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Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR)

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 and society.

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.

Requesting Accommodations

Students submit the OAR Registration Form, and their documentation, such as evaluation and medical report to the OAR (please see our Documentation Guidelines for more information). Upon receiving the information, the OAR will facilitate an interactive and engaging process to determine accommodations and support the student. Students with approved accommodations are provided an Accommodation Letter.

Accommodations are provided when deemed necessary and reasonable for a particular student and are determined on a case-by-case basis through an interactive process between the student and OAR. It is the student's responsibility to disclose their disability and to request academic or physical accommodations.

Students should make their request in a timely manner to the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) and every reasonable effort will be made to provide accommodations and ensure accessibility. Requests for accommodations can be made at any time; however, some accommodations may take time to put in place. Therefore, it is best for students to make their requests as early as possible in the semester. Accommodations are not retroactive and cannot be made for events or exams that have happened before the request.

The process for obtaining accommodations is as follows:

  1. Complete an OAR Student Registration Form
  2. Provide current documentation of disability (see Documentation Guidelines for more information on appropriate and acceptable documentation).
  3. Schedule an intake appointment with the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) to determine the necessary accommodations and support.
  4. OAR will write and provide an Accommodation Letter to the student.
  5. Students are responsible for distributing their letters to instructors and discussing accommodation needs with them.
  6. OAR staff will be available to meet and consult with students and faculty about issues of accessibility and/or accommodations upon request.
  7. Accommodations are reviewed and new letters generated prior to the start of each academic year in which the student is enrolled.


Academic Accommodations 

Testing Accommodations


  • Housing: The process for students with disabilities to Request Special Accommodations is initiated through Residential Living. You will need to complete and submit their Housing Accommodation form which can be found on their webpage. All documentation also needs to be sent to Residential Living.
  • 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 Book Request Process

Assistive Technology &
Kurzweil 3000

  • American Sign Language and Captioning: Services can be arranged through OAR. Please email or call 828.227.2716 for assistance.

Mission & Goals 

It is our mission to remove barriers and ensure equal access for all qualified students with disabilities.

In support of this mission, the goals of the Office of Accessibility Resources are to:

  • 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.
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