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As of 3/16/20, all Student Disability Services (SDS, DSS or DS) offices will be operating during usual business hours and some will be moving to fully remote operations. Please review all pertinent details below and watch for emails/check local disability services websites for your school for more specific timelines and updates.

Disability accommodations and services (for schools moving to remote classes)

  • SDS is continuing to work with students already registered to ensure that the transition to remote classes will be effective. This process will involve many changes in a short amount of time and there are some things you can do to make sure your needs are addressed:
    • Reach out to your faculty members to learn about how your courses will be delivered as well as how accommodations will work; faculty may elect to use different delivery methods and formats so it will be important to know these details as soon as possible.
    • Some accommodations may not be delivered in the same way in a remote setting, and it will be important to contact your faculty to get guidance from them about how things will work for a given course.
    • Contact Deb Gould with any questions or concerns as soon as possible. Deb as well as SDS is available to support you and your faculty with this transition.
    • For those whose classes resume remotely on 3/23/20, this coming week will be a good time to touch base so there is time to address things before next Monday.
  • SDS has been collaborating with instructional design staff in providing guidance around accommodations to those assisting with setting up the remote courses as well as to all faculty who currently have students using accommodations.
  • With the move to remote course delivery, there may be a learning curve for new technologies as well as potential new challenges in delivering accommodations; please reach out to SDS to talk things through, report problems and let us know if you need additional accommodations or support.

NEW ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS: Students may discover that accommodations are needed for the first time due to the change to remote classes. Please contact the SDS coordinator for your school to get started with the SDS registration process. Many aspects of the process are already online and meetings to discuss your needs, explain how things work, and finalize accommodations will happen remotely.

Students remaining in the residence halls on campus (Homewood and Peabody)

  • Please let SDS know you are here so that we can continue to communicate with you about any updates or changes that may impact you in a particular way.
  • SDS services will be delivered remotely including exam accommodations for all remote classes; this is to reduce contact and also provide consistency in the way we deliver accommodations.
  • If you need additional support during this time, please do not hesitate to reach out so that SDS can assist you in sorting out any disability related concerns and connecting to appropriate local resources.

This memo as well as future updates will be available on both the SDS Homewood site and also on Accessibility at John Hopkins University site under Student Accommodations.


We wish you all the best in the coming weeks!

Deb Gould, Peabody Disability Services Coordinator & Student Disability Services (SDS) Staff


You can also find resources and updated information on the university’s operations and response on our Hub COVID-19 Information Page


General Information

Office of Student Affairs, Unger Lounge

The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to a climate of mutual respect and civility among members of our community. Peabody recognizes that disability is an aspect of diversity that adds richness to our community. To this end, Disability Resources in the Student Affairs Office collaborates with students, faculty, and staff to create learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive and welcoming. However, there may be times when there are aspects of the instruction or design of courses that result in barriers to inclusion or to accurate assessment of achievement. Students with disabilities who anticipate barriers to full participation in courses and/or campus activities are encouraged to contact Debra R. Gould, Interim Director/Case Manager, in the Student Affairs Office.

Disability Defined

The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability. The ADA also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person based on that person’s association with a person with a disability.

Disability Services

In order to ensure a smooth transition to secure reasonable accommodations, students may request disability related accommodations or services by completing the registration steps below. Students are encouraged to identify themselves as early as possible since some accommodations may take time to put in place.

How to Register

  1. Complete the Disability Registration Form and return it to Deb Gould (the Disability Services contact at your school)
  2. Review our Documentation Guidelines and submit documentation from an appropriate provider. The Documentation Form 2019-2020 can be used to document physical, medical, or psychological conditions. For students with learning related disabilities, a full neuropsychological or psychoeducational evaluation is typically needed to be able to provide accommodations and services in the most effective way. The Documentation Form is designed to document primarily sensory, physical, medical and psychological conditions where such an evaluation is not likely to have been done.
  3. Schedule a meeting with Deb Gould. This step is essential in establishing eligibility and determining accommodations or services. Student reported information about the impact of the disability, needs and any accommodations or services that worked in the past is essential to the process. Appointments can happen in person, remotely or by phone.


Accommodations and services are provide once the registration process has been completed and eligibility has been established. Since the process can take some time, we encourage student to begin the process well in advance of the start of their program or as soon as possible when a need arises so that services or accommodations can be coordinated in a timely way.

Relevant dates to receive priority for particular accommodations will be provided on the Disability Services pages at each school. Accommodations may be requested at any time but are not retroactive.

Temporary and Provisional Accommodations

Students with injuries or concussion may need temporary accommodations for a short term disability. Provisional accommodations may be provided while students are seeking an evaluation to determine the presence of a disability or the specific services or accommodations needed. Please contact the Disability Services staff member at your school to discuss your particular situation/needs and to determine what is possible.

Confidentiality/Self Advocacy

Disclosing all relevant information to Disability Services is essential to establishing a disability/eligibility for services or accommodations and ensuring what is provided will be effective in meeting needs. Once registered with Disability Services and approved to use accommodations or services, students have a choice about how much information is shared beyond that point and students retain the right to request/use accommodations or to elect not to. Disclosure is a personal choice and students are always free to provide whatever information they are comfortable sharing, but Disability Services processes preserve confidentiality for students who prefer to disclose only what is needed (the accommodation or services).


More specific information can be found in the documents below (created by JHU Disability Services) or by visiting the website of the Office of Institutional Equity and Disability Services.

Grievance Procedures


Questions about disability resources and requests for accommodations at the Peabody Conservatory should be directed to the Student Affairs Office.

Debra R. Gould
Interim Director/Case Manager

Office of Student Affairs
Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University
1 East Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore, MD 21202-2397
Phone 667-208-6700

Peabody students who take classes at Homewood should also coordinate with Disability Services on the Homewood campus.

Terri Massie-Burrell, PhD
Director of Student Disability Services for Homewood Students

Garland Hall, Room 385
3400 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone 410-516-6103

The University ADA Compliance Officer serves as the central point of contact for information on physical and programmatic access, resolution of complaints and problems, faculty and staff concerns, and identification of available services.

Office of Institutional Equity
3400 N. Charles St.
Garland Hall, Suite 130
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone (410) 516-8075
Fax (410) 516-5300
TTY 711, MD Relay