AccessAbility Services is committed to providing accommodations and services to students with disabilities in order ensure access to the campus environment. AAS engages in an interactive process with each student and review request for accommodations on a case-by-case basis. The office considers each student’s condition(s), history, experience, and request in order to determine eligibility for accommodations and/or auxiliary aids.In order to determine reasonable accommodations, AccessAbility Services (AAS) may request documentation in order to establish the presence of a disability and the impact it has on the student in a postsecondary environment. Students who are seeking accommodations at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) should submit comprehensive documentation and an Accommodation Intake Form to AAS. In order to respect a student’s right to voluntarily disclose a disability, AAS initiates services only after the student submits an Accommodation Intake Form.
While students are a vital source of information, documentation is used to verify eligibility for accommodations and/or auxiliary aids under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act 2008 (ADAAA), and may be necessary to support student requests. In determining disability status, WCSU is guided by federal law which defines persons with disabilities as those who:
- have a physical or mental impairment that significantly restricts one or more major life activity, such as, caring for oneself, hearing, learning, reading, speaking, breathing, or working;
- have a record of such impairment; or
- are regarded as having such an impairment.
Comprehensive documentation should include a recent evaluation by an appropriate credentialed professional, who is not a family member, which makes evident the current academic impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodations and services requested. Accommodation decisions are made through an interactive, case-by-case basis based on the functional limitations of the disability and information provided by the student. Transfer students are encouraged to provide a letter from their previously attended college or university, in addition to their documentation, which includes the dates of services and the accommodations used. The law requires that priority consideration be given to the specific accommodations requested by a student; however it does not require that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed not reasonable or other suitable alternatives are available.
All information received is confidential and is used by AAS for the sole purpose of determining a student’s eligibility for services and determining reasonable accommodations. Information is only shared within the institution if there is a compelling educational need to know.
If the documentation provided is incomplete or inadequate to determine whether the student qualifies as having a disability or is eligible for the accommodations requested, AAS has the right, in its discretion to require additional documentation. Any cost incurred in obtaining additional documentation is the responsibility of the student. Missing information may result in a delay in reviewing a student’s request for accommodations.
Disability Documentation Form
AccessAbility Services has developed a Disability Provider Form which students can request their providers completed. AAS also recommends that in addition to the form, students provide the appropriate documentation guidelines below to their evaluators. For specific disability documentation guidelines, please refer to the documents below.
Guidelines for Specific Disabilities
Students Who Are Veterans
Veterans and others who have returned from combat who are experiencing difficulties are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with the AccessAbility Services Director. At that time, accommodations and other services can be discussed.
Elisabeth Werling Morel, AccessAbility Services Director
White Hall 005
Western Connecticut State University
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810