The faculty, staff, and administration of Massachusetts College of Art and Design are committed to fostering the academic, personal, and professional growth of our students. The college is especially committed to ensuring that students with documented disabilities, as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), are provided equal access to all campus resources and opportunities. Sometimes, this is best done by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations designed to level the proverbial playing field.
MassArt recognizes and respects federal laws prohibiting disability discrimination. The college takes its obligation seriously and strives to meet the needs of students with documented disabilities in the most appropriate ways possible. It is our goal to serve students in ways that not only level the playing field, but also promote development of self-advocacy skills and strategies to overcome adversity in order to promote life-long learning and academic, personal, and professional success.
Federal guidelines require that a college student age 18 or over who wishes to request protection of his/her ADA-AA rights begin the process by self-identifying with the institution. Self-identification refers to the act of an adult voluntarily disclosing to an institution the fact that he or she has a documented disability and is requesting protection of his/her ADA-AA rights. This is the first step in applying for disability-related accommodations. Parents, guardians, former guidance counselors, and clinicians cannot self-identify for a college student over the age of 18. He/she must self-identify on his/her own.
The Learning and Writing Centers at Mass Art strive to prepare students for entrance into the professional world of art and design. It does this by assisting them in identifying strengths, managing vulnerabilities, formulating academic study plans and developing communication, technology and literacy skills that will allow them to share their artistic vision at MassArt and throughout their professional careers.
Using a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) model, the Learning and Writing Centers at MassArt strive to address the needs of all learners, regardless of ability or disability. We foster students’ construction of knowledge and development of skills, ensuring an enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning. This is accomplished through a pedagogy that reduces barriers to curriculum while at the same time, providing appropriate supports for learning. Our multi-disciplinary staff, comprised of specialists from all areas of the college, work individually with students in meeting their specific needs.
The Learning and Writing Centers use a strengths-based approach, assisting students in understanding their strengths as well as areas of vulnerability. Academic coaches, subject tutors, and specialists work collaboratively with motivated students, assisting them in developing strategies for managing vulnerabilities and maximizing their strengths.
MassArt does not have a centralized disability service office. Rather, in keeping with the UDL model, all students desiring academic services, including those seeking disability-related accommodations, are encouraged to use the Learning and Writing Centers at MassArt.
Learning and Writing Center services are available to all Mass Art matriculating (degree-seeking) students on both the graduate and undergraduate level. Faculty and staff consultations are open to all faculty and staff working directly with/or on behalf of MassArt students. At this time, services are not available for non-matriculating students or those enrolled in certificate or Professional and Continuing Education programs.
The Writing Center is an integral part of the Learning Center at MassArt. Staffed with professional writers and writing tutors, the center provides individual consultations with students working on all phases of writing projects including general course assignments, research papers, artist statements, grant proposals, internship applications, and cover letters.
The Learning Center’s academic coach works with students individually, in order to develop plans for academic success at MassArt. Instruction focuses on study skills (like note-taking), time management, organizational skills, and improving memory. Furthermore, the academic coach can provide direct instruction of complex, abstract concepts within the academic content of college-level courses. Assistance can also be provided for improving reading skills such as reading comprehension.