Rights and Responsibilities

Berklee College of Music has developed policies and procedures that comply with federal law and support the accommodation needs of students with documented disabilities while also maintaining academic standards and curricular integrity. The purpose of this document is to identify the rights and responsibilities of all involved community members.

Students who sign an agreement of understanding with Disability Services staff have a right to:

  • Have equal access to Berklee's programs, courses, activities and facilities.
  • Have reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids determined on a case-by-case basis, and based on recent and complete documentation supplied to the college.
  • Receive appropriate confidentiality pertaining to their disability, with the choice of deciding whom to disclose their disability to.
  • Appeal decisions regarding reasonable accommodations as stated in college policies and procedures.

Students who sign an agreement of understanding with Disability Services staff have a responsibility to:

  • Meet the college's qualifications and essential academic standards.
  • Provide recent and thorough documentation from a professional evaluator who verifies the nature of the disability, functional limitations, and the need for specific accommodations.
  • Contact the disability services staff in the Counseling and Advising Center at the beginning of each semester (within the first two weeks) so that accommodations can be arranged in a timely manner. This will include signing accommodation request forms itemizing their needs and recommended accommodations.
  • Acknowledge and adhere to specific procedures and timelines for obtaining reasonable accommodations and/or auxiliary aids in a timely manner. This responsibility extends to actively participating in the process of securing accommodation or auxiliary aids, through personal contact with faculty to arrange exam times and locations.
  • After meeting with Disability Services staff, inform all involved faculty members at the beginning of each semester (within the first two weeks) about the nature of the disability, how class performance might be affected, and what reasonable accommodations may be necessary.

Berklee College of Music, through the Disability Services staff, has a right to:

  • Verify the need for reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids through the review of current and thorough documentation submitted from an appropriate professional source.
  • Select effective and appropriate academic accommodations in consultation with the student and involved faculty members.
  • Deny a request for accommodations, modifications, or auxiliary aid if the documentation fails to support the need for the requested services, or the documentation or request for accommodation is not provided in a timely manner.
  • Refuse to provide an accommodation, modification, or auxiliary aid that is unreasonable and/or inappropriate. This includes accommodations that may pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others, constitute a fundamental change or alteration to an essential component of a course or program, or pose an undue financial or administrative burden on the college. Note: All efforts will be made to offer accommodations that are reasonable and appropriate.

Berklee College of Music, through the Disability Services staff, has a responsibility to:

  • Ensure that with or without accommodations, students with disabilities have equal access to college programs, activities, services, and facilities.
  • Inform students with disabilities about the availability and range of accommodations, and provide policies and procedures necessary to obtain requested accommodations.
  • Determine each student's eligibility for accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  • Protect and maintain the integrity of academic standards and curricular requirements.
  • Coordinate the efforts of the student, faculty members, and special services staff to ensure that eligible students are provided with approved accommodations and support services in a timely manner.
  • Maintain confidentiality of documentation and communication concerning students with disabilities except when otherwise specified by law, or when the student provides consent to release disability-related information.