Office of Services
for Students with Disabilities
West Chester University
Lawrence Center 223
West Chester, PA 19383
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
What documentation must I provide the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities to receive my accomodations?
Documentation guidelines for ADD/ADHD documentation
Students with ADD/ADHD who are requesting support services from the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities at West Chester University are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The following guidelines are provided to ensure that the documentation is complete and appropriate.
Documentation Guidelines for Learning Disabilities
Students with learning disabilities who are requesting support services from the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD) at West Chester University are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The following guidelines are provided to ensure that the documentation is complete and appropriate.
In addition, specific recommendations for accommodations (with explanation of how the need is substantiated through testing) will be helpful to WCU personnel in assigning appropriate accommodations for the student. This can be in the form of a Statement of Performance or other document. In and of themselves, documents such as an SOP, IEP, or 504 plans are not sufficient to qualify for accommodations at the college level.
Documentation Guidelines For Physical/Mobility/Chronic Health Disabilities
Known as mobility, systemic, or a disease-related disability, these result from congenital conditions, accidents, or progressive neuromuscular diseases. These disabilities include, but are not limited to conditions such as spinal cord injury (paraplegia or quadriplegia), cerebral palsy, lupus, spinal bifida, chemical sensitivities, amputation, muscular dystrophy, cardiac conditions, cystic fibrosis, paralysis, polio/post polio, cancer and stroke. Functional limitations and abilities vary greatly even within one type of disability. Accommodations vary greatly and are best determined on a case-by-case basis.
Assessment, and any resulting diagnosis, should consist of and be based on a comprehensive assessment battery that does not rely on any one test or subtest. Both aptitude and academic achievement must be evaluated and included in the assessment report. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that the service provider, in collaboration with the student, determines an appropriate diagnosis and establish reasonable accommodations. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student's request for appropriate accommodations.
Documentation Guidelines for Psychiatric Disabilities
Psychiatric disabilities: Comprise a range of conditions characterized by emotional, cognitive, and/or behavioral dysfunction. A diagnosis of a disorder does not, in and of itself, meet the definition of a disability necessitating reasonable accomodations under the ADA or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Major life activity: Examples of major life activities include walking, sitting, standing, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and other similar activities.
Functional limitation: A substantial impairment in the individual's ability to function in the condition, manner, or duration of a required major life activity.
The assessment must be administered by a trained, qualified, and licensed professional, who has had direct experience with adolescents and adults with psychiatric disorders. A qualified professional may include but is not limited to a medical doctor, psychologist, or student clinician who is being supervised by a professional. The evaluator's name, title and professional credentials and affiliation should be provided. The professional completing the evaluation should not be a family member. All reports should be on letterhead, typed, dated, signed, and otherwise legible.
Reasonable accommodations are based on the current (i.e. within the last six months) impact of the disability on academic performance. A diagnostic evaluation should be relevant to the student's learning environment and show the student's current level of functioning. If documentation does not address the individual's current level of functioning, a re-evaluation may be required.
The report must be comprehensive and include a specific diagnosis based on the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria. It is recommended that the clinician report the diagnostic criteria used to support the diagnosis. The diagnostician should use direct language in the diagnosis, avoiding the use of terms such as "suggests" "appears" or "is indicative of".
Documentation Guidelines for Sensory Impairments
Hearing Impairments and Deafness
Students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing must provide documentation consisting of:
Visual Impairments and Blindness
Students requesting accomodations on the basis of low vision or blindness must provide documentation consisting of:
*For additional information please consult the U.S. Department of Education booklet "Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities."
How do I register with OSSD?
Once a student has been formally accepted to West Chester University they are encouraged to meet with the Director of the OSSD to identify specific needs. Students are to send their documentation directly to the OSSD Office prior to their scheduled appointment. The OSSD staff will work with the student to determine what accommodations are appropriate using the decimations and self analysis check list that prompt an examination of needs in the context of college classes .Letters of Accommodations will then be given directly to the student. The Letter of Accommodation explains the rights and responsibilities of the students under the laws along with a list of recommendations. A copy of this letter should be presented by the student to each professor at the beginning of each semester.
How do I request my letters of accomodations each semester?
It is the student's responsibility to contact the OSSD Office at the beginning of each semester to obtain their Letters of Accommodation.
How do I use my testing accomodations?
Students are responsible for making arrangements with faculty for test accommodations. It is always preferable for students to take tests in close proximity to the professor in the case of problems. However, some students and faculty prefer to use the OSSD Test Proctoring Center. It is the student's responsibility to obtain a Test Proctoring Form from the OSSD and bring to their professor. Both student and faculty must complete the form and sign it, and the student should return it to the Proctoring Center a week before the scheduled test date.
Where is the test proctoring center?
The Test Proctoring Center is located on the second floor of the Lawrence Center, Room 223, in the back corner near the Graduate Assistant office.
How do I file a grievance?
Any individual who has a suggestion, problem, or complaint relating to a person with a disability is encouraged to contact the West Chester University Director of Social Equity, located at 13/15 University Avenue, 610-436-2433.