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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions from Students

May I take my ESA to class?

Emotional Support Animals are not permitted in WVU campus buildings, including but not limited to: classrooms, libraries, or the Mountainlair. The only animals permitted inside classrooms and campus buildings are service animals (defined by the ADA as a dog or a miniature horse). 

What can be done if my instructor is not accommodating me?

Make sure you have had a conversation with your instructors about your accommodations. Requesting accommodations from OAS alone does not guarantee you will be accommodated. Accommodations will be fully implemented once you have requested and discussed the specifics of your accommodations with your instructors. If this step has been completed and you are still not being accommodated appropriately, please reach out to your Accessibility Specialist as soon as possible to discuss the situation. 

My instructor is not excusing me from class. Is there anything I can do?

An instructor’s choice to excuse students from class is considered an “academic decision”. This means instructors can excuse students at their own discretion. OAS does not determine or provide excused absences to any students, regardless of disability. Please review WVU’s attendance policy.

I don’t feel comfortable talking to my professor about accommodations. What can be done?

While it is the responsibility of the student to request accommodations from instructors, your Accessibility Specialist can still be a helpful resource to assist with communication. Please also remember, you never have to disclose documentation or diagnoses when discussing accommodations with instructors. 

I can’t get a hold of my professor. What can I do?

Occasionally, it may be difficult to reach an instructor for any number of reasons, especially at the start of a semester. If you’re able, stop in during your instructor’s office hours. If you need to use email to request a different meeting time, keep all attempts at communication documented. If you do not hear from your instructors within 48 hours, reach out to your Accessibility Specialist with your attempts at communication. Remember, instructors are typically given a week to implement accommodations from the day you speak with them, so try not to initiate communication less than a week before an exam. If this happens, you may not be accommodated. 

Why am I being asked for recent documentation when I was diagnosed in Elementary/Middle/High School?

Elementary/Middle/High School? Information from Elementary/Middle school evaluations, that are child-normed, may not be an accurate reflection of your current diagnosis and functional limitations.  It is important to have updated, adult normed testing, to ensure that appropriate and reasonable accommodations are considered as you enter West Virginia University. 

Why am I being asked for additional documentation when I brought a note on a prescription pad from my doctor?

The Office of Accessibility Services has documentation standards that must be met when reviewing medical documentation.  A brief note from a physician or health professional that simply requests an accommodation or provides a diagnosis without offering supporting documentation in regard to your diagnosis and functional limitations, does not provide the information that is required to determine appropriate accommodations.       

Do I have to disclose my disability to faculty or my advisor?  

No, you are not required to disclose your disability information to your faculty or advisors.  If you wish to share that information, you are welcome to do so.  Faculty and advisors are not to ask you about your specific disability-related information. 

Do I have to request my accommodations each semester?

Yes.  The Office of Accessibility Services will send out reminders before the start of each semester to request your academic accommodations. You will also need to speak with your instructors about implementing your accommodations at the start of each semester.  

Frequently Asked Questions from Faculty/Staff

I have a student who I received a notification regarding accommodations, but I have not heard from them. Do I need to contact them?

No, you do not have to contact the student.  The student must arrange a meeting with you or use office hours to discuss accommodations. If the student does not meet with you, you are under no obligation to provide accommodations. As a reminder, instructors have 7 days to implement accommodations after the initial conversation with the student.

The student is requesting accommodations that are not listed on their Notification of Authorized Accommodations. What should I do?

Students are only approved for accommodations that are listed on the Notification of Authorized Accommodations letter sent by Office of Accessibility Services (OAS). If a student is requesting an accommodation that is not listed, you can refer them to speak with their Specialist at OAS. If an additional accommodation is added, a new letter will be generated. The student must meet with you again to discuss implementation of the new accommodation.

How do I refer a student to the Office of Accessibility Services?

Students can be referred to our webpage at  https://accessibilityservices.wvu.edu/ where they can click on the appropriate link to determine the process and documentation standards required for approval of accommodations. 

Why do so many students have the same accommodations?

Accommodations are provided in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with supporting medical documentation. A variety of disabilities can be accommodated by use of the same accommodations (i.e. extra time can help a student that must reread questions multiple times, or is easily distracted, or may have difficulty with focus). While it may seem the accommodations are similar, the functional limitations each student with a disability experiences can be remedied in multiple ways with the approved accommodations. 

Am I obligated to let a student with a disability retake an exam if they did not do well? 

No, students that have requested accommodations in a timely manner, and had use of their accommodations for the test are held to the same academic standards as all students.  The student can always be referred to their specialist to discuss the need for additional accommodations in the future, but a test does not have to be retaken. 

What if an accommodation interferes with a technical standard of a course/program?

If you feel the accommodation impedes the technical standard of your program, you should contact Office of Accessibility Services to discuss your concern.  Through the interactive process the accommodations and standards can be discussed to determine if the accommodation is inappropriate in the specific class. Alternative accommodations can also be discussed at this time. 

What should I do if I do not know how to accommodate a student?

You can discuss how accommodations are arranged through your department.  Office of Accessibility Services has a testing center, but implementation procedures are up to faculty to arrange. For more information, visit the Office of Accessibility Services Testing Center website. 

I haven’t received a notification regarding accommodations for a student, but they are requesting accommodations. What should I do?

You should first check the portal where the notifications are now stored. OAS started using a new system in Fall 2019. Your letters are held in one place by going to  https://accessibilityservices.wvu.edu/  and clicking SAMM. You will log in under faculty. You will click Accommodation Letters, and find the appropriate class. The student’s letter should be here. In the event the letter is not here, verify the student requested accommodations, if they have, you can email their specialist (or have the student reach out to their specialist).

O ne of my students are disrupting the learning environment of the class, what can I do?

All students are held to the behavioral expectations set forth by WVU. Issues can be directed to Student Conduct 

Can you send the notification of accommodations to my Mail/HSC/Gmail/YAHOO/Hotmail/etc. account?

Unfortunately, the system pulls information from Banner, which is your MIX email. However, OAS adopted a new system where letters are held in a portal, and the email notification does not have to be read. Faculty can now locate all accommodation letters for all students by going to  https://accessibilityservices.wvu.edu/  clicking SAMM, logging in under faculty, and clicking Accommodation Letters. 

W e have an exam tomorrow or less than 7 days away and a student just contacted me about it today. Do I have to accommodate them?

The short answer is no. Faculty is given a reasonable amount of time to implement accommodations. Once a student speaks to you about how their authorized accommodations will be implemented in your class you then you have one week (7 days) to implement those accommodations. If you are unable to accommodate a student who’s request comes less than a week before an exam, then you are not expected to accommodate them. 

Where can I get a test reader/scribe?

If you are unable to find a test reader or scribe for a student then you can contact our Testing Center who may be able to help you secure one. Please call 304-293-8193. 

I can’t find a proctor and/or room. What can I do?

You can contact the Testing Center at 304-293-8193 to request that the student take their exam at the center or request assistance in identifying a proctor. You may also utilize study rooms in the library, if available. 

What if I do not have notes to give to a student who has notetaking accommodations?

If you do not have notes for your lectures, then you are not required to create them for a student.  What if I don’t want to give my PowerPoint slides to a student with notetaking accommodations. If you have PowerPoint slides for your lectures, in order to accommodate the student, we ask that you provide them to the student. You may ask the student to not reproduce the PowerPoint slides or give them to anyone else. 

What is a student’s disability?

We are unable to disclose a student’s disability and the student is not required to share their disability with anyone. 

Won’t accommodations give the student with a disability unfair advantages over the rest of the class?

No. The student’s authorized accommodations are offering equal access. The student has a documented disability with functional limitations. Their accommodations are mitigating their functional limitations so they have equal access. 

What if my student with accommodations is failing my class?

A student has a right to succeed or fail a course based on their own academic performance. Accommodations in a University setting in no way guarantee success in a course or program. You can give them academic resources to help them and/or refer them to their academic advisers. 

Can a student request accommodations from me anytime during the semester?

Yes, as long as there is still a reasonable amount of time for implementation of their accommodations. After a student meets with their instructor/professor to discuss implementation of accommodations, the faculty member would have one week (7 days) to implement a student’s accommodations. 

Can I just give everyone in the class extra time on their exams/tests/quizzes?

That is your academic decision to increase the time of your exams. However, please be advised, if you provide the whole class extra time, then you would need to provide the student who receives testing accommodations more time in order to accommodate them. For example, if you give the whole class one hour instead of 30 minutes for an exam then you would need to provide an hour and one-half for a student who has the accommodation of 50% extra time.