What Makes ADS Unique?

Strengths-based Philosophy

ADS recognizes the numerous talents and skills of all HGSE students. ADS uses evidence from the growing body of positive psychology literature to support students so they can maximize their existing talents and skills here at HGSE, and in their professional lives.

Creative Partnerships


ADS has a positive, collaborative partnership with the HGSE student organization, International Higher Education and Disabilities (IHED). Together, ADS and IHED put on 8 programs per year, plus a symposium at the end of the year. ADS shares numerous tangible and intangible resources with IHED, ranging from community contacts to financial funds. Using a consensus planning model, ADS encourages students who are involved in IHED to build their leadership skills and professional communication. The ADS Administrator provides mentorship and guidance to students of IHED throughout the year, emphasizing the importance of bringing disability issues to the greater Harvard community.

Learn more information about IHED in our brochure. 


ADS works with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) to deliver professional development opportunities to the larger disability services community. Most recently, ADS successfully partnered with NASPA and AHEAD to provide a conference on disability and the law, "The Greatest Changes in the ADA in 20 Years,” for disability services administrators nationwide.

Positive Relationships

The work done in ADS is driven by relationships with students, faculty, and staff. ADS provides a welcoming atmosphere where anyone interacting with the office can meet with the ADS Administrator on a scheduled or drop-in basis. To maintain these relationships, ADS uses a collaborative process with students, faculty, and teaching fellows, ensuring that students have appropriate access to meet the necessary academic requirements.

Ecuadorian Presentation


Please take a look at the ADS PowerPoint presentation undertaken on behalf of alumnus Nicholas Hoekstra for a visiting delegation of Ecuadorian educational administrators and government officials.