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Student Resources:
Academic Support and Accessibility


Requesting Student Accommodations

  • Step 1: Self-Disclose
  • Step 2: Submit Documentation
  • Step 3: Meet with the Director of Curriculum Development and Innovation
  • After Your Accommodations Meeting
  • Accommodation Process for Subsequent Semesters

Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals

See Complete Student Handbook


At Longy, we provide educational access through support and accommodations for students with disabilities. We are committed to supporting and sustaining an inclusive campus that recognizes disability as an important part of the diverse campus of individuals that work and study here. We are dedicated to ensuring individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to fully participate in the educational process and musical experiences at Longy.


Assistant Dean of Curriculum Developmental Innovation coordinates reasonable accommodations and services for undergraduate and graduate students with documented disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008. Such accommodations may include course materials in alternative formats, extended time in academic settings, as well as other arrangements.

Step 1: Self-Disclose

You need to disclose your disability by submitting the Request for Accommodations Form, and supporting documentation to Rebecca Teeters, Assistant Dean of Curriculum Developmental Innovation, by emailing her here. By law, you are eligible for academic accommodations only if you choose to apply for those accommodations through this process. A student that chooses not to self-disclose and follow the process below will not be eligible for accommodations and is, therefore, responsible for any academic outcomes. Accommodations are never retroactive, so we encourage you to begin this process as soon as possible – even before you arrive on campus.

Step 2: Submit Documentation

The student must complete the Request for Accommodations Form and submit to the Assistant Dean of Curriculum Developmental Innovation with current documentation of your disability and the need for specific accommodation(s) before Longy can determine a reasonable and appropriate accommodations plan. The cost of obtaining the documentation is the student’s responsibility. Part 1 of the form is to be filled out by the student. Part 2 is to be filled out by a medical professional familiar with the student’s disability. The medical professional may submit a letter on letterhead as supporting documentation but it must address all questions from Part 2 of the form.

Please note that while an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan can be helpful in determining possible accommodations, they do not qualify as appropriate documentation of your disability.

Step 3: Meet with the Assistant Dean of Curriculum Developmental Innovation

After appropriate documentation has been received, you will be contacted by the Assistant Dean of Curriculum Developmental Innovation to arrange a meeting about potential accommodations. During this meeting, be prepared to discuss specific barriers or challenges in the classroom and potential reasonable accommodations that could alleviate these challenges. For an accommodation to be deemed reasonable, it must not compromise essential requirements of a course, program, job, activity or facility, and it must not cause undue administrative or financial hardship. In addition, it must not compromise the safety of the student receiving the accommodation or of others, and it must not fundamentally alter a course or program. During this meeting an appropriate accommodation plan will be created and specific faculty will be listed to be notified.

After Your Accommodations Meeting

After your meeting and a plan is in place, the Assistant Dean of Curriculum Developmental Innovation will create a Letter of Accommodation for each of your indicated faculty members.  This letter will be sent to the appropriate faculty members by the Assistant Dean. A copy of each letter will also be sent to you for your records. Information about your disability or diagnosis is never shared with faculty. The Letter of Accommodation is restricted to the acknowledgment of formal approval of the accommodations plan by Longy’s administration and an explanation of each accommodation. Please note that your accommodations plan can be updated at any time by contacting the Assistant Dean, especially if there are developments related to the documentation of your disability. Even after accommodations have been approved based on a careful review of your disability file, you can choose not to use the accommodation(s). Faculty and staff will not grant accommodations without a formal Letter of Accommodation.

Accommodation Process for Subsequent Semesters

Accommodation plans are specific to the courses in your current semester. Each semester, you will need to fill out the Returning Student Request for Academic Accommodations form and meet with the Assistant Dean of Curriculum Developmental Innovation briefly to review your accommodation plan and indicate the faculty of the new semester’s schedule. Letters of Accommodation will not be sent automatically, be sure to schedule this meeting at the beginning of each semester. You will not be required to submit new medical documentation unless there are new developments related to your disability.


As part of Longy’s commitment to accommodate persons with disabilities, particularly persons who need the assistance of service animals, Longy has developed the following guidelines to address service and assistance animal requests and usage on Longy’s campus.  

Different provisions govern the use of Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals, depending on the context in which the accommodation is needed.  The term Service Animal and the guidelines outlined in more detail below are based upon the provisions outlined in the U.S. Department of Justice’s revised regulations for implementing the ADA for Title II and Title III (for State and Local Governments and Title III requirements for Places of Public Accommodation). These rules govern the availability of a Service Animal as an accommodation in public spaces on campus.  For more details on DOJ’s guidance on service animals, please refer to:  

The term Emotional Support Animal (ESA) and the guidelines are based upon the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”). These provisions apply only to students who live in a residence hall on an institution’s campus.  In the context of housing, disabled persons may request a reasonable accommodation for assistance animals in addition to dogs, including emotional support animals under the Fair Housing Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Since Longy does not have a residence hall, Emotional Support Animals are not an approved accommodation on Longy’s campus.  



Service Animals:
The ADA defines service animals as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability, including physical, intellectual or other mental disability. According to ADA, to qualify as a Service Dog, the dog: 

  1. must be specifically trained to perform certain tasks; natural dog behaviors do not qualify; 
  2. must mitigate the person’s disability; 
  3. must be needed by that specific handler. 

The law obligates state and local governments and any places that are open to the public to permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities anywhere members of the public are allowed to go. Service dogs are not required to wear a vest or any other item notifying others of their status as a service animal.  

Emotional Support Animals:
Emotional Support Animals (ESAs), sometimes referred to as “comfort animals,” or “companion animals,” are animals whose presence alone has a positive effect on an individual with a disability. ESAs are not trained to perform a task or service. ESAs are not considered service animals under the ADA or the Massachusetts law regarding service animals. ESAs do not have access to public areas as do Service Animals. Longy does not permit students to have ESAs on-campus. 


  1. The animal must never be on Longy’s campus without being attended and under the control of the handler. This means the animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animals’ work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In such instances, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls. The owner is liable for all actions of the animal and should be in total control and restraint of the animal at all times.  
  2. The owner must clean up all messes immediately. Any waste material, should be placed in a plastic bag and disposed of in an outside trash receptacle, such as a dumpster.  Indoor trashcans should not be used for this purpose. 
  3. The animal must be properly cared for and nourished.  
  4. The animal must not be unduly disruptive or pose an immediate threat to others. Longy administration shall be responsible for making such determinations about an animal’s conduct on Conservatory property. If a decision is made that an animal has been unduly disruptive or poses an immediate threat to others, the animal must be removed immediately. The owner may appeal the decision within 2 business days. The appeal shall be in writing and delivered, as appropriate, to the Assistant Dean.  A decision on the appeal will be made within three business days of receipt of the appeal and will be final. 
  5. All liability for the actions of the animal (bites, scratches, running away, etc.) are the responsibility of the owner. Longy encourages owners to consider appropriate liability insurance. 
  6. Owners of animals are solely responsible for any damage to Longy property caused by the animal. This shall include any cleaning outside that routinely done for any room. Cleaning services outside those routinely performed may include, but are not limited to, steam cleaning of all carpets and drapes, and abatement for fleas or other pests and odor. If furniture requires replacing, that also shall be the responsibility of the owner.  


1. Where are Service Animals allowed on Longy’s campus? 

  • The Longy community must allow service animals to accompany persons with disabilities at all times and everywhere on campus, except for places where there is a health, environmental, or safety hazard.
  • All Longy facilities must permit service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go.

2. Must service animals be restrained or leashed? 

  • Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animals’ work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In such instances, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.

3. What questions can be asked of a person with a service animal? 

  • If there is a reason to question whether an animal accompanying a student to campus is a service animal or if it is not apparent that the animal is a service dog, the only two questions that can be asked are: 
    • Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
    • What work or task has the dog been trained to perform? 
  • You MAY NOT ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card, vest, or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task. 

4. Under what circumstance can a service animal be asked to leave or not allowed participation on the Longy campus?  

  • When the service animal is out of control and the person with a disability does not take effective action to control it.
  • When the service animal is not housebroken.
  • When the animal’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health or safety of its owner or others on campus. (Any service animal that displays vicious behavior towards others may be excluded from campus).
  • In those instances where there is a legitimate reason to exclude or remove the service animal, you must give the person with a disability the option to return without the service animal.
  • Persons with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other students, faculty, staff, or patrons or treated less favorably than others.

5. What happens if the service animal becomes aggressive toward its owner or another member of the Longy community OR if the owner or others are behaving aggressively towards the service animal OR there is an animal caused injury to students, faculty, staff or member of the public?  

  • If it is an emergency, please call 911. After the emergency has been handled, then contact the Assistant Dean. 

 6. What happens if someone is allergic to the animal or fears the animal? 

  • Allergies or fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing services to people using service animals.
  • If there are concerns about allergies or the need to accommodate both the person with a service animal and the person with an allergic reaction, on a case-by-case basis, the Assistant Dean may be contacted to assist with accommodations.

7. What if the person is just training a service animal?  Must the animal be allowed on Longy’s campus?  

  • Under Massachusetts law {MGL c.129, s.39F} you must provide the same access to a service animal trainer who is training an animal to be a service animal as you would a person with a disability who requires the assistance of a service animal.