In order to determine eligibility for accommodations and/or auxiliary aids, AccessAbility Services (AAS) requires documentation to establish the presence of a disability. Students who are seeking accommodations at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) must submit comprehensive documentation and an Accommodation Intake Form to AAS. In order to respect a student’s right to voluntarily disclose a disability, AAS initiates services only after the student submits an Accommodation Intake Form and documentation.
Documentation is used to verify eligibility for accommodations and/or auxiliary aids under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act 2008 (ADAAA), and is necessary to support student requests. In determining disability status, WCSU is guided by federal law which defines persons with disabilities as those who:
- have a physical or mental impairment that significantly restricts one or more major life activity, such as, caring for oneself, hearing, learning, reading, speaking, breathing, or working;
- have a record of such impairment; or
- are regarded as having such an impairment.
Comprehensive documentation should include a recent evaluation by an appropriate credentialed professional, who is not a family member, which makes evident the current academic impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodations and services requested. Accommodation decisions are made on a case-by-case basis based on the functional limitations of the disability. A Summary of Performance (SOP), Individualized Education Program (IEP) and/or a 504 Plan alone are not considered adequate documentation. Transfer students are encouraged to provide a letter from their previously attended college or university, in addition to their documentation, which includes the dates of services and the accommodations used. Students are required to obtain and provide disability documentation to AAS when seeking accommodations. The law requires that priority consideration be given to the specific accommodations requested by a student; however it does not require that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed not reasonable or other suitable alternatives are available.
All information received is confidential and is used by AAS for the sole purpose of determining a student’s eligibility for services and determining reasonable accommodations. Information is only shared within the institution if there is a compelling educational need to know.
If the documentation provided is incomplete or inadequate to determine whether the student qualifies as having a disability or is eligible for the accommodations requested, AAS has the right, in its discretion to require additional documentation. Any cost incurred in obtaining additional documentation is the responsibility of the student. Missing information may result in a delay in reviewing a student’s request for accommodations.
For specific disability documentation guidelines, please refer to the documents below.
Guidelines for Specific Disabilities
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Cognitive (TBI) Disability
- Deaf or Hard of Hearing
- Learning Disability
- Physical, Mobility and/or Chronic Health
- Psychiatric Conditions
- Visual Impairments
Students Who Are Veterans
Veterans and others who have returned from combat who are experiencing difficulties are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with the AccessAbility Services Coordinator. At that time, accommodations and other services can be discussed.
Elisabeth Werling, AccessAbility Services Coordinator
Higgins Annex 017
Western Connecticut State University
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810