alternative housing assignment may be considered. Roommates will need to sign the Roommate Agreement Form (every year or when a housing situation changes) to indicate that they have agreed to live with an animal.
Responsibilities of Owners
- Must ensure that the animal has annual veterinary visits.
- The animal must be under the control of the owner/handler at all times, and must be restrained by a leash or other appropriate device that does not exceed 6 feet in length.
- The animal must be licensed and fully inoculated in accordance with St. Mary’s County regulations, if such licensing is required by St. Mary’s County, with the burden of proving licensure and inoculation status on the owner.
- Must carry equipment to clean up feces while on College property. Feces must be cleaned up immediately and disposed of properly.
- The animal must wear a tag indicating that they are licensed in St. Mary’s County(dogs only).
- Owners are solely responsible for arrangements for the care of the animal at all times. The owner may be required to leave College facilities or grounds when their animal is ill. Ill animals should not be taken into public areas.
- Must regularly bathe the animal to avoid significant odors, shedding and fleas. Owners with animals that are unclean or unkempt may be required to leave the College facilities/grounds.
- Will be held responsible for any damage or injuries caused by the animal to persons or property.
Responsibilities of Members of the College Community
- Must ask the owner before petting or playing with the animal.
- Get to know the animals in your community and their owners.
- Make sure the animal is well cared for.
- Must voice concerns to Residence Life if worried about the well-being of the animal.
- Must voice concerns to Residence Life if worried about the safety of yourself or those around you because of the animal.
The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a Service Animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities; in some situations, a miniature horse may also be a service animal (see following definition). Service animals do not need to wear any type of identifier such as a vest or tag. Service animals are working animals, not pets; the work they perform must be directly related to the individual’s disability, this includes a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. A Service Animal is an extension of the handler. Emotional Support Animals, Therapy Animals, and Pets are distinctly different from a Service Animal. For more information on Service Animals and SMCM’s policy refer to the To The Point Handbook section on Service Animals.
If you need to explore your options for specific dietary restrictions due to a disabling health condition such as Crohn’s Disease, IBS, allergies, Alpha Gal,etc ,get in contact with our office. We can discuss your dietary needs and limitations. We will also get you in contact with that manager of our dining facilities to explore their capacity to accommodate your dietary needs.
Concerns about allergic reactions and cross contamination can be difficult conversations to broach. Our office acts as a facilitator between the student and dining staff to ensure that information is clearly and accurately on both sides. If you’re concerned that you may have experienced allergic reaction or cross contamination while in the Great Room, contact our office.
Accommodations for a temporary conditions
If you have a long term, but temporary condition such as a concussion, post-op of a surgery,etc.,come talk to our office. After we discuss your situation, we can determine whether it’s necessary for you to go through the formal accommodation process or if other supports around campus may be able to meet your needs. Be prepared to provide third party documentation around your limitations and your planned recovery process.
Hospitalizations or family emergencies
If you have experienced a family emergency or a hospitalization not related to a disability or disabling health condition, please contact the Office of Student Support Services at their general email- email@example.com.
You can start the process to request accommodations at SMCM by clicking the buttons below:
For new requests for students new to our office
For students already officially connected to our office