The Marist Community

Psychological Disabilities

Services for Students With Psychological Disabilities

The Office of Accommodations and Accessibility (OSS) provides support and accommodations to students with learning disabilities. With this assistance, students can manage the college environment successfully and reach their educational goals.

This pamphlet will provide answers to questions you may have about when to refer a student with a psychological condition to the Office of Accommodations and Accessibility, what specific supports and services the Office will provide, and how to make the referral.

When To Make A Referral

It is always appropriate to refer these students to the Counseling Center, however, it is also important to consider a referral to the Office of Accommodations and Accessibility. The Office can put support and accommodations in place that may help the student cope in this environment and prevent the possible loss of an entire semester.

It is important to refer students to the OSS when you suspect that, due to a psychological condition, students are have difficulty functioning or carrying out their responsibilities in the academic environment. It is precisely the negative effects of the disorder on the student's ability to function that make it a disability. Some signs that this is occurring may be:

  • Failure to attend classes for a sustained period of time
  • Withdrawal and/or isolation from peers and/or activities in the campus community
  • Inability to concentrate due to a psychiatric condition or the effects of psychotropic medications
  • Hospitalization during the semester
  • Return to campus from a recent psychiatric hospitalization

What the Office of Accommodations and Accessibility Can Provide

  • Liaison with academic staff to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations (e.g., extended time, separate location for exams, notetakers, seating modifications). Liaison with mental health provider (with student's signed consent).
  • One-on-one supportive counseling (weekly check-in with OSS Counselor).
  • Assistance with time management.
  • Linkage with campus academic supports (tutoring, etc.).
  • Assistance with academic scheduling and registration with consideration given to the impact of the psychological disability.
  • Assistance with obtaining incompletes, withdrawals or leaves of absence rather than failures if a relapse occurs.

How to Refer A Student to the Office of Accommodations and Accessibility:

  • Explain the support and accommodations available through OSS and encourage the student to self-refer.
  • Obtain the student's agreement to contact the OSS on their behalf. It is desirable to place the call while the student is in your office or with you.
  • Obtain the student's permission for the OSS to contact him/her.


The Office of Accommodations and Accessibility provides a comprehensive range of support services and accommodations that promote the full integration of students with disabilities into the mainstream college environment. Services and accommodations are individualized to meet the needs of each student, and may vary depending upon the disability and/or course content.

Marist College Office of Accommodations and Accessibility. (2003).  Services for Students With Psychological Disabilities. [Brochure] Poughkeepsie, NY: author