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:
- Classroom Access
- OAR Test Proctoring Center
- Extended Time
- Physical Mobility
- Priority Registration
- Special Agreements with Instructors
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.