Boston College

Colleges/Universities Massachusetts



140 Commonwealth Ave
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
(617) 552-8000

Boston College, founded in 1863, is a private Jesuit research university located 6 miles west of downtown Boston. Undergraduate population is 9,309, and graduate students number about 5,000. Famous for its historic gothic architecture it now advertises itself as internationally accessible, stating: “Boston College ensures that students with disabilities receive support services and accommodations that permit equal access to all programs and the opportunity to realize their potential and develop effective self-advocacy skills.”

Boston College offers a multitude of programs for students with disabilities. The College works closely to provide accommodations and accessibility, required by the ADA. through the Disability Service Office. This office serves undergraduate and graduate students. Areas of focus range through hearing, visual, mobility, medical, and psychiatric disabilities. The assistant dean works to implement policies and procedures pertinent to students with disabilities and acts as a general information and referral service on disability issues.

Other services include:

  • The Canvas learning Management System. Faculty use this to post notes, class readings and syllabi. Canvas is accessible to all students.
  • Visually impaired students may receive campus mobility orientation to assist them in becoming acclimated to the campus. The college interacts with the Carroll Center for the Blind in Newton, MA.
  • Cart Service (Communication Access Real Time Translation) for Students with hearing impairments is known as real time captioning. This program translates spoken English into real time captioning.
  • Visually impaired students, can use Etext to have the Jaws screen reader software program installed on their computer. This enables the student to receive textbooks in electronic format.
  • Interpreters, are welcome, with permission from the dean, for students with hearing impairments.
  • Modified deadlines for assignments and examinations, can be arranged due to conflicts with their individual professors.
  • Note takers are offered.
  • Temporary Impairments are not listed under the (ADA), though support can be provided, such as the use of laptops, extended time on exams, and use of the Eagle Transportation Van Service.
  • Impairment Documentation: In order to be eligible for service through Disability Service Office, students should make an appointment to meet with the Assistant Dean of Students with disabilities and, provide documentation of the disability.
  • Two Shuttles routes, run around the campus and to Cleveland Circle, and the Newton Campus where there is a freshman residential hall, the Law School and various athletic fields are wheelchair accessible. All freshman students, are required to live on campus. There are two campuses, the main one in Chestnut Hill, MA and Newton.
  • Connors Family Learning Center is located on the Second Floor of O’Neil Library, provides special services and support for students with learning disabilities. The center also offers tutoring service.
    More important information for students with disabilities: Health Service, located at Cushing Hall in the basement on middle campus is open Monday through Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm. Weekends available at specific times. Most Freshman students who have disabilities, are encouraged to live at the Newton Campus, and shuttle over to the main campus. The Newton Campus, which is six miles from the main campus in Chestnut Hill is the smaller campus of Boston College.

Accessibility details for buildings previewed at Boston College:
Gasson Hall, a stunning, iconic Collegiate Gothic-style stone building and bell tower, renovation and restoration completed in 2011, is now completely accessible, offering a power entrance, plus interior and exterior handicap access ramps, accessible washrooms and an elevator. The historic building contains the office of the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, plus numerous classrooms and activity rooms, and University counseling in the basement.

Corcoran Commons Dining Area, offering several different dining venues and food options has a push button power accessible entrance. Paul Robsham /Theater Arts Center has a push button accessible front entrance, and an elevator. Walsh Hall, containing the Office of Residential Life, has a power accessible front entrance and accessible rooms, connected via an elevator. This dorm is on the main campus, in Chestnut Hill, Ma. O’Neil Library, the largest of eight libraries on campus, including Law Library, has five floors all connected by elevators, plus elevator access to the garage. The library does have a bush button entrance, but the signage is poorly located. The front desk is accessible. Maloney Hall houses the disability department, residential life, a school store and a small chapel. The building offers, a push button power entrance, three elevators and a land bridge connected to the O’Neil Library. William J. Flynn Student Recreation Complex, with six up front accessible parking spots, an accessible front entrance via a ramp, and push button power front doors, houses numerous fitness and sport activities, including weight room, basketball court and a pool with “easy chair” access. Six exterior tennis courts are available adjacent to the Recreation Complex. An addition to the existing Recreation Center is being built. This facility will offers a wheel chair accessible pool, fitness area and a state of the art above ground track, with a basketball court below. The addition will be completely accessible, and is scheduled to be completed in 2019.


An appealing mix of old and new, Boston College remains on the National Register of Historic Places, and rates an 8 out 10 for accessibility.


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