Why does W&J provide accommodations?
W&J complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. These civil rights laws ensure equal opportunity for people with disabilities. Section 504 states that "no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under" any program that receives federal financial assistance. As such, W&J protects the confidentiality of and provides reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities who are admitted through the College's regular admission process.
Is a student required to disclose a disability?
A student is not legally required to disclose information about his/her disability. The student must provide written consent for information to be shared.
Is it the College's responsibility to initiate the accommodations process and obtain disability documentation for the student?
No. The student is responsible for initiating the accommodations process through official disclosure to the Advising Office. The student is also responsible for obtaining official disability documentation, which meets the College's criteria for appropriate documentation.
Are accommodations retroactive?
Can I talk about a student's disability with his/her parents?
You may with the student's written consent. Students give their written permission by providing a FERPA password in the Registrar's Office. See the Registrar's webpage for information on FERPA.
What if I suspect one of my students has a disability?
You should refer that student to the Amanda Gunther, Assistant Director of New Student Programs/Disability Support Services.
Do I need to change my course content or requirements to accommodate a student with a disability?
No, though you may need to adapt some of the learning or testing mechanisms.
Are there particular teaching strategies that I may use to assist students with disabilities?
Yes. Many are common sense. You may, for example,
choose a text with a study guide
announce readings as early as possible for students who need to obtain audio books
provide a detailed syllabus, clearly noting course objectives, assignments, assessments, readings, due dates, etc.
write new or technical vocabulary on the board
allow students to tape record lectures
give assignments aloud and in writing
speak directly to students with hearing limitations, using body language to convey meaning
Does the Advising Office help students with disabilities in other ways?
Yes. In addition to facilitating the accommodations process, the Office is committed to helping students with disabilities develop learning strategies that will promote independence both during and after college. The Assistant Director of New Student Programs/Disability Support Programs offers academic counseling in such areas as time management, note-taking and test-taking skills, active reading strategies, and more.
What if I have questions about a student with a disability?
You should contact Amanda Gunther, Assistant Director of New Student Programs/Disability Support Services, at 724-503-1001, ex. 3033 or email@example.com. You can read about the accommodations process and guidelines for disability documentation by visiting www.washjeff.edu/disability-support-services.