Policies and Procedures for Students with Disabilities

Mission Statement

Western Governors University ("WGU") is committed to providing equal access to its academic programs to all qualified students. The University’s Student Accessibility Services supports this mission by providing support, resources, advocacy, collaboration, and academic accommodations that conform to federal and state statutes and regulations to WGU students and prospective students.

Policies and Procedures for Students with Disabilities

WGU complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the "ADA"), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable disability discrimination laws. WGU is committed to providing reasonable accommodation(s) to qualified disabled applicants and learners in WGU programs and activities as required by applicable law.

The determination of reasonable accommodation(s) for qualified students with disabilities, and compliance with the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, are the responsibility of WGU Student Accessibility Services. Student Accessibility Services is the principal point of contact for all students with disability questions or concerns.

Definitions

Disability: The term "disability" means, with respect to an individual: 1) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, 2) a record of such an impairment, or 3) being regarded as having such an impairment.

Interactive process: A flexible, interactive conversation that may be held between WGU and a student to identify possible options for reasonable accommodation(s).

Qualified student with a disability: A student with a disability who meets academic and technical standards requisite for admission or participation in the institution's educational program or activity.

Reasonable accommodation: Academic adjustments or modifications of policies, practices or procedures, and the provision of auxiliary aids and services that are necessary to afford a qualified individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in the institution's programs or activities and which do not substantially alter the institution's educational standards or curriculum.

Requesting Accommodation(s)


WGU encourages current and prospective students needing accommodation(s) and/or resources to contact Student Accessibility Services for assistance. Student Accessibility Services will respond to requests for accommodation(s) in accordance with the following policies and procedures. Students and prospective students must complete the accommodations request process outlined below before accommodation(s) will be provided.

Matriculated students may initiate the accommodation process at any time during their enrollment at WGU and ideally should submit the Accommodation Request form as soon as they become aware of the need for an accommodation. Except for accommodations related to the WGU admissions process, the accommodation process for prospective students will not be concluded until prospective students are admitted to WGU and formally matriculate.

 

1. Submitting an Accommodation Request:  To initiate the accommodation process, all prospective and current WGU students (hereafter, “students” or “student”) must complete the secure online Accommodation Request Form located at https://www.wgu.edu/wgu/ada_form.

 

Students unable to access the Accommodation Request Form may contact Student Accessibility Services at:
               

Student Accessibility Services
Western Governors University
4001 South 700 East, Suite 700
Salt Lake City, Utah 84107-2533
Toll Free: 877-435-7948, ext. 5922
Fax: 801-907-7982
Email: ADAsupport@wgu.edu

 

2. Initial Meeting and Supporting Documentation: Once Accessibility Services receives the Accommodation Request form, a requesting student receives a confirmation email which notifies the student of next steps in the accommodation process. This message includes a request to schedule an appointment to begin the interactive process of identifying appropriate accommodations and additional information to be submitted by the student to support the request for an accommodation including:

a. Documentation Supporting Need for Accommodation:
 
Medical Documentation - if a student’s disability and/or need for accommodation are not obvious or already known to WGU, s/he may be required to provide documentation that supports the need for accommodations. As a matter of disability law, WGU may require medical confirmation that a student has a covered disability that requires accommodation. 

Documentation guidelines and requirements vary according to disability type. For more information about specific disabilities, review the Documentation Guidelines for Specific Disabilities and Conditions. In each case, documentation must include contact information and signature of the qualified health professional providing the health assessment. Also, depending on the date of a student’s last health assessment, Student Accessibility Services may request updated information. 

WGU recognizes that collecting and presenting medical documentation may be a hardship for certain students. To the degree possible, Student Accessibility Services will receive and validate medical documentation during collaborative meetings with students.

b. Information Release Form:  this form will authorize a student's health care professional to release pertinent disability related information to WGU. Student Accessibility Services will only use this information to evaluate requests for accommodation(s).

 

3. Identifying and Implementing Reasonable Accommodation(s): Once sufficient documentation verifying a student's need for accommodation is received and evaluated, Student Accessibility Services will continue the interactive process with the requesting student to identify and reach agreement on the accommodation(s) that will be implemented. Students should note that accommodations will not be provided that:

 

  • Fundamentally alter the nature of WGU programs, courses, services or activities;
  • Cause undue financial or administrative hardship; or
  • Pose a direct threat to the health or safety of the requesting student or others.

 

After identifying appropriate accommodation(s) with the requesting student, Student Accessibility Services will document the specific accommodation(s) that will be provided, notify the appropriate university staff/departments of the authorized accommodation(s), and ensure the accommodation(s) is provided as agreed. Students should check their WGU email regularly for updates regarding accommodation requests. 

Student Accessibility Services strives to meet student accommodation requests in a prompt, reasonable, and effective manner. Students should keep in mind, however, that certain accommodations may require several days to several weeks to implement.
 
If a student has concerns about an accommodation once it has been authorized and implemented (e.g. the accommodation does not adequately meet the student's needs), Student Accessibility Services can assist by facilitating communication between the student and the appropriate WGU staff to clarify and resolve the situation. If the concern cannot be resolved swiftly through this approach, students should follow the process for resolving accommodation-related concerns described in section 4.

 

4. Resolving Accommodation-related Concerns: Students who have concerns about decisions made by Student Accessibility Services or who have been unable to resolve concerns about authorized accommodations may submit their concern to the Accommodations Review Committee (the “Committee”).

 

Students must submit a letter of concern with any additional documentation within ten business days of receiving notice from Student Accessibility Services indicating what accommodations, if any, will be provided, or learning that there is an issue with an authorized accommodation that cannot be resolved with the assistance of Student Accessibility Services. The letter of concern should explain the student’s concerns and indicate any specific accommodation(s) desired. The letter of concern is then reviewed by the Committee which also reevaluates the student’s request for accommodations and supporting documentation, and responds to the student within ten business days.

 

5. Third-Party Exams: If a student requires an accommodation for a required examination that is managed and delivered by an organization other than WGU (a “third-party”), such as certification and state-sponsored content exams, he or she must work directly with the exam provider to request and arrange needed accommodations. See Requesting ADA Accommodations for Third-Party Exams. Contact Student Accessibility Services for exam provider contact information and for any questions about this process. 


General Information

Discrimination: Whenever a student feels he or she is being discriminated against due to a disability or condition, he or she may file a complaint in the manner described in WGU’s Discrimination Grievance Procedures.
 
Confidentiality: WGU complies with applicable laws concerning the confidentiality of disability-related health information and it is committed to ensuring that all information regarding student health remains appropriately confidential; only Student Accessibility Services has access to student health information. Student Accessibility Services retains student health and accommodation information for the length of a student’s enrollment at WGU. If a student wishes to have a record deleted during his or her enrollment, he or she must send a written request to Student Accessibility Services. 

Students may authorize the release of disability information to people or organizations outside of WGU. Before providing such authorization, students should understand the nature of the information to be released and the purpose.

WGU may infrequently be required by law to disclose disability information without student consent.

 

 

 

 

Article Number: 20468, 1019

 

Version history
Revision #:
8 of 8
Last update:
‎08-28-2017 04:15 PM
Updated by:
 
Labels (1)
Contributors