Amherst College is committed to being a fully accessible community in which students, staff, faculty, alumni, and visitors to campus, regardless of abilities, are valued and empowered to participate. The College will fulfill its responsibility to guarantee a nondiscriminatory campus for persons with disabilities; to continually improve the educational, working, physical, and social environment to meet the needs of persons with diverse abilities; to integrate such persons into the community; and to promote accessible design that maximizes the benefits for everyone. Amherst College seeks to contribute to the global project of building more inclusive communities.

Amherst subscribes to four core principles of accessibility and inclusion, derived from the work of the 2017-18 Presidential Task Force on Accessibility and Inclusion.

Four Principles of Accessibility

1

It’s Intentional

All campus activities should be designed and implemented with attention to their accessibility. To create an environment that works well “in practice” for persons with diverse abilities, we must attend in early planning stages to barriers to participation. We must also undertake ongoing education and frequent reevaluation. Efforts to enhance accessibility must reach all spheres of campus life including classrooms, workplaces, residential and social life, and public events.

2

It’s a Diversity Goal

Amherst College’s commitment to diversity includes the representation of persons with diverse abilities and a culture that ensures everyone can succeed, contribute, and flourish.

3

It’s a Knowledge-Based Practice

To achieve the model of accessibility and inclusion we want, we need to know more about what the most effective approaches and practices would be on our campus. We should routinely gather information about barriers to access on campus and be responsive to the need for change. We also need to keep ourselves informed about successful strategies across the country and internationally, regarding pedagogy, student accessibility services, and workplace inclusion practices.

4

It Benefits the Entire Community

Whenever possible we should move from “person-centered accommodations” to inclusive designs and practices. Universal design minimizes the use of specialized solutions, allows for independence, avoids stigma and segregation, employs multiple modes to present information, and makes accommodations that are appealing, flexible, and adaptable. It benefits the entire community and improves everyone’s well-being, productivity, and intellectual vibrancy.


Accessibility of the Amherst College Website

Amherst is committed to making its website accessible. A working group meets regularly to assess the accessibility of the College website and to recommend and implement improvements. 

The Amherst College website has “skip” links especially for users of screen-readers, which are shortcuts to main areas of the page and to main menus. In addition, tabbing into a page will provide the option to enable “Enhanced Accessibility Mode,” which offers a text-based display of the website. 

We provide an A-Z site index and a list of offices and departments.

Videos

We provide closed captioning for all videos, transcripts of speeches, and audio captioning when necessary.

For keyboard shortcuts for video players, please refer to this list of YouTube keyboard shortcuts and list of JWPlayer keyboard shortcuts.


National and Consortium Memberships

AHEAD

Amherst College is a member of AHEAD, the Association on Higher Education and Accessibility, which offers professional disability resources and programs to over 3,000 members.

Five Colleges

Amherst is part of the Five College Consortium’s accessibility committee, which recently administered a multi-year grant from the Davis Educational Foundation to improve accessibility of technology resources. 


phone Important Phone Numbers

  • Main Amherst College switchboard: 413-542-2000
  • Accessibility Services for students: 413-542-2337
  • Admission (all questions related to applying to Amherst): 413-542-2328
  • Alumni & Parent Programs: 413-542-2313
  • College Police: 413-542-2291
  • Employment at Amherst: 413-542-2372
  • Information Technology Help: 413-542-2526
  • Library: 413-542-2319
  • Find more phone numbers, and departmental e-mail addresses, on our Contact Amherst page.