Mission & Goals
It is our mission to remove barriers and ensure equal access for all qualified students
In support of this mission, the goals of the Office of Accessibility Resources are
- Serve as advocates for accessibility for students with disabilities while promoting
student independence, self-determination, and responsibility;
- Coordinate and provide accommodations and related support services for accessibility
for students with disabilities;
- Provide training and resources for faculty, staff, and administration around accessibility
for students with disabilities;
- Provide consultation, information, and outreach to parents and prospective students
regarding accessibility and accommodations for students with disabilities;
- Foster awareness and understanding University-wide of issues of accessibility in all
aspects of campus life;
- Assist the University in supporting the civil rights of students with disabilities
as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), its amendments (ADAAA),
and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) removes barriers in support of equal access
for individuals with disabilities by providing campus-wide accessibility services
and reasonable accommodations for eligible students. We recognize that students have
been admitted to the university based on their abilities to succeed, expected to meet the same academic and technical standards. The OAR supports
disability as an aspect of diversity and inclusion integral to our campus community
Students not registered with the OAR and requesting accommodations for the first time
at Western Carolina University should engage as soon as possible once they have identified
a barrier or need.
The OAR uses an online system, Accessible Information Management (AIM), where students
can register for accommodations. New Students need to apply to begin the registration process using your myWCU login. Upon completing the application process, the OAR will facilitate an interactive
and engaging intake meeting to determine accommodations to support the student. Students
with approved accommodations are provided an Accommodation Letter, which they share
with their instructors.
- Academic: Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis via an interactive intake meeting
and takes into consideration the functional impact of the student's documented disability.
Students utilize Accommodation Letters to inform faculty of their approved accommodations.
- Testing: Faculty regularly provide approved testing accommodations for students with active
accommodation letters, such as extended time and reduced distractions. In addition,
the OAR Test Proctoring Center in Killian Annex offers alternative testing services
for registered OAR students with testing accommodations.
- Housing: The process for students with disabilities to Request Special Housing Accommodations
(which also includes ESA's)is initiated through Residential Living. You will need to complete and submit the Housing Accommodation form which can be
found on their webpage. All documentation also needs to be sent to Residential Living.
To learn more about animals on campus please click this link: Animals on Campus
- Temporary Disabilities: If you have a temporary disability due to an injury or medical condition, the OAR
can provide accommodations on a temporary or short-term basis. Please use the steps
outlined above for Requesting Accommodations.
- Alternative Format Textbooks: Students who receive accommodations for Alternative Format Textbooks (AFT) can make
requests once they have paid for their books for the semester.
- Assistive Technology & Kurzweil 3000: Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or product, whether acquired
commercially, or customized that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional
capabilities of an individual with a disability. The OAR utilizes Kurzweil 3000 to
increase accessibility with print and digital content available to a broad spectrum
- American Sign Language and Captioning: Services can be arranged through the OAR. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 828.227.2716 for assistance.