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Student FAQ

General Accessibility

OAS promotes equal access for WVU students by authorizing reasonable and effective accommodations. We do not assess, diagnose, or treat disabilities, nor do we investigate or adjudicate complaints for noncompliance with accessibility law.

Please see the Accommodation Comparison Chart on our Future Students page.

There are no costs associated with receiving accommodations at WVU.

Absolutely! Please call our office at 304.293.6700 to arrange to meet with a member of our team.

Yes! Please see our Calendar page and our social media pages for event announcements.

The Accommodation Process

Accessibility is a shared responsibility. Under the ADA, the “interactive process” is the method used to determine if a student has a Disability that qualifies them to receive reasonable academic accommodations. If so, the process also works to determine how those academic accommodations will be implemented in the classroom. This process requires communication between the student, OAS, and faculty.

Accessibility Services Responsibilities

  • Meeting with students and authorizing appropriate accommodations based on documentation
  • Communicating rights and responsibilities to students during intake
  • Communicating a student’s eligibility for accommodations to faculty
  • Maintaining records that verify Disability
  • Collaborating with students, faculty, and staff to provide guidance regarding the implementation of accommodations
  • Maintaining student privacy and confidentiality

Student Responsibilities

  • Renewing accommodations in the OAS online system at the start of each semester
  • Discussing the specific implementation of accommodations with each instructor, and digitally signing the Notification of Authorized Accommodations email during/after the initial meeting with the instructor
  • Promptly notifying OAS of any barriers encountered during implementation of accommodations
  • Informing faculty and OAS staff if they wish to discontinue the use of authorized accommodations
  • Maintaining academic standards
  • Abiding by the WVU Campus Student Code

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Confirming that OAS has officially authorized the requested accommodations when uncertain
  • Confirming that accommodations do not compromise the technical standards of the course and the learning objectives. Please ask your department chair for additional information about technical standards and/or contact OAS before declining to provide an accommodation
  • Working with the student to implement accommodations, and digitally signing the Notification of Authorized Accommodation email during/after the initial meeting with the student
  • Implementing authorized accommodations within one week, once requested by the student, and adjusting as necessary to ensure effectiveness
  • Notifying OAS of any questions, issues, or concerns related to accommodations, especially accommodation requests that are unusual or complex
  • Maintaining student privacy and  confidentiality

OAS has a Licensed Professional Questionnaire that includes documentation standards that must be met when registering for accommodations. Documentation from Elementary/Middle school, including 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 appropriate and reasonable accommodations at West Virginia University.

OAS has a Licensed Professional Questionnaire that includes documentation standards that must be met when registering for accommodations. A brief note from a physician or health professional that simply requests an accommodation or provides a diagnosis without offering supporting documentation about your diagnosis and functional limitations, does not provide the information that is needed to determine appropriate accommodations.

To maintain the privacy of protected health information, OAS does not accept student documentation provided by email. Documentation can be faxed to our office at 304.293.3861, or you may upload your documentation through your SAMM (Student Accessibility Management for Mountaineers) student portal, during or after registration.

You do not have to disclose your Disability information to faculty or advisors. If you wish to share that information, you are welcome to do so. Faculty and advisors may ask questions about your accommodations, but they may not ask you questions about your Disability.

Yes. As a college student, you have control over when and where your authorized accommodations are implemented. OAS will send out emails before the start of each semester to remind you to request your accommodations. You will also need to speak with your instructors about how to implement your accommodations at the start of each semester.

Disability information is stored securely and kept separate from other University records. See our Confidentiality page for more details.

Correspondence from OAS may only be sent to your official WVU MIX email.

Instructors may not create personal contracts with students regarding accommodations. If an instructor asks you to sign a contract related to your accommodations, do not sign it. Reach out to your Accessibility Specialist at once.

After you have spoken with the faculty member about how to implement your accommodations in class.

Academic Accommodations (General)

For information on academic accommodations, see our Academic Accommodations page.

Make sure you have had a conversation with your instructors about the implementation of your accommodations. Requesting accommodations from OAS alone is not sufficient. Accommodations will be fully implemented once you have discussed the specific plan for implementing your accommodations with your instructors. If this step has been taken and you are still not being accommodated appropriately, please reach out to your Accessibility Specialist as soon as possible to discuss the situation. Students may also follow our complaint process if they and/or their Specialist are unable to resolve the issue.

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

In college, students must play a direct role in advocating for their own needs. While it is your responsibility to discuss the implementation of accommodations with instructors, your Accessibility Specialist can still be a helpful resource to help with communication. Please also remember, you never have to disclose your Disability when discussing accommodations with instructors.

Occasionally, it may be difficult to reach an instructor for any number of reasons, especially at the start of a semester. If possible, 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 (2 days), 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 avoid initiating communication less than a week before an exam. If this happens, you may not be accommodated.

Accommodations should apply in all classes except when they would alter the technical standards of a course or program. Please refer to your course syllabus for more information about course standards and competencies. After speaking with your instructor, if you believe that your accommodations should apply, please reach out to your Accessibility Specialist.

Additionally, in some cases, accommodations may not apply to some courses or methods of course delivery. For instance, if you are authorized to use a scribe or test reader on an exam but there are no exams in the course, then that accommodation would not apply.

That is not an accommodation for which students can be authorized. Assignments are due per the course syllabus. If you have questions about extending assignment deadlines, you will need to speak with your instructor, as extensions would be considered academic decisions, not accommodations.

Please note, this is not meant to suggest that the request for an extension itself lacks foundation or merit, or that it would be inappropriate for the faculty member to authorize an extension if that is what they feel inclined to do. If your instructor declines to offer you an extension on the basis of it not being listed in your Notification of Authorized Accommodations email, please feel free to share this information with them and/or reach out to your Accessibility Specialist, and we can offer clarification.

Students who are authorized for accommodations may request those accommodations through the interactive process at any point in the semester, but accommodations cannot be applied retroactively to past assignments. Students who are not yet authorized for accommodation may register with OAS and begin the intake process at any point during their academic career at WVU. However, again, accommodations cannot be applied retroactively to past work.

Assistive Technology / Notetaking

If an instructor does not use notes for their lectures, then they cannot be made available. However, there are still assistive technologies available for notetaking.

Yes. If a student has been authorized to use technology as an accommodation, that legally supersedes non-technology policies. However, a student is only allowed to use their technology in an approved manner and for the purposes authorized. For instance, a student who uses notetaking technology can be asked to put that technology away during administration of a test or quiz (as that is not a notetaking opportunity).

Captioning and Sign Language Interpreting

Yes, even though you may feel your needs are obvious, you should still communicate them to your instructor. OAS will provide a sign language interpreter to help facilitate this conversation.

Please let us know at once by contacting Kelly Barnard.

To receive a real-time transcript during class, you will need a device with an internet browser on it and a Bluetooth lapel microphone. You can sign out a tablet and a microphone from OAS as part of your accommodations. It is your responsibility to charge them each night and bring them with you to class. Students may also elect to use their own personal laptop or tablet if they prefer.

Please communicate this information to your captioner or interpreter. They may still be able to accommodate you if they can hear well enough without the microphone.

Technology issues are rare, but if an issue does arise during class, your captioner or interpreter will work with you to troubleshoot the problem. Students are expected to take part in this troubleshooting in real time. In most cases, your captioner or interpreter can walk you through changing your audio settings or re-pairing your mic.

If the issue cannot be resolved during class, please reach out to Jason Kapcala.

We recognize that normal wear and tear is an inevitability. However, students are also responsible for taking care of equipment. If you lose or negligently damage your equipment, a hold may be placed on your account until you reimburse the cost of a replacement.

No. Transcripts provided as an accommodation for students are not to be reproduced, copied, shared, sold, or distributed to any other student, third party, or website. Violation of this policy will result in termination of services.

Students who have questions about the content of their transcripts may bring those transcripts to their instructors for clarification, but instructors cannot request or require that students provide them with copies of their transcripts.

Students are responsible for notifying Jason Kapcala if there are class schedule changes or if the student will be absent from class. After the initial Add/Drop period has passed, students who do not show up to class 3 or more times without letting OAS know beforehand will have services suspended until they communicate/clarify their service needs with our office.

OAS does not share attendance information with faculty or other campus stakeholders. It is only used internally for the purposes of rescheduling service providers.

Services do not begin until the student arrives at class. Captioners and Interpreters will wait 15 minutes before leaving or signing off. If you are running late, please notify your Captioner or Interpreter.

If you add or drop a course, please notify Jason Kapcala so that we can make the necessary changes to your services.

Many factors go into assigning a sign language interpreter, and while we would love to be able to honor all preferences, this is not always possible. We must use the tools available to us to meet the needs of all our students. This includes VRI which allows us to employ highly skilled interpreters in locations where they otherwise would not be available.

You may, and we are always happy to hear when someone is doing an excellent job, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to honor this preference.

Yes! As an extension of their accommodation, students may request a captioner or interpreter for other academic sessions, including advising appointments, study groups, tutoring sessions, and out-of-class lectures and events. These requests should be made at least one week prior to the academic session or appointment to guarantee services. To request services, please contact Jason Kapcala.

Testing Accommodations

Once you have registered for services with our office, you will be asked to schedule an intake appointment with your Accessibility Specialist. As part of your interactive process, your documentation will need to be reviewed by your Specialist. Once your accommodations are authorized and you make your semester requests, you will then need to meet with your instructor during their office hours. During this meeting you will discuss how your accommodations will be implemented in each class. Once that conversation has taken place, it can take up to seven days for accommodations to be implemented. Please note that accommodations cannot be provided retroactively.

It depends on the course and what is being evaluated. For instance, if students are being tested specifically on their ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide, as reasonably stated in the course objectives, then use of that four-function calculator would not be appropriate. If the student is being tested on something else, then use of this tool could be allowable, depending on the interactive process.

Accommodations cannot be provided retroactively.

Parking and Transportation

Yes, for more information, see our Transportation Accommodations page.

No. OAS does not oversee anything related to parking.

For information about parking permits on campus, please reach out to WVU Transportation.

OAS does not handle parking permit requests for WVU apartments. Parking is not guaranteed and is available on a first-come-first-served basis. If you have questions about your specific apartment complex, contact the leasing office directly. You may also speak to WVU Transportation staff to see if any student permits are available for purchase on campus.

For questions about the accessibility shuttle hours or changes in your schedule, please contact the Transportation and Parking Office at 304.293.7278 or

OAS and the WVU Transportation and Parking Office work together to provide students with temporary and permanent mobility impairments the use of an accessible shuttle on all WVU campuses. Students are responsible for arranging transportation to and from campus. Please speak with your Accessibility Specialist for more information about making use of accessible transportation.

Yes. Students who would like to speak with OAS about temporary uses of the accessibility shuttle should register and meet with their Accessibility Specialist to discuss the period needed.


Yes, for more information, see our Housing Accommodations page.

OAS and Office of Housing and Residence Life work together to provide students equal opportunity in University housing by meeting the students' needs. Housing assignments are based on the housing available that meets the students' accommodation needs. Inventory is limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis for students with Disabilities.

Housing is not obligated to accommodate a roommate request.

Building Accessibility

Here is a link to our Accessible Campus Map.

Emotional Support Animals are limited to dorm rooms and are not allowed inside WVU campus buildings, including classrooms, libraries, or the Mountainlair.


OAS does not provide this information to instructors. We encourage you to reach out to the Office of Campus and Community Life at 304.293.5611 for help.

Autism Support Program

The Autism Support Program at WVU provides support, strategies, and programming individualized to the strengths, abilities, and needs of each student served. The program includes academic, vocational, social, and executive functioning support designed to help students complete a WVU degree program. For more information, please see the OAS Autism Support Program homepage.

The Autism Support Program accepts students who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder  (Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Disorder, or Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) who have at least average intellectual ability, and who can understand and successfully interact with college level information and material. Participating students must have mastered basic independent living skills and be motivated to contribute as full partners in their support programming. Additionally, participants in the ASP must be admitted as a student to West Virginia University. 

Yes. An interview with the Autism Support Program staff is required of all applicants. Eligible applicants will be contacted, and an interview date and time will be scheduled.

No. The ASP and WVU have application processes that are separate and distinct, along with separate fees. (The Autism Support Program fee is $5,000 per semester.) Potential students are responsible for completing both application processes. 

A positive behavioral support approach is used to assess each student’s needs and develop appropriate (a) academic, (b) social, and (c) independent living skills supports. Services are designed to meet individual needs and evolve from semester to semester. Generally, organizational support and skill building strategies form the foundation of support for each student.

While we wish that the individualized support offered through the Autism Support Program were free for all students, there are many costs associated with the operation of this self-sustaining program. The fees assessed to offer this program are comparable to those assessed by similar programs at other universities.

Students may be eligible to receive funding through the WV Department of Rehabilitation Services (WV DRS) or their home state office of vocational rehabilitation. For additional information, please contact us.

No, the Autism Support Program is not an accommodation.

Accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the tasks within a classroom, housing, or transportation environment. This ensures that individuals with Disabilities can participate equally within those environments. Accommodations are required by law and are free to eligible students at no charge.

In the case of the Autism Support Program, we are not leveling the playing field within the classroom but rather helping train students to become more successful personally and academically.

For additional information regarding the Autism Support Program at WVU, please email us or call (304) 293-6700.


MindFit is a fee-based advanced cognitive enhancement program that is separate from OAS and open to all students at WVU. It is not a disability accommodation, though many students with Disabilities participate in the neurofeedback and academic coaching interventions available through MindFit. For more information, please see the MindFit homepage.

Please also check out our article in Inside Higher Education.

While we wish that the individualized support offered through MindFit were free for all students, there are many costs associated with the operation of this self-sustaining program, including but not limited to paying MindFit's team of trained academic coaches. The fees assessed to offer this program are, in most cases, significantly lower than those assessed by similar programs at other universities.

Students may be eligible to receive funding through the WV Department of Rehabilitation Services (WV DRS) or their home state office of vocational rehabilitation. For additional information, please contact us.

No, MindFit is not an accommodation. However, many students with Disabilities do choose to participate in MindFit's interventions and find it beneficial.

Accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the tasks within a classroom, housing, or transportation environment. This ensures that individuals with Disabilities can participate equally within those environments. Accommodations are required by law and are free to eligible students at no charge.

In the case of MindFit, we are not leveling the playing field within the classroom but rather helping train students to become more successful academically.