Panoramic view of Amherst College campus

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, continually improve the educational, working, physical, and social environment to meet the needs of persons with diverse abilities, integrate such persons into the community, and 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

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.   

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.


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.

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 For Students


Students eating in the cafeteria in Valentine Hall
Under the leadership of Director Jodi Foley, Accessibility Services guides students through the process of obtaining reasonable accommodations for academic, housing and dining needs.

The College will provide accommodations and services after a student has completed the interactive process with Accessibility Services:  Apply for accommodation

Contact Information: 413-542-2337 or accessibility@amherst.edu


 Workplace Accessibility

Universall Accessibility Symbols Reasonable Accommodations: In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Amherst College will provide reasonable accommodations to an otherwise qualified applicant or employee with a disability to enable such person to perform essential job functions and/or enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment, so long as such accommodation does not impose an undue burden on the College. 

Contact Information: 413-542-2372 or hr@amherst.edu


 Physical Accessibility of the Campus

Accessibility parking map To request service: contact the Facilities Service Center

Phone: 413-542-2254

To Report an Emergency After Hours: 413-542-2291; Email: servicectr@amherst.edu

Construction: notices and updates

Adverse Weather: weather closings or delays are posted to My Amherst and on the Snow Line at 413-542-7669

Accessible Parking: Our campus map identifies locations of accessible parking. Visitors to campus with any official state-issued Handicapped placards are permitted to park in any marked handicapped spot on campus without obtaining any additional permits from Amherst College.

Event Locations: Our list of event locations includes notes on wheelchair accessibility. Spaces are accessible unless otherwise noted.

Library Accessibility Information: The Library is committed to making its collections and services as accessible as possible and will provide assistance to anyone requiring it.


Digital Access

Arrows indicating links to accessibility information on the Amherst College website Amherst is committed to digital accessibility. An IT working group meets regularly to assess technology and web accessibility at the College, and to recommend and implement improvements. Amherst is also 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. At Amherst, this has included enhanced staff training around web accessibility and creating accessible electronic materials of various formats. We welcome feedback from our community to help us continually improve. Accessibility-related questions, requests, and issues regarding this website or digital access in general can be submitted by email to AskIT@amherst.edu or by contacting the IT Help Desk at 413-542-2526.

Almost all Amherst College pages have links especially for users of screen-readers. In addition to “Skip” links that will take you directly to the main content of the page, tabbing into a page will provide the option to enable “Enhanced Accessibility Mode,” which offers a more text-based display. 

We provide an A-Z Site Index page and a complete list of Offices & Departments.

Keyboard shortcuts for video players: please refer to this list of YouTube keyboard shortcuts, and for videos hosted by this website, this list of JWPlayer keyboard shortcuts.


Resources for Instructors & Content Creators

adding alt tags to images on web pages Our Accessible Information Technology site contains tips, standards, and resources for making digital material and information more accessible to more users.

Making Web Pages Accessible: Accessible web pages benefit everyone. Learn how to make your web pages accessible.

Center for Teaching and Learning: Syllabi Resources including suggested accessibility statements and how to create an accessible syllabus.

The 2017 Dean's Retreat on Inclusive Pedagogy focused on disability and accessibility.

Faculty Guide to Accessibility Services

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
  • Campus 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.