Connecticut College is committed to ensuring that all students have equal access to the academic, cultural and social activities of the institution. Various academic accommodations are available to students with disabilities, depending on individual needs.

The Office of Student Accessibility Services staff work to provide equal access to educational activities for all students with disabilities.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Connecticut College complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which states, "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States … shall solely by reason of his or her 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." Section 504 [29 USC 794] Sec 504.

Definition of a disability

To meet the legal definition of a disability, you must have an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Major life activities include, but are not limited to: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating and working.

Temporary disabilities

If you are a student with a temporary disability (recovering from an injury or surgical procedure), please contact your academic dean, Student Health Services (860-439-2275) or the Student Counseling Center (860-439-4587), depending on the type of impairment.

Disability confidentiality statement

All communications and records relating to the identity, diagnosis and prognosis of an impairment, as well as consultations with the Office of Student Accessibility Services, are confidential. Except for emergency reasons, information is exchanged only as necessary in providing services or with those specific offices and/or individuals for which the student has provided written permission.

As a recipient of federal funding, however, the College may be required to provide the identity and other information about students registered with the Office of Student Accessibility Services to the U.S. Department of Education or other federal government agencies. Such information is accessible from federal agencies by the public under the Freedom of Information Act. In the extremely rare event that such a request is received by the Office of Student Accessibility Services, the office will make every attempt to notify students in advance.


Melissa Shafner

Director of Student Accessibility Services

Melissa Shafner joined Connecticut College on January 19, 2016, as the new Director of Student Accessibility Services.

Melissa earned her B.A. in psychology from Connecticut College, a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law, and an M.S. Ed. from the University of New Haven. Prior joining Connecticut College, Melissa worked for eight years in a college transition program for students with learning disabilities, where she served as a faculty member, academic adviser, and Director of Academics. She taught courses in humanities, writing, and executive functioning.

Prior to entering the education field, Melissa had careers as an attorney and a magazine editor. She currently serves on the Board of Directors as a past president at Solomon Schechter Academy of New London and chairs their education committee.

Lillian Liebenthal

Student Accessibility Coordinator

Lillian has been employed at Connecticut College for a little more than ten years, the first seven years with the College Bookshop. In 2011, she returned to her primary vocation and true passion as an advocate and resource for people with disabilities, becoming the Student Accessibility Services Coordinator and continuing as part of the vibrant Connecticut College community. Prior to Connecticut College, Lillian worked in various residential, vocational and educational support services.