In 1978, Barnard established a program to provide services for students with disabilities which enhance their educational, pre-professional and personal development. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) serves students with visual, mobility and hearing impairments and students with invisible disabilities such as chronic medical conditions, learning disabilities/ADD, psychiatric disabilities and substance use/recovery. ODS works with and empowers students with disabilities in order to coordinate support services that enable equal access to an education and college life.
Barnard has a tradition of meeting the needs of individual students, and in 1978 this long-standing commitment was formalized with the establishment of the Office of Disability Services (ODS). Responding to the mandate of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and with contributions from public, private and College resources, the campus has become increasingly accessible. The Office of Disability Services works to ensure that reasonable accommodations are made to provide programmatic and physical access.
Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - "No otherwise qualified disabled individual...shall, solely by reason of ...disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 - The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides for access to employment, public services, public accommodations, transportation and telecommunications for people with disabilities. An individual with a disability is defined by the ADA as ‘’a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.’’