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Disability Services

Welcome to the Disability Services Office (DSO) at West Virginia State University. We strive to collaborate with and empower students who have disabilities through coordination of academic accessibility/accommodations and support services that enable equal access to an education and university life. On behalf of the staff of Counseling & Academic Support Services (CASS) as well as the DSO, we look forward to working with you during your academic career at West Virginia State University.
 



West Virginia State University prides itself on its numerous efforts to make the campus as accessible as possible.  If you have a documented disability or would like assistance in determining if you have a disability, please contact our office.

 

image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowImportant Steps in Receiving Accommodations

Understand your accommodations

  • Review the Approved Accommodations and the Guidelines for Receiving Accommodations to ensure that you thoroughly understand them both and their implications for you.  Ask the DSO counselor for any explanation and/or clarification you need to ensure you understand what has been approved for you and how to utilize them.

Analyze your classes

  • Look at the requirements for each of your classes and consider your particular disability related needs when determining which accommodations are appropriate. The accommodations for which you are eligible might not be appropriate or necessary for every class.
  • If you need help in determining which accommodations will be appropriate for a particular class, consult with your DSO counselor.

Make an appointment with your faculty

  • Once your faculty receives your notice of accommodation it is your responsibility to let him or her know how you intend to use the accommodations in their class.
  • You will want to schedule a meeting with each faculty, early in the semester.
  • You will be provided with copies of a pre-filled Accommodations Implementation Plan (AIP) to utilize in your discussions with your faculty, a signed copy of which should be returned to the DSO (see appendix I for a sample AIP). 
  • If confidentiality is important to you, it is not advisable to discuss your disability-related needs with your faculty in front of the class or as they are entering or leaving the class.

Be specific

  • When meeting with the faculty, discuss your specific accommodations.
  • You do not need to disclose the specific nature of your disability to your faculty.
  • If you are uncomfortable identifying your disability, keep the conversation focused on the accommodations for which you are eligible.

 Coordinate accommodations with DSO

  • Submit your completed AIP to DSO shortly after meeting with your faculty to ensure that you will receive what you have been approved in a timely manner.

Maintain communication

  • With your DSO counselor - together with your DSO counselor, decide how often you will meet for follow-up appointments. For some, one meeting per semester may be sufficient but others may decide that they could benefit from and need weekly check-ins.  The frequency and schedule is mutually decided by yourself and the DSO counselor.  It is highly recommended, especially for any new accommodations, to regularly discuss which accommodations you are utilizing in each course and how effective they are in assisting you to overcome the barriers.
  • With your faculty - stay in contact with your faculty throughout the semester, discuss effectiveness of the accommodations in allowing you to access the material and class.  You also may want to provide gentle reminders of approveded accommodations.
Important Note:
You should immediately alert the DSO counselor if you are having difficulties with any accommodation, service or class.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowWho is qualified for accommodations at WVSU?
In order to qualify for accommodations you must be a student with a disability.

A person with a disability includes:


“Any person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, (2) has record of such impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such impairment.”

Having a Diagnosis DOES NOT EQUAL Having a Disability

Disability can be defined by the model utilized to frame it. 

Above is the legal model/definition. 

THE MEDICAL MODEL
In the medical model of disability, the person is seen as having a deficiency, it is a personal problem, and the goal is to cure or normalize the condition through professional intervention. 

THE SOCIAL MODEL
The social model of disability sees the condition as one of any number of individual variations inherent in the human condition wherein the difference is considered neutral.  The disability arises through the interaction of the individual with the environment in which the environment results in disabling situations.  The focus in on the environment and removing the barriers in the environment results in their no longer being a disability.

The DSO operates from the perspective of the social model while also ensuring we are in compliance with the legal definition. 

Regardless of the model utilized, having a diagnosis does not automatically equate to having a disability. Dependent on the environment in which it interacts, an impairment may not result in a disability.

What the Law Requires

The student must:
  • Identify themselves to the university as a student with a disability
  • Provide documentation to the university to substantiate the impairment
  • Arrange and pay for any assessments needed for documentation purposes
WVSU must:
  • Provide reasonable academic adjustments also known as accommodations for a student’s known disability so that a student has an equal opportunity to participate in the courses, activities, or programs.
  • Students are not required to assume the responsibility for securing a necessary accommodation.
  • The university may not charge students for necessary accommodations.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowHow do I start the accommodation process?

Initiating Accommodation Process

Once students are admitted, they are responsible for notifying the school of their disability, requesting academic adjustments, and providing any necessary evidence of a disability-related need for the requested adjustment.  It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the process and make requests for specific accommodations in a timely manner. At WVSU, the process begins by registering with the DSO office and providing documentation of your disability.

Registration Procedure:

  1. Submit a Request for Accommodations through the online form, email, phone or in-person. 
    • The preferred modality of submitting requests is the online form - go to https://bit.ly/DSO-Request.
    • A student may download and print a copy of the registration form at http://bit.ly/dso-rfs-1-2 or pick up a copy from the DSO.  Printed copies should be completed and returned to 123 Sullivan Hall, East.  If mailing send to WVSU, ATTN: DSO, PO Box 1000, 123 Sullivan Hall East, Institute, WV 25112.
    • You can submit a request via email to dso@wvstateu.edu, by calling the Disability Services Counselor at (304) 766-3083 or by stopping by the DSO at 123 Sullivan Hall East.  If you choose to make your request by any of these methods, the same information will be requested as listed on the online Request for Accommodations forms.
  2. After completing and submitting the Request for Accommodations, schedule an appointment with the Disability Services Counselor to meet & discuss the specifics of your situation by going to http://wvsudso.youcanbook.me, emailing dso@wvstateu.edu, or calling the counselor at (304) 766-3083.  At the appointment, the counselor will complete an intake using a semi-structured interview process.  This interview typically takes an hour to an hour and a half.
  3. Bring any documentation you have from schools, physicians, psychologists, counselors, etc to your initial meeting/intake for the counselor to review and determine appropriate academic accommodations.
    • No copies of your documentation? Go to the source to request they send copies to the DSO or complete a release of information form at the DSO and they will be requested for you (see appendix C for an Authorization to Release of Information).
    • If you have not been previously diagnosed with a physical or mental impairment, ask for a list of community sources which you can utilize to determine if a qualifying condition exists and obtain documentation.
  4. Ask questions! The counselor can help to assist to explaining what accommodations are you eligible for as well as the process in which many of them are executed for example: extended test time, note takers etc.


What happens next?
 
  1. Once you have met with the DSO counselor, discussed your situation and provided valid documentation of your disability – the counselor will advise you of your academic accommodations in writing, often on the same day, as well as have you complete the Confirmation of Guidelines for Receiving Accommodations.
  2. Depending on your preferences, notifications will be sent to each faculty in whose class you have registered.  The notification states what academic accommodations you are eligible for based on your documentation, it does not disclose your disability (see appendix H for the faculty notification format).  If for any reason you change your schedule, please notify the DSO.
  3. Schedule a time and meet with your faculty early in the semester to ensure they understand your approved accommodations and to discuss how they will be implementing your accommodations in their course.  You will utilize the Accommodations Implementation Plan for this meeting which both you and the faculty should sign and copy of which should be returned to the DSO.


Important steps to receiving classroom accommodations

Understand your accommodations

  • Review the Approved Accommodations and the Guidelines for Receiving Accommodations to ensure that you thoroughly understand them both and their implications for you.  Ask the DSO counselor for any explanation and/or clarification you need to ensure you understand what has been approved for you and how to utilize them.

Analyze your classes

  • Look at the requirements for each of your classes and consider your particular disability related needs when determining which accommodations are appropriate. The accommodations for which you are eligible might not be appropriate or necessary for every class.
  • If you need help in determining which accommodations will be appropriate for a particular class, consult with your DSO counselor.

Make an appointment with your faculty

  • Once your faculty receives your notice of accommodation it is your responsibility to let him or her know how you intend to use the accommodations in their class.
  • You will want to schedule a meeting with each faculty, early in the semester.
  • You will be provided with copies of a pre-filled Accommodations Implementation Plan (AIP) to utilize in your discussions with your faculty, a signed copy of which should be returned to the DSO (see appendix I for a sample AIP). 
  • If confidentiality is important to you, it is not advisable to discuss your disability-related needs with your faculty in front of the class or as they are entering or leaving the class.

Be specific

  • When meeting with the faculty, discuss your specific accommodations.
  • You do not need to disclose the specific nature of your disability to your faculty.
  • If you are uncomfortable identifying your disability, keep the conversation focused on the accommodations for which you are eligible.

 Coordinate accommodations with DSO

  • Submit your completed AIP to DSO shortly after meeting with your faculty to ensure that you will receive what you have been approved in a timely manner.

Maintain communication

  • With your DSO counselor - together with your DSO counselor, decide how often you will meet for follow-up appointments. For some, one meeting per semester may be sufficient but others may decide that they could benefit from and need weekly check-ins.  The frequency and schedule is mutually decided by yourself and the DSO counselor.  It is highly recommended, especially for any new accommodations, to regularly discuss which accommodations you are utilizing in each course and how effective they are in assisting you to overcome the barriers.
  • With your faculty - stay in contact with your faculty throughout the semester, discuss effectiveness of the accommodations in allowing you to access the material and class.  You also may want to provide gentle reminders of approveded accommodations.
Important Note:
You should immediately alert the DSO counselor if you are having difficulties with any accommodation, service or class.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowHow is my eligibility for accommodations determined?

Verification and Documentation of Disabilities

WVSU provides appropriate accommodations for students with documented impairments[1] as outlined in this Verification and Documentation of Disabilities policy. Students with a disability[2] who request specific accommodations are required to provide appropriate and current documentation. The disability services counselor’s determination of reasonable accommodations is based on receipt of all proper documentation satisfying the documentation guidelines and providing a clear demonstration of functional limitations[3] regarding the students’ performance in an academic setting.  Such documentation must clearly describe the disability and its effects and impact on the student.  The academic and/or physical accessibility/accommodations are based on a determination of current needs of students with disabilities.

Documentation Requirements

The student must provide documentation to the DSO prior to obtaining accommodations and services.  Students should contact the disability services counselor well in advance of the semester to review current documentation, or to discuss community resources.  The cost of obtaining the professional verification is the responsibility of the student. For those students concerned about the cost of such assessment, the Disability Services Counselor may be able to refer students to West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (WVDRS) (www.wvdrs.org) for services which may include assessment.

The services provided will be based on the following documentation sources:
  1. Primary - Self Report
Your description of how the condition impacts you and the effects in the academic environment which ideally will include specific examples
  1. Secondary - Observations and Interactions
The impression and conclusions formed by the Disability Services Counselor during interviews and conversations with you and the counselor's evaluation of the effectiveness of previously implemented or provisional accommodations
  1. Tertiary - Information from External Sources/Third Parties
Documentation from external sources which may include educational or medical records, reports and assessments created by health care providers/professionals who are qualified to diagnose the impairment
 
[1] Impairment – an injury, illness or congenital condition that causes or is likely to cause a loss or difference of physiological or psychological function; FORMAL DEFINITION -  any abnormality of, partial or complete loss of, or loss of the function of, a body part, organ, or system; this may be due directly or secondarily to pathology or injury and may be either temporary or permanent. Examples include muscle weakness, incontinence, pain, and loss of joint motion. - impairment. (n.d.) Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. (2003). Retrieved June 6 2016 from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/impairment
 
[2] Disability – the loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in society on an equal level with others due to social or environmental barriers:
FORMAL DEFINITION - the United States Government defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual's major life activities:” this includes both those individuals with a record of an impairment and those regarded as having such an impairment.  The World Health Organization defines disability as loss of function at the level of the whole person, which may include inability to communicate or to perform mobility, activities of daily living, or necessary vocational or avocational activities; rehabilitation is aimed at teaching patients to remediate or compensate and thus maximize functional independence. - disability. (n.d.) Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. (2003). Retrieved June 6 2016 from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/disability
 
[3] * Functional Limitations - according to the World Health Organization (WHO), any health problem that prevents a person from completing a range of tasks, whether simple or complex.  In rehabilitation science, any restriction in the performance of activities resulting from disease, injury, or environmental restrictions. - functional limitation. (n.d.) Medical Dictionary. (2009). Retrieved June 6 2016 from http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/functional+limitation
 


Documentation Guidelines

Appropriate documentation taken together (using the student’s report, the disability services counselor’s observations/interactions/evaluation, and reports/records from diagnostic/treatment professionals) must describe the degree of impact the diagnosed disorder or condition creates on the student's ability to learn or to perform major life activities.  In general, the more documentation a student is able to provide, the better able the university will be to determine how to best accommodate for any barriers that are present.  The level of documentation needed from external sources shall depend upon the nature of the request for accommodations as well as the amount and depth of information there is available from the student.  The nature of the accommodation also determines the emphasis placed on documentation from diagnostic/treatment professionals.  Accommodations are categorized by into one of three tiers.  The tiers correspond to the degree of modification to the course/curricula/academic program.

A clear and definitive link must be established between any requested accommodation, the substantial functional limitations of the individual, and the academic demands for which the accommodations are requested.  In order to do so the totality of the documentation should address the following points:
  1. Describe present signs/symptoms and any fluctuating/changing conditions related to the diagnosis.
  2. Provide information that makes it clear how the impairment results in a significant limitation to the student's current or future academic functioning or major life activities.
  3. Indicate the degree to which the disability impacts functioning.
  4. The current substantial functional impacts on physical, perceptual, cognitive, and behavioral abilities should be described either explicitly or through the provision of specific results from diagnostic procedures.
  5. Provide a history of the disability and previous accommodations
  6. If specific recommendations for accommodations are included, a rationale for why each accommodation is recommended correlated with the specific, identified functional limitations should be given.  While such information will be given careful consideration, the inclusion of accommodations in a report does not guarantee they will be granted by the DSO at WVSU.
  7. List of current medications and dosage, including side effects currently experienced.
  8. Description of previous and/or current treatments, devices, or services prescribed or used.
  9. A description the duration, stability, and/or progression of the condition.
Documentation should validate the need for reasonable accommodations and services based on the individual's current impact of the disability on the level of functioning in the academic setting. 

General Guidelines for Medical/Diagnostic/Educational Evaluation Reports/Records

Reports and records submitted as documentation should meet the following requirements in order to be considered for a student to be eligible to receive disability-related academic accommodations. These reports, at a minimum, must:
  1. Be on official letterhead, typed, signed, and dated by a qualified professional[1]
  2. Contain a diagnostic statement including the date of most current diagnostic evaluation and a clear statement of diagnosis/impairment
  3. Provide a summary of assessment procedures and findings used to determine the diagnosis
  4. Be current and relevant:
What is considered current can vary by disability. Many disabilities/impairments are stable, lifelong conditions, and thus current may not mean 'recent.' Some disabilities/impairments, however, will vary over time with changes in environment, in treatment, and/or medications and will necessitate more recent information, some as recent as within the last six months.
 
IMPORTANT NOTES:
Outside reports/information are most helpful when it provides detailed information.  For example a physician who writes that a student has been treated by them for several years for ADHD would not be of great assistance for purposes of determining accommodations.  While it provides the diagnosis it does not address the way in which the diagnosis presents for this particular student nor how that presentation of symptoms translates into effects and impacts on the student’s performance in an academic arena.
It is important to recognize that accommodation needs can change over time and are not always identified through the initial diagnostic process. Conversely, a prior history of accommodation does not, in and of itself, warrant the provision of a similar accommodation.
For example, an individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan, if you had one, may help identify services that have been effective for you. This is generally not sufficient documentation, however, because of the differences between postsecondary education and high school education. What you need to meet the new demands of postsecondary education may be different from what worked for you in high school. Also, in some cases, the nature of a disability may change. 
This information however can and should be included as part of a more comprehensive assessment and/or evaluation.
The DSO may seek further clarification and if necessary more information up to and including an updated evaluation for any of the following:
  • Accommodations are not clearly stated by the student, identified in the student’s request or a diagnostic report, and/or are difficult to link to current functioning.
  • Documentation is deemed inadequate in scope or content.
  • Documentation is not relevant to the individual's current functioning and need for accommodations.
Since the purpose of the additional documentation is to determine the student's current need for accommodations, it should be conducted by a qualified professional and include a rationale for ongoing services and accommodations.
Regardless of whether specific recommendations are included in the documentation or not, the final determination of appropriate accommodations rests with the Disability Services Counselor of the Disability Services Office at West Virginia State University. 
In instances where a request for accommodations is denied, an appeals procedure is in place (see Appeals Procedure section).
Refer to the following pages for some of the more common conditions with documentation guidelines for each.
 
 
[1] A qualified professional is someone who is licensed or otherwise properly credentialed and possesses expertise in the disability for which you are requesting accommodations.


Substantiation of Learning Disability

Given the differences in which this disorder can manifest, particularly as one enters adulthood, an evaluation completed any time after reaching age 13 is recommended.  It should include administration of a comprehensive assessment battery and the resulting diagnostic report should include a diagnostic interview, assessment, and a diagnosis.

Diagnostic Interview

The diagnostician, using professional judgment as to which areas are relevant, should conduct a diagnostic interview and the evaluation report should include the summary of the comprehensive diagnostic interview. Relevant information regarding the student's academic history and learning processes in elementary, secondary and postsecondary education should be investigated.

Assessment

The evaluation for the diagnosis of a specific learning disability must provide clear and specific evidence that a learning disability exists and provide evidence of a substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity. Assessment, and any resulting diagnosis, should consist of, and be based on, a comprehensive assessment that does not rely on any one test or subtest.   At a minimum there must be an assessment of academic achievement – reading, math, and writing.  Other assessment measures may include measures of information processing and/or intellectual assessment. 

The data from any test scores should logically reflect a substantial limitation to learning for which the student is requesting the accommodation. The particular profile of the student's strengths and weaknesses must be shown to relate to functional limitations that may necessitate accommodations.  The test findings should document both the nature and severity of the learning disability.

Diagnosis

It is important to rule out alternative explanations for problems in learning such as emotional, attentional or motivational problems that may be interfering with learning but do not constitute a learning disability. For assessments and diagnoses after May 2013, assessment should show evidence that the DSM-5[1] diagnostic criteria have been met.[2]  If the data indicate that a learning disability is not present, the evaluator should state that conclusion in the report.

Clinical Summary

As indicated previously, there are a myriad of differences in the ways in which this disorder can manifest, therefore a well-written diagnostic summary based on a comprehensive evaluation process should be a component of the report. It is essential that professional judgment be utilized in the development of a clinical summary.  The clinical summary should include indication of the substantial limitation to learning or other major life activity presented by the learning disability and the degree to which it impacts the individual in the learning context for which accommodations are being requested.
 
 
[1] Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – 5th edition
 
[2] Criterion A refers to the key characteristics of a learning disability (at least one of six symptoms of learning difficulties that have persisted for at least 6 months despite the provision of extra help or targeted instruction). Criterion B refers to measurement of those characteristics (the affected academic skills are substantially and quantifiably below those expected for age and cause impairment in academic, occupational, or everyday activities, as confirmed by individually administered standardized achievement measures and comprehensive clinical assessment). Criterion C refers to age at onset of problems (during the school-age years, although may not fully manifest until young adulthood in some individuals), and Criterion D specifies which disorders (Intellectual Disabilities, uncorrected auditory or visual acuity problems, other mental or neurological disorders) or adverse conditions (psychosocial adversity, lack of proficiency in the language of instruction, inadequate instruction) must be ruled out before a diagnosis of SLD can be confirmed.


Substantiation of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Comprehensive Evaluation and Diagnostic Report

Clinical evaluations of ADHD should be comprehensive and multidimensional and capture its impact on functioning in different settings. The comprehensive evaluation should include a diagnostic interview, review of psychological assessment data, and a clinical summary as described below.

Diagnostic Interview

Evidence of Early and Current Impairment
Documentation should include historical information establishing symptomatology during childhood, adolescence and young adulthood as well as a statement of the current symptoms that significantly impair functioning. There should also be a summary of a diagnostic interview that includes both self-report and 3rd party report.

Medical, Developmental and Psycho-social History
The diagnostic interview should include developmental, school, and psycho-social history; family learning/psychiatric history; relevant medical information; and history of mental health and pharmacological intervention.

Review of Psychological Assessment Data

Norm-referenced[1] checklists and surveys, computerized continuous performance tests[2], and attention/tracking tests can be used to supplement the diagnostic profile. Neuropsychological or psychoeducational assessment is recommended in order to determine the current impact of the disorder on the individual's ability to function in the academic setting. The assessment may include evaluation of intellectual functioning, academic achievement, and information processing.  The assessment data must logically reflect a substantial limitation to learning for which the individual is requesting accommodations.  The particular profile of the student's strengths and weaknesses must be shown to relate to functional limitations that may necessitate accommodations.

Clinical Summary

The report should include an integrative interpretative summary that is based on the comprehensive evaluation. Professional judgment should be used to interpret and integrate historical information, clinical observations, and test data including self-report measures, 3rd party report measures, computerized assessment, and psycho-educational assessment in order to arrive at a summary of the evaluation and a specific diagnosis. The evaluator should include a review of the presence or absence of specific diagnostic criteria for ADHD based on the DSM-5. The evaluator should include in the report an explicit statement about the presence of the diagnosis, the presentation type and current severity of AD/HD.  The summary should also include evidence of the disorder across childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, evidence that there is an impact of the disorder in multiple settings, evidence that the ADHD limits learning or other life activity, and discussion of the anticipated impact of the ADHD in the higher education environment.
 
[1] Norm-referenced refers to standardized tests that are designed to compare and rank test takers in relation to one another. Norm-referenced tests report whether test takers performed better or worse than a hypothetical average student, which is determined by comparing scores against the performance results of a statistically selected group of test takers, typically of the same age or grade level, who have already taken the exam. - Hidden curriculum (2014, August 26). In S. Abbott (Ed.), The glossary of education reform. Retrieved June 6 2016 from http://edglossary.org/hidden-curriculum.
 
[2] CPT’s are any of several kinds of neuropsychological test that measures a person's sustained and selective attention. Sustained attention is the ability to maintain a consistent focus on some continuous activity or stimuli, and is associated with impulsivity. Selective attention is the ability to focus on relevant stimuli and ignore competing stimuli. This skill is associated with distractibility.


Substantiation of Psychiatric Disorders

Because psychological disabilities can change over time, a current diagnosis is critical for determining eligibility and providing appropriate accommodations and support services. Depending on the disability, evaluations may need to be updated as recently as within the last six months.

Diagnosis

The documentation must include a clear statement of your psychological condition (DSM 5 diagnosis), with a description of diagnostic tests, methods, and/or criteria used.

Evaluation and Treatment

The documentation should give dates of evaluation or treatment, recency of the evaluation, specific results and the examiner's narrative interpretation. The evaluation should include treatments, medications, or assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use as well as a description of the expected progression or stability of the impact of the disability over time, particularly the next five years.
If you were referred for a complete battery of testing for learning disabilities or Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder to rule out any comorbidity, a copy of the documentation and date completed should be included.

Accommodations

The documentation should indicate how your condition might affect you in the academic/college setting. The evaluation should list functional limitations experienced by the student as this is very helpful in choosing appropriate accommodations. 

Recommendations

Beyond the elements needed for documentation, recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services (i.e. referral to the Counseling & Academic Support Services and/or, off-campus resources for counseling, etc.) will be considered within the context of your program.

The diagnostic report may include specific recommendations for accommodations as well as a rationale for why each accommodation is recommended. The recommendations should be correlated with the specific, identified functional limitations.

It is important to recognize that accommodation needs can change over time and are not always identified through the initial diagnostic process. Conversely, a prior history of accommodation does not, in and of itself, warrant the provision of a similar accommodation.

If accommodations are not clearly identified in a diagnostic report, the DSO may seek clarification and, if necessary, more information.

The final determination of appropriate accommodations rests with the Disability Services Office at West Virginia State University.

In instances where a request for accommodations is denied, an appeals procedure is in place.
 
**Please include a completed Psychiatric Functional Limitations checklist with the documentation
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowWhat are the guidelines for receiving accommodations?
  • Students are eligible for the accommodations identified in the Approved Accommodations/Services notice from DSO and outlined on their Accommodations Implementation Plan (AIP), except for those accommodations that the student indicates they will not use for any particular class and/or semester.
  • A student’s faculty will be notified by the DSO regarding their approved accommodations unless the student has otherwise advised the DSO counselor.
  • Although the DSO respects the autonomy of students and the right of students to maintain their confidentiality, faculty members are not obligated to provide accommodations for a student’s disability without receipt of notification from the DSO.
  • Effective implementation of accommodations requires a partnership with cooperation and coordination between the student, faculty and the DSO.
  • In order to facilitate a student’s use of accommodations in a particular course, the student should schedule an AIP meeting with the faculty member as early in the semester as possible to discuss their accommodations.
  • If a student waits to meet, or chooses not to pursue this step, with the faculty, the faculty may not be able to effectively implement a student’s accommodations.
  • A student should pre-fill the AIP (see Appendix I for a sample) before meeting with the faculty members by 1) checking off any accommodations the student intends to request and 2) using the syllabus to enter all test dates and times, if available.
  • The student should return a copy of the completed AIP Plan to 123 Sullivan Hall, East (the DSO office), within 3 days of meeting with my faculty.  This allows the DSO office to increase its ability to ensure accountability.
  • If faculty members or the student have any questions or concerns regarding the implementation of the student’s accommodations, the student and/or the faculty member should contact DSO by phone, email, or in person.
  • The student’s self-advocacy skills will be critical to ensure that the student gets what he or she needs to have an equal opportunity for access. The student is responsible alerting the faculty and the DSO if there are any problems as soon as they occur. The university is not obligated to determine without any notice or input from the student that the academic adjustments provided are insufficient.  Waiting until the class is over or almost complete will not provide adequate time for changes to be made.


Testing Accommodations Guidelines
  • Extended time is for timed assessments.  Extended time is generally to be interpreted as 1 ½ times the standard time.  Take home assessments or assessments assigned over more than one day may be considered on a case by case basis only but do not automatically qualify for extended time.
  • Exam must be scheduled at the same time the class is testing.  The only exception is if the faculty member approves of any test time/date changes.
  • Students are required to sign up for test proctoring at least 3 business days in advance to secure a testing time and area that satisfies class requirements as well as time for CASS staff to obtain the test from the faculty member.  Scheduling can be done in person, over the phone or online at http://bit.ly/DSO-Request.
  • The DSO counselor will contact the faculty member to request they complete a Faculty Worksheet for Testing Services to affirm testing date/time and inquire about resources that may be utilized during testing as well as to request the exam be sent to the DSO. 
  • It is the student's responsibility to confirm and verify with the faculty member that the student will be taking the test at the DSO Testing Center.  The student also should work with their faculty member to ensure that the DSO has received:
  1. a completed Worksheet for Testing Services from the instructor for each exam to be proctored as well as
  2. the exam itself.
  • Exams must be delivered from/to the instructor by/from CASS staff.
  • Exams are proctored in Sullivan Hall East, 1st Floor, by Counseling and Academic Support Services (CASS) staff in one of our six video monitored testing rooms. The testing rooms are video monitored in real-time and recorded to ensure compliance with all testing policies, procedures, and guidelines. 
  • Students will not lock any doors to any testing rooms.  If this occurs, it will be reported to the instructor and the student may be charged with academic misconduct.
  • Any suspected incidences of cheating observed during video and/or in-person monitoring will result in immediate discontinuation of testing, exam materials retrieved by CASS staff, leaving the DSO testing center and reporting of the incidence to the faculty member.
  • Students must be prompt for the scheduled exam time. Late arrival, regardless of reason, will result in time deducted from the exam, or appointment cancellation – after 15 minutes, considered a "no show” – and the necessity of rescheduling with their faculty member. The faculty has no obligation to allow or permit rescheduling of a make-up exam.  The start and finish times of the test will be recorded by the test proctor. 
  • If for any reason a student has decided not to take the exam at the DSO after signing up with the DSO counselor, the student is responsible for notifying the DSO so that they can have the space for other students. This includes withdrawing from a course.
  • A student may take only the exam/test paper(s), pencils (or pen) and materials allowed as indicated by the professor on the Faculty Worksheet for Testing Services into the testing room. Scrap paper and pencils will be provided by the DSO.
  • Students may not have or access notes, books, or computers not specifically permitted by faculty nor backpacks/purses/bags, coats/jackets/sweaters, hats/caps, or cell phones/electronic devices at any time during the exam.  Students will be asked to leave all personal items in the locked testing closet of DSO.
  • Students are responsible for having scantron and/or blue exam books if required by the instructor.
  • Children are not permitted during exams. Students must make arrangements for childcare.
  • Students may not leave the testing room in an hour-long test. A 5 minute break is allowed for tests lasting 1-2 hours while a 10-minute break is allowed for tests lasting two or more hours. A testing session will be discontinued when a break goes past the allotted time.  If a student has a documented medical issue related to breaks the DSO will administer my exam in sections and make note of each break, including the total number of breaks and duration of each break.


Note Taking Accommodations Guidelines
For those who will be requesting a note-taker for any classes:
  • It is the students responsibility to follow up with the DSO if the student has not begun receiving notes within a week of making the request.
  • It may not always be possible for faculty to identify a volunteer note-taker
  • The DSO cannot be responsible for the quality of a volunteer’s notes.
  • Students should discuss their options with DSO if no note-taker is found, or if the student is dissatisfied with the notes as soon as possible.
For those who will be recording any classes (with a digital recorder, Sonocent, LiveScribe pen or other device):
  • Faculty will receive notification from the DSO of the student's utilization of digital recording and that it is also the student's responsibility to contact each faculty member before using a recording device to inform him/her that a device will be used in class.
  • Digitally-recorded lectures may not be used in any way against the faculty member, other lecturers or students whose classroom comments are recorded as part of the class activity.
  • Information contained in the recorded lecture may be protected under federal copyright laws and may not be published without the consent of the lecturer.
  • The student will not share, send, post publish, make public, or duplicate any recordings without the written authorization of the recorded person(s).
  • Failure to abide by these rules may render the student liable to the professor/instructor and members of the class for breach of privacy and violation of copyright laws.
  • Use of a recording device for note-taking is permissible solely to facilitate a student's note-taking accommodation and for no other purpose.
  • The student will destroy recording of any classes at the end of the semester. If the recording is for a class that the student will need to refer to in the future, the student agrees to destroy the recordings at the completion of any courses that are dependent on this course.
  • Failure to abide by these rules is considered a serious violation of West Virginia State University standards and subject to disciplinary action.
For those who will be using computer/tablet/smartphone to take class notes as a note-taking accommodation:
  • Unless authorized by the faculty, use of the internet including email, social media, or any other communications as well as playing of games or other non-academic/non-class related activities on a device during class is strictly prohibited, and that such actions will render the student ineligible for this accommodation.


Digital/Alternative Textbook Accommodation Guidelines
  • A student must provide proof of possession of the textbook to the DSO as required by the publishers.
  • Students should allow 2 weeks from the time of a request to obtain digital textbooks to allow time for DSO submission of the request as well as the fact the requests are dependent on publishers approval and availability.
  • Although a student may prefer one format over another, the DSO does not have control as to which format will be available. The digital text that is provided to a student may be in one of the following formats:
  • PDF (unlocked) file  -  MP3 or WAV file    -   Daisy file   -    DOC file    -    EPUB file
  • There may be times when some text will not be available in a digital/alternative format or in the preferred format. When this happens the DSO can request permission from the publisher to produce our own digital textbook version.  Students should allow a reasonable amount of time for this conversion process (up to 3-4 weeks depending on the format and type of processing needed).
  • The digital textbook file will be sent via a link to a student's @wvstateu.edu email address.  This link will be active for 7 days.
  • Students may not share, post, publish, or duplicate the textbook in any way.
  • Students must delete or return the digital/alternative copy of the textbook at the end of the semester.
  • Students will notify the DSO of any class schedule changes after submitting a request.


Assistive Technology Loan Guidelines
  • Assistive technology from the DSO is a short term loan and it is the student's responsibility to return the equipment and its accessories to the DSO by the last day of the semester, or the date specified. If the equipment is NOT returned by this date, the student will be charged the replacement cost of the equipment and a hold will be placed on the student's account until such is paid in full.
  • The student will use the assistive technology solely for the benefit of the student's education at West Virginia State University.
  • The equipment the student will receive is in good working condition, and will be returned in the same condition.
  • The student assumes responsibility for the care and maintenance of the equipment, and will return it in good condition. The student is responsible for any damage (excluding ordinary wear and tear and any repairs covered by warranty) to the equipment and will have to pay the actual repair or replacement costs of the equipment.
  • The student will not to lend or in any way part with possession of the equipment to any other person.
  • Identification and inventory labels/tags either internally or that have been placed on the equipment are not to be removed or modified.
  •  There is a risk that a student may lose files if the borrowed equipment malfunctions or acquires a virus. The DSO is not responsible for lost and/or damaged files.
  • The student will use any installed software in accordance with the licenses. Software installed on the equipment or the student's computer cannot be transferred or duplicated.
  • The student will immediately report and is responsible for the replacement of the equipment if it is lost or stolen.
For Smartpen loans:   additional conditions:
  • The student is responsible for purchasing notebooks/printing notebook pages and ink cartridges as needed for their classes.
image-up-arrowimage-down-arrowWhat are the laws that apply?

Two federal statutes govern the provision of disability services in higher education: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

Unlike the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which provides a free and appropriate education to individuals with disabilities in the K-12 school system, these statutes are civil rights laws that are intended to provide access and prevent discrimination for individuals with disabilities.

1)    Section 504 applies to any institution receiving federal financial assistance.

2)    The ADA has three titles that apply to employment opportunities, state and local government and public access. Title II applies to state and local governments, including public colleges and universities such as West Virginia State University.

Both acts allow for the provision of auxiliary aids to grant equal access. The ADA stipulates that reasonable accommodations that do not fundamentally alter the program requirements or standards are to be provided unless they cause an undue burden.

Our Team

DarleneOlder
Darlene Older
Sr Administrative Secretary
304-766-3168
dolder@wvstateu.edu
KellieToledo
Kellie Toledo
Director, Counseling and Academic Support Services
304 - 766 - 3262 / Text; 304-769-9071
toledoke@wvstateu.edu

 
WVSU Current Students Disability Services
Contact:
Michael Casey, MS, CRC, CVE, AADC, LCAS, CDF
Disability Services Counselor
dso@wvstateu.edu
Phone: (304) 766-3083
Text: (681) 533-0850

Location:
123 Sullivan Hall East

Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30am - 5:00pm

Request For Accommodations Form Schedule an Appointment Faculty Worksheet for Proctored Testing Services
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