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Student Handbook

Disability Services - Getting Started

The Office of Disability Services (ODS) recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity that is integral to society and to our campus community.  ODS staff work with admitted Wright State Students to ensure equal access to WSU academic programs and services.

Whether transitioning from high school, community college or another university, it’s important to be aware of the process to request accommodations and/or axillary aids due to a disability or temporary health condition.

  • Newly admitted WSU students should start this process once they have received notice of admission.
  • WSU students already enrolled should engage ODS as soon as they have identified a need.

Once accommodations are established, they are applied proactively rather than retroactively, so planning ahead is very important. The steps below provide general information about transitioning to college, and also outline the process for requesting and receiving disability accommodations at the WSU.

  • Please know that it could take a few weeks to get started with this process, based on a number of factors, such as the availability of appropriate documentation, scheduling and the nature of a student’s requests.

Step 1: Complete the AIM New Student Application. The new student application is a brief online questionnaire designed to let the students describe the impacts of a disability and request accommodations.  AIM is the online system that allows students to quickly and easily request services and notify their faculty of their approved accommodations.

  • If the student is unable to access the online registration form, he/she can contact ODS at (937) 775-5680 (TTY 775-5844) to request a copy of the application in an alternate format.

Step 2: Submit disability documentation. After completing the new student application, students should upload documentation that establishes the nature of a disability. Students documenting ADHD, Psychological, Health or Sensory disabilities are encouraged to have their healthcare providers complete our ODS Healthcare Provider Form.  The WSU has specific documentation guidelines to provide an outline of the information necessary to establish that a student has a disability and/or temporary health condition:

  • Documentation for a Learning Disability     
  • Documentation for a Psychological Disability   
  • Documentation for ADHD
  • Documentation for Physical or Medical Disabilities

Consultations: Students who are unsure whether their documentation is sufficient, or are not sure what ODS can provide to them, are encouraged to connect with ODS during counselor on duty hours. This can be in person or over the phone. ODS can also schedule a consultation meeting with a ODS counselor. Current counselor on duty hours and contact information can be found at www.wright.edu/ODS ODS Counselors can help to determine what documentation may be useful and can connect students with resources in the community. NOTE: If a disability is apparent and the need for a requested accommodation can easily be established, documentation may not be needed.

Step 3: Schedule an Access Planning Meeting (APM). Once a AIM New Student Application has been reviewed, including complete documentation, a ODS staff member will follow-up to schedule an Access Planning Meeting.  If any information is incomplete, a ODS staff member will contact the student to address what’s needed.  APM’s can also be conducted over the phone or Skype, when appropriate.

ODS staff will work with the student in an interactive process to determine if the student is eligible for an accommodation.

  • If ODS staff determines that the documentation submitted is not adequate to support the existence of a disability or a need for the requested adjustment/accommodation, ODS staff will notify the student in writing within 5 business days why ODS determined the submitted documentation does not support the existence of the disability and/or the need for the requested adjustment/accommodation and what additional documentation the student should submit to ODS to support the existence of a disability and/or the need for the requested services.
  • If ODS staff determines that a student is eligible for an accommodation, ODS staff will work with the student to identify an appropriate accommodation.  ODS may consult appropriate faculty and other program personnel, as necessary, to determine all necessary and appropriate academic adjustments/accommodations based on the student’s individual disability-related needs and the nature of the program(s) in which the student is enrolled.
    • If ODS approves a student’s requested accommodation(s), ODS will notify the student in writing within 5 business days of the Access Planning Meeting of the student’s approved accommodation(s) and instruct the student to complete an online request for Faculty Notification Letters to notify instructors of the student’s necessary accommodation(s).  ODS will email Faculty Notification Letters to the student’s instructors within 2 business days after ODS approves the student for an accommodation(s).  ODS will also provide a copy of the Faculty Notification Letter to the student.  No individual has the authority to unilaterally limit or deny a student an adjustment/accommodation that has been approved by ODS staff.
    • If ODS denies a student’s requested accommodation(s), ODS will notify the student in writing within 5 business days of the Access Planning Meeting of the reasons for the denial along with instructions outlining how the student may appeal the denial.  Students have the option of appealing to the ODS Director/ the University’s Section 504/ADA Coordinator, Tom Webb, 180 University Hall, (937) 775-5680, tom.webb@wright.edu or, students have the option of appealing to the Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion under the Alternative Complaint Filing Options section of the Disability Discrimination Complaint Procedure set forth in the student handbook.
      • ODS may refuse a requested adjustment/accommodation that imposes a fundamental alteration of a University program or activity, but ODS may do so only after ODS staff has engaged in a deliberative process for determining if academic requirements are “essential” or whether a requested modification would fundamentally alter a course, academic program, or University-sponsored performance-based experience.
        • With the support of the Office of Disability Services Director, a panel of academic and disability professionals will collaborate and determine the essential requirements of a course/program.  The panel will convene within 3 business days of a student’s request for an accommodation that requires more in depth consideration in terms of an essential requirement.  Commonly requested accommodations/adjustments (e.g. extended test time, reduced distraction environment, note taker, etc.) will not require this level of review. Generally the panel will consist of membership of the following people:
          • The Program/Department Chair and the Faculty instructors who teach the course and bring knowledge of the subject’s content, methods, and essential requirements;
          • Disability Services Advisers who understand what accommodations are possible;
          • The student who has requested an adjustment/accommodation and who understands his/her own limitations and how his/her disability impacts his/her ability to learn in a classroom.

            When determining if a requested adjustment/accommodation fundamentally alters the essential requirements for a course or program, the panel will endeavor to: 

            1. Identify the essential academic standards of the course; requirements that go to the very nature of the subject matter or that are of the utmost importance in achieving the course/program objective.

            2. Articulate specific requirements that individual instructors believe are fundamental to teaching the course/program, taking academic freedom into consideration.

            3. Identify the unique qualities of the course/program in relation to its overall objectives and any program in which the course is required.

            4. Engage in "reasoned deliberation" as to whether modification of the course/program would change the fundamental academic standards.

            5. Determine whether there are any options to the fundamental requirements of the course/program.

            6. Determine why the standard that the instructor believes will be lowered is important to the course/program.

            7. Determine if the standard is the better way (or the only way) to achieve the desired academic objective.

            8. Determine if the requested accommodation will lower the academic standards of the course/program.

            9. Determine if this requested accommodation has ever been granted before for another student with or without a disability?

            10. Determine if a different method or requirement that will not be altered by the accommodation will achieve the required academic or pedagogical result.

            11. If the panel determines that a different method or requirement that will not be altered by the accommodation, will not achieve the required academic or pedagogical result, determine why not?

            This process ensures that such determinations are made by a group of people, including ODS and pertinent faculty or other relevant personnel, after a careful, thoughtful deliberation that includes a review of program/course requirements and available options and alternatives.  The decisions made during the deliberations and the reasons supporting them will be fully documented by ODS.

            • If, after ODS has approved a student’s accommodation request(s), the student believes the agreed-upon accommodation is not effective,  or the student requires any additional accommodation(s), the student must notify ODS staff who will work with the student to resolve the issue.  ODS staff will review requests for changes in accommodations within 3 business days of notification by the student.
            • ODS will document in the student’s case file any interactive process between the University and the student.  The documentation will include the dates of any academic adjustment/accommodation requests, the nature of each request, any supporting documentation, and any reason(s) for the denial of a request.