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Academic Accommodations at WCU

At Western Carolina University, 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.

Accommodations are intended to reduce and eliminate barriers in the learning environment, supporting students with disabilities having equal access. Accommodations should not be interpreted as an alteration of academic standards and only become active when faculty receive the student's accommodation letter. It is the student's responsibility to provide their accommodation letters to faculty and as appropriate, to share helpful information. OAR staff will be available to meet with students and faculty upon request.

Examples of Accommodations:

Frequently Asked Questions

How will students obtain their accommodation letters and provide them to faculty?

Beginning in Fall 2020 and in alignment with WCU Community Standards and physical distancing practices, the OAR emailed students their accommodation letters. Guidance has been provided to students to send an introductory email with their attached accommodation letter to their course instructors and faculty.

What are Alternative Format Textbooks?

Alternative Format Textbooks are textbooks that can come in various formats and are created in an electronic format for students to read using assistive technology software programs.

How do students access Alternative Format Textbooks?

When possible, the Office of Accessibility Resources encourages students with an Alternative Format Textbook (AFT) accommodation to establish personal accounts with resources such as Bookshare. Two to three weeks before each semester, students can send an email with their name and 92# to to request a list of their textbooks. The WCU Bookstore will email the student a list of books, including the author, title, and ISBN. Students with the alternative format textbook accommodation submit a request to the OAR to fulfill their alternative format textbook order

What do students and faculty need to know about the flexibility with attendance/assignment accommodation?

Some accommodations require helpful guidance and agreement between the student and the faculty. Typically, a student with the flexibility to attendance/assignment accommodation have a disability which is a chronic condition with random or cyclical acute episodes having functional impacts on class participation.  Flexibility with attendance/assignment accommodations should be established in advance, not retroactively. Documentation with this accommodation must be updated annually unless otherwise noted.

A special agreement and understanding between the student and faculty can be helpful as this accommodation is not intended to allow for unlimited absences, and does not alleviate the student from the expected course standards. It is recommended that the student and faculty use the Guidance and Agreement for “Flexibility with Attendance/Assignment” form and questions #1-4 to clarify the student’s participation expectation in the course, process to notify the faculty of such absences, and procedure for turning in, and/or making-up related assignments and tests.

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