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Understanding College Accessibility

Know your rights and responsibilities for disability accessibility services

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973—as well as Simpson College's moral standard of respect and empathy for all experiences—the Office of Accessibility Services is committed to working with students who have disabilities throughout their college journey.

However, according to law, accessibility service coverage requirements in college are different from what is required of high school institutions. Let’s look at these two academic spaces to compare and contrast what they provide so you understand what's expected of you at Simpson—and what you can expect from us.

  • The student is responsible for letting the college know about their disability if they want accommodations provided. This is done through the Student Accessibility Office, where students provide documentation of their disabilities.
  • The Accessibility Services Director determines if the disabilities interfere with a major life function, such as learning, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing and others. Reasonable accommodations, as determined by the Director, must be provided for all students who have a disability which affects a major life function.
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that any institutions receiving public funds must not discriminate on the basis of a disability. Accommodations will be similar, but may not be the same as accommodations provided in high school. Accommodations cannot require faculty to fundamentally alter the nature of their course content.

Questions or concerns?
Please contact

Karen Lynch, Director of Student Accessibility Services
204 Mary Berry Hall
Indianola, IA 50125

These links may be helpful tools for students with disabilities and their families as you begin your college journey. Together we can help all students reach their full potential and facilitate an environment where their important contributions can thrive.

Americans with Disabilities Act Fast Facts
Association on Higher Education and Disability
DO-IT Federal and State Aid, Scholarships and Rewards
Wrights Law