Services for Students with Disabilities

Policy and Procedures for Accommodating Students and Applicants with Disabilities

Through the provision of academic support services focused on promoting self-advocacy, resourcefulness, and independence, Woodbury’s Office of Disabilities and Accessibility Services strives to support, empower, and integrate students with disabilities into all aspects of campus life to help them access a comprehensive University experience.

 

Our Commitment

Woodbury University is committed to providing students of all abilities access to all University programs, services, and activities as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). To make this possible, Woodbury’s Office of Disabilities and Accessibility Services (ODAS) grants reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities.

As a part of Student Affairs, ODAS works with University Administration, faculty and staff to foster campus-wide awareness and understanding of issues related to disability, accessibility, and equity.

ODAS works collaboratively with the campus community to remove barriers and promote an engaging learning environment, where students with disabilities can utilize their skills to pursue and attain their academic and personal goals.

Definition of Disability

The ADA defines a “disability” as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, and a person with a disability has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

Disabilities include but are not limited to physical, learning disabilities and ADHD, mental health, and chronic health conditions. Temporary medical conditions are also considered as a disability. Although U.S. law does not require students to report disabilities, individuals must disclose and document disabilities to the University’s Coordinator of Disabilities and Accessibility Services in order to receive disability-based accommodations.

Accommodations

Accommodations are adjustments which allow students with disabilities equal access to educational opportunities. Accommodations are not intended to alter or lower expectations or standards of course offerings or assessments, rather they are designed to assist students in learning the same course expectations and material as their peers who do not have a disability.

It is the student’s responsibility to identify the need for accommodations and to provide appropriate documentation for all requests. The Coordinator of Disabilities and Accessibility Services determines which accommodations are appropriate on a case-by-case basis. This process includes reviewing the documentation provided and discussing individual student needs. Accommodations which fundamentally alter the nature of a program or are financially or administratively unduly burdensome, are not considered reasonable accommodations.

Reasonable accommodations and auxiliary services granted by Woodbury University might include:

  • Extended time for exams
  • Alternative settings for exams
  • Test Reader
  • Test Scribe
  • Alternative textbook format (please explain in comments)
  • Note-taker (peer note taker)
  • Permission to use a recording device
  • Course load modifications
  • Excused medical absences
  • Non-academic and temporary accommodations. Please see the Student Handbook for details.

A student who is not registered with the Coordinator of Disabilities and Accessibility Services will not be granted retroactive accommodations which such as retakes of exams and/or assignments based on newly reported disabilities.

Students who wish to be considered for reasonable accommodations must submit current documentation from a professional who is appropriately licensed by the state to diagnose medical, psychological and/or learning disabilities. Additional information might also be required on a case-by-case basis. Documentation will only be accepted from practitioners who are licensed in the United States. Documentation from practitioners who are only licensed outside the U.S. will not be accepted.

The professionals conducting assessments and rendering diagnoses must have comprehensive training for the specific disability being addressed.

All diagnosticians must be impartial individuals who are not family members of the student.

Submitted documentation must contain the following:

  • name and title of doctor or specialist
  • professional credentials
  • current license/certification number
  • area of license/certificate specialization
  • state in which the individual practices
  • address of doctor or specialist signature

The University requires that submitted documentation be no older than three years; however, older documentation of conditions that are permanent or non-varying might be acceptable. The University reserves the right to request additional information to determine eligibility, as well as updates as deemed necessary.

  • Provide educational, developmental, and medical history, diagnoses and prognoses
  • Include the administration of a measure of intellectual ability, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales (3rd Edition) or the equivalent, and a measure of academic achievement, such as the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement (3rd Edition) or equivalent.
  • Include test results with subtest scores scaled for adults and classification ranges associated with the scores, such as low average, average, above average, etc.
  • Describe functional limitations and explain how the disability impacts the student’s daily functioning and academic achievement
  • Recommend accommodations appropriate for higher education

If it is determined that the existing documentation is incomplete or inadequate for ascertaining the extent of the disability or the need for reasonable accommodations, the University may require additional documentation. The cost of obtaining documentation is borne by the student.

Please consult with the Coordinator of Disabilities and Accessibility Services for specific documentation guidelines related to particular disabilities. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan is not sufficient documentation of a disability.

In order to document psychological disabilities, please:

  • State the specific disability and relate the disability to the applicable professional standards, such as DSM-V.
  • Describe the evaluation method(s) used to establish the diagnosis/diagnoses. This can include clinical interview, psychological assessment battery, etc.
  • Include test scores from any standardized diagnostic tests.
  • Discuss current symptoms and the degree of their impact on daily living activities in an educational setting.
  • Recommend accommodations appropriate for higher education.

If it is determined that existing documentation is incomplete or inadequate for ascertaining the extent of the disability or the need for reasonable accommodations, the University may require additional documentation. The cost of obtaining documentation is borne by the student.

Because the impact of many psychological conditions can change over time, annual evaluations may be required.

If you are new to the Office of Disabilities and Accessibility Services and have not yet received disability accommodations, here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Complete the Accommodations Intake Form. Once this form is submitted, the Coordinator of Disabilities and Accessibility Services will contact you to set up a virtual meeting. Meetings take place between the hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Step 2: Obtain current documentation of your disability from a qualified medical doctor, neuropsychologist, psychologist, or specialist with an explanation as to how your disability limits your participation in courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities of the university. ODAS urges students with learning disabilities to provide comprehensive documentation based on adult assessment instruments. (link to documentation requirements)

Step 3: Meet with the Disabilities Coordinator to discuss your specific needs and determine reasonable accommodations. The following questions will be answered in the process:

  • what accommodations will be provided
  • when they will be provided
  • who is responsible for providing accommodations
  • how they will be provided

Standard procedures for auxiliary services (e.g., alternate text formats and test-taking facilitation) will also be discussed.

Email Disabilities@woodbury.edu or call 818-394-3345  for questions or concerns.

Guidelines for Documentation

Here’s what you need to know about documentation for an accommodation.

Documentation for a learning disability must include:

  • A thorough educational, developmental, and medical history.
  • The administration of a measure of intellectual ability, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales (3rd Edition) or the equivalent, and a measure of academic achievement, such as the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement (3rd Edition) or equivalent.
  • Test results with subtest scores scaled for adults and classification ranges associated with the scores, such as low average, average, above average, etc.
  • Descriptions of the functional limitations and an explanation of how the disability impacts the student’s daily functioning and abilities.
  • Recommended accommodations appropriate for higher education.
  • If it is determined that the existing documentation is incomplete or inadequate for ascertaining the extent of the stated disability or the need for reasonable accommodations, the University may require additional documentation. The cost of obtaining documentation is borne by the student.

Please consult with the Coordinator of Disabilities and Accessibility Services for specific documentation guidelines related to particular disabilities. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a 504 Plan is not sufficient documentation of a disability.

Documentation for a psychological disability must include:

  • The specific disability and relate the disability to the applicable professional standards, such as DSM-V.
  • Descriptions of the evaluation method(s) used to establish the diagnosis/diagnoses, including clinical interview, psychological assessment battery, etc.
  • Test scores from any standardized diagnostic tests administered.
  • Current symptoms and the degree of their impact on daily living activities in an educational setting.
  • Recommended accommodations appropriate for higher education.

If it is determined that existing documentation is incomplete or inadequate for ascertaining the extent of the disability or the need for reasonable accommodations, the University may require additional documentation. The cost of obtaining documentation is borne by the student.

Because the impact of many psychological conditions can change over time, annual evaluations may be required.

Documentation for a physical/medical disability must include:

  • A diagnosis of a physical or medical condition consistent with established clinical criteria.
  • A description the functional impact of the disability or condition on activities of daily living in an educational setting.
  • Recommended accommodations appropriate for higher education.
  • A discussion of the nature and progression of the disability; for example, if the condition is chronic, intermittent, etc.
  • Information related to the need for the frequency of re-evaluation.

International students requesting accommodations will be required to have their documentation reviewed and approved by a Designated School Official (DSO).

The University has an internal grievance procedure for resolution of complaints alleging violations of disability policy. Students may also use this grievance procedure to appeal the University’s decisions regarding requests for accommodation.

To file a grievance, students should contact the Associate Dean of Students, located in the Whitten Student Center