Introduction to Accommodations
Wright State University is committed to providing equal access to University programs and facilities for students, employees and visitors who self-identify with a qualified disability. In accordance with The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the University provides reasonable academic adjustments (accommodations) in order to minimize or eliminate the impact of a disability by allowing equal access and opportunity to participate in University programs.
The provision of academic accommodations is a shared responsibility between students, faculty, and disability services staff. Reasonable accommodations serve many functions, including:
- To provide access to course content and academic opportunities by mitigating the impact of the disability
- To allow students with disabilities to be evaluated on the basis of their ability (not their disability), and
- To maintain the integrity of the faculty’s academic content.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Are Accommodations Facilitated?
The implementation of academic accommodations is a shared responsibility between the student and the course instructor. ODS is available to advise faculty on making appropriate accommodations that maintain their course’s academic objectives.
Students registered with ODS are advised to contact their instructors regarding their approved accommodations, either before classes start for the semester, or as soon as the student becomes eligible for services. In some circumstances, it may be permissible for the professor to contact the student prior to the first class session or prior to the student personally broaching the topic of accommodations. Remember to conduct any conversation regarding accommodations in a private, confidential manner.
When communicating with the student, an agreement should be made outlining how the requested accommodations will be provided during the course, within the specific framework of your course. Faculty should contact ODS if they have any questions about providing any approved accommodations, or if students request accommodations that are not listed on their accommodation notification email from ODS.
How Will I be Notified of a Student's Request for Accommodation?
Once their academic accommodations are approved, students must request their accommodations via their account in the ODS accommodations portal, AIM. Upon submission of the AIM request, a notification is sent to each of the students’ instructors, listing their approved accommodation(s) for each course. The notification is usually generated automatically from the AIM portal, directly to the course instructor’s University email address.
Instructors may also receive messages from ODS staff members, especially if there are accommodation instructions that are very specific to a particular student. ODS may also contact faculty in order to understand course requirements while trying to determine appropriate accommodations for a student who is registered with ODS. The student and faculty member should have a private conversation to discuss how the accommodation(s) will be provided in the course.
ODS is always available to consult with faculty about student accommodations. Feel free to contact ODS at any time if you have questions about accommodations, procedures, referrals to ODS.
Who Do I Contact for Guidance?
Each student's needs are unique, and specific situations may necessitate further discussion between faculty and ODS in order to appropriately and effectively accommodate each student. If you have questions or concerns about accommodating a student who is registered with our office, please contact their case manager:
Caseload Staff A-C Angela Masten firstname.lastname@example.org D-E Heather Rando email@example.com F-G Jason Gepperth firstname.lastname@example.org H Jen Barga email@example.com I-M
firstname.lastname@example.org N-O Heather Rando email@example.com P Jen Barga firstname.lastname@example.org Q-S Jason Gepperth email@example.com T-Z Jen Barga firstname.lastname@example.org
What Are My Responsibilities as an Instructor?
Our partnerships with faculty are essential in providing access and engaging all students in University activities and educational programs. ODS can be a helpful resource for you to ensure that your courses are accessible to all students. You may also work with the Center for Teaching and Learning while developing content. Please refer to the ODS website for the most updated information, and feel free to consult with an ODS staff member at any time if you have questions, ideas, clarification, or need more information.
How Do Students Register with ODS?
Any student who discloses a disability and/or requests accommodation from the University should be directed to ODS. Once the student initiates the registration process with ODS, a case manager communicates with each student about the documentation needed in order to substantiate a disability. An ODS case manager reviews the submitted documentation and determines the student’s individual eligibility for reasonable accommodation of the disability. To complete the registration process, the student must attend an College Accommodation Plan (CAP) meeting with an ODS case manager to discuss/establish their approved accommodation(s), learn the process for implementing the accommodation(s) and to learn about the responsibilities involved in using accommodations in college. Referrals to other helpful campus resources will often be made, as well (tutoring, etc.)
To receive accommodations, students must complete a confidential registration process (separate from admissions):
- Complete the online application
- Submit professional documentation of disability, and
- Attend a College Accommodation Planning meeting
- Implementation of certain services may require additional action or coordination.
Each student is provided with a letter that summarizes all of the accommodations and referrals discussed in the CAP meeting with ODS.
Who Registers with ODS?
ODS serves more than 750 students with disabilities, including:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Blindness and Low Vision
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Health Conditions
- Learning Disabilities
- Mental Health Disabilities
- Mobility Impairment
- Temporary Disabilities
- Traumatic Brain Injury
ODS By the Numbers
- 761 registered students
- 382 have more than one disability
- 12% have a visible disability
- 88% have an invisible disability
Why Do Students Establish Accommodations?
Reasonable accommodations are determined on the basis of each specific disability and the ways each disability impacts the student (some sort of functional limitation). Accommodations may be adjusted in consideration of specific course requirements, as well. In these cases, collaboration between the student, faculty and ODS is ideal, if not necessary.
The needs among students with a disability vary greatly, sometimes even amongst those with the same type of condition or diagnosis. Therefore, accommodations are individualized on a case-by-case basis and are generally determined through an interactive narrative process with the student.
Once the student is eligible for reasonable accommodation(s), they must request specific accommodations for each semester. When a student request accommodations for specific courses, the student’s course instructors are notified of the approved accommodation(s) via email.
When students express intention to use the approved accommodations in a course, they are encouraged to discuss their needs with their instructors. During this discussion, an agreement should be reached regarding specifics of how the student’s accommodations will be provided in your specific course.