The Initial Registration Process
Once a student has been accepted to Western New England University, the student should immediately begin the registration process for obtaining accommodations. As the review and development of accommodations may take several weeks, students are strongly encouraged to initiate the process well before classes begin. The following steps must be completed:
Documentation and Disability Certification
Western New England University requires that students seeking accommodations provide appropriate documentation of their disability in order for the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) to:
- Determine eligibility as a qualified individual with a disability; and
- Determine appropriate academic accommodations for that student.
In general, documentation must be provided by a qualified professional. For more information on the required qualifications of evaluators, please refer to the Documentation Guidelines. This documentation should consist of a current report or evaluation prepared by the appropriate professional, along with the completed Registration forms. The documentation must:
- Specify the particular diagnosis, including when the diagnosis was made and the likely duration of the condition;
- Describe in detail the student's functional limitations created by the diagnosis; and
- Indicate accommodations that are recommended for the student, along with explanations as to how these accommodations will mitigate the impact of the disability.
Evaluators are encouraged to include appropriate medical reports, relevant medical history, test scores, where relevant, and any other medical or educational records or data that would be useful in determining and providing appropriate accommodations and services. In some cases, the Office of Student Disability Services may ask you or your physician/evaluator to submit additional information.
SDS Student Registration and Request for Accommodations
In addition to the required documentation and disability certification submitted by a qualified evaluator, Student Disability Services asks that students fill out and submit the following forms to Student Disability Services:
- Registration and Request for Accommodation Form
- Confidentiality Form
- Parent and Agency Release Form
- Student Disability Services Registration Contract
Once a student's eligibility is established, Student Disability Services will proceed to formulate those academic accommodations that will best assist the student in meeting the requirements of his or her particular academic program. The goal of this process is to ensure equality of access and opportunity for students with disabilities.
Students should schedule an appointment with Student Disability Services to make any changes to accommodations which have been previously approved in a timely manner. Once this has occurred, Faculty Notification Letters (FNLs) can be distributed to the appropriate faculty to ensure that students receive their accommodations and support in a timely and effective manner. It is important that students meet with their faculty members early in the semester to confirm the nature of and arrangements for accommodations that will be provided.
SDS Disability Registration and Request for Accommodation Form
At the beginning of each semester, students requesting accommodations for their courses that semester are encouraged to make an appointment with an SDS staff member in order to discuss accommodations. Students will then be responsible for informing Student Disability Services if they do not wish to have their notification letters sent to their faculty memebers that semester. Student Disability Services automatically sends a copy of a student's Faculty Notification Letter to all of their professors each semester, unless otherwise specified by the student.
Please note that the requested accommodations are limited to those for which the student has received prior approval through the initial registration process and which should be on file with Student Disability Services.
Once a student is fully registered and his/her accommodations have been approved, Student Disability Services prepares a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) for each faculty member teaching a course in which the student is seeking accommodations. This letter informs the faculty member that the student is registered with SDS and that the student be provided with specified academic accommodations. Faculty members are authorized to provide students with accommodations only on the basis of an accommodation letter addressed specifically to that faculty member from Student Disability Services.
The Faculty Notification Letter is distributed to each of the student’s professors and the student is encouraged to take the initiative to discuss the implementation of the accommodations with each faculty member. For example, if a student is eligible for extended time on examinations in a separate distraction-reduced environment, the professor and student would discuss the arrangements for taking examinations under these conditions. In the event that the faculty member and student fail to agree on any aspect of an accommodation, Student Disability Services should be contacted immediately for advice and assistance.