Policy and Procedure
Providing Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
The following is a Draft Policy currently under review for permanent implementation.
This policy applies to qualified students with disabilities enrolled in classes at Western Washington University.
42 U.S.C. §12101 et seq. (the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990), the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, 28 CFR §35 (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services), 45 CFR 84 (Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs and Activities Receiving or Benefiting from Federal Financial Assistance, Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Chapter 49.60.040 RCW (the Washington State Law Against Discrimination), WAC 357-26 (Reasonable Accommodation, WA Executive Order 96-04 (implementing the ADA and Superseding 93-03)
Definitions: see end of page.
- Office of disAbility Resources for Students (DRS) Provides Reasonable Accommodations to Qualified Students with Disabilities
Exception: Where such accommodation would impose undue hardship on the University.
- Student Needing Accommodations Is Responsible for Initiating Meeting with DRS
Students must provide required documentation to DRS. See Completing A Needs Assessment.
- DRS Administrator Performs a Needs Assessment
- DRS Administrator Determines Eligibility for Accommodations
DRS administrator grants or denies eligibility for reasonable accommodation based on the outcomes of the needs assessment.
- DRS Administrator Works with the Qualified Student to Identify Appropriate and Reasonable Accommodation(s)
- Faculty Are Responsible to Implement DRS-Authorized Accommodation(s) that Involve Faculty Assistance
Accommodation plans may involve asking faculty to provide course details, review and respond to specialized accommodation requests, arrange exam/quiz documents for proctoring services, consult with DRS administrator on student progress, and/or provide access to course space and materials for professional services providers, such as sign language interpreters and speech-to-text transcribers.
- Student May Grieve the Accommodation Decision
A student dissatisfied with the DRS Accommodation may file a complaint with the following individuals and/or agencies:
- Director of DRS
- WWU Equal Opportunity Office (EOO)
- Washington State Human Rights Commission
- U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights
Contact information for the aforementioned individuals and agencies and information on the Discrimination Complaint Procedure (PRO-U1600.02A) can be found on Western’s Equal Opportunity Office website.
- Student May Request Interim Accommodations During the Grievance Process
The student may request an interim accommodation while the grievance process is underway. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate this request. See Requesting Interim Accommodations During the Grievance Procedure.
Healthcare Practitioner: A person who has completed a course of study that is specific to his or her diagnostic expertise or who is state-licensed or certified when licensing or certification processes exist(ed) for that field.
Impairment (federal definition): Any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or any mental, developmental, traumatic, or psychological disorder, including but not limited to cognitive limitation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
Impairment (state definition): Any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or any mental, developmental, traumatic, or psychological disorder, including but not limited to cognitive limitation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
Major Life Activities: Activities that include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working and operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
Qualified Student with a Disability: An enrolled student with a documented disability and completed needs assessment who meets the admission requirements and technical standards of the academic program, activity, or service and who complies with applicable university policies on student rights and responsibilities.
Person with a Disability:
- Under 42 USC § 12102, a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; and/or
- Under chapters 49.60.040 RCW and 162-22 WAC, the presence of a sensory, mental, or physical impairment (temporary or permanent) that is mentally cognizable or diagnosable; or exists as a record or history; or known or shown through an interactive process to exist in fact.
Reasonable Accommodation: A modification or adjustment that enables a qualified student with a disability to enjoy equal access to WWU’s academic programs, services, or activities without altering fundamental requirements of that academic program, service, or activity, and without creating an undue hardship for the University.
Substantially Limits: Unable to perform a major life activity that the average person in the general population can perform or significantly restricted as to the condition, manner or duration under which you can perform a particular major life activity as compared to the condition, manner, or duration under which the average person in the general population can perform that same major life activity.
Undue Hardship: An excessively costly, extensive, substantial, or disruptive modification, or one that would fundamentally alter the nature or operation of the University.