Access for Students with Disabilities
Walla Walla University is committed to providing for the needs of enrolled or admitted students who have disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
In general, the university policy (above) calls for reasonable accommodations to be made for students with disabilities on an individualized and flexible basis and to the greatest extent possible without compromising the integrity of any student's degree. It is the responsibility of students with disabilities, however, to seek available assistance at the college and to make their needs known.
To be eligible for disability-related services, students must have a documented disability condition as defined by Section 504 and the ADA. Under these laws, a person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities (walking, standing, learning, seeing, speaking, hearing, breathing, or taking care of oneself).
Staff from the Disability Support Services office will request current disability-related documents from the appropriate licensed professional (e.g. clinical psychologist and/or physician) to certify a student as having a disability. The cost of obtaining documentation is borne by the student.
Students who lack documentation but are reporting learning or attention difficulties may be interviewed and screened by Disability Support Services free of charge and may be given referrals for other preliminary screening on-campus or for further comprehensive and diagnostic testing. The student is responsible for testing costs after the initial screening.
Upon certification of a disability which causes functional limitations, the student and staff from Disability Support Services develop plans for the provision of accommodations and assistance.
The Disability Support Services office cannot guarantee appropriate accommodations any earlier than FOUR WEEKS after the receipt of acceptable documentation.
Accommodations & Assistance
Many accommodations are available at Walla Walla University to ensure that students with disabilities participate fully in academic and student life.
- Admission: individual arrangements during the application process or advising about admission.
- Academic Accommodations: readers, lab/library assistants, course and program modifications, exam modifications, classroom relocations, document conversion (audiotape, large print).
- Outreach: consultation, training, and technical assistance with faculty and staff regarding reasonable accommodations, disability rights, technology, architectural barriers, attitudes, curriculum access, and federal legislation.
- Assistive Technology: TDD's, tape recorders, adapted computer terminals, and print enlargers.
- Support: individual and group.
The Student's Responsibility/Role in Accessing Accommodations
The Disability Support Services office exists to serve students with disabilities, offer them support, and act as an intermediary between students and faculty. It is the student, however, who is his/her own best advocate. While we are able to recommend academic accommodations to faculty, it is the student who can best explain to them why these accommodations are necessary. We require, then, that students make appointments with their new teachers each quarter and specifically outline their needs to them. Even with a support plan in hand from Disability Support Services, if a teacher is not directly approached by the student, he/she is under no obligation to accommodate that student. Learning self-advocacy now is good practice for the future when students will enter the workplace and the community and will have no one else to advocate for them but themselves.
In addition to working with faculty members, we expect our students to maintain close contact with our office, updating us on any difficulties (and successes!) that they are encountering. Our goal is to make the Teaching Learning Center, where the Disability Support Services office is located, a home-base for students with disabilities.