Student Disability Accommodation Procedures

These guidelines promulgate policies and procedures that students of Willamette University should follow when seeking disability accommodation, and/or disputing decisions that Willamette University makes in response to accommodation requests. These guidelines are designed to comply with the disability accommodation requirements of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended in 2009.

For more detailed information about Willamette's disability accommodation procedures, and for initial inquiries or reports related to accommodation under the Americans wi th Disabilities Act (ADA) in the academic environment, contact:

Lorie Fontaine,
Disabilities Services Coordinator
(503) 370-6471

General Provisions

Willamette does not discriminate on the basis of disability in any of its programs, services or activities. The school will not deny any otherwise qualified student with a disability the opportunity to participate in, or benefit from, any aid, support, program or service that Willamette provides. Willamette will also strive to accommodate students with disabilities on an individual basis. Willamette will make whatever reasonable accommodations it can to accommodate students with disabilities, unless the accommodations would pose an undue burden to the school.

Requesting Accommodations

Students requesting accommodation must first provide professional verification of the condition(s) that necessitate the accommodations. Students requesting accommodation must provide acceptable professional documentation of the condition(s) within the semester requested.

Students with physical or mental health disabilities must provide documentation from a licensed health care provider who is qualified to diagnose the disability being claimed. Requests for services shall be made by submitting the proper forms, which are available at the Disability Services office (i.e., the office will provide the forms to the student who will then have the forms completed by the appropriate medical provider(s). The documentation must indicate how the student is limited by his or her disability (e.g., cannot sit for periods longer than 30 minutes, cannot see or hear beyond certain distances, etc.), and how long the limitation(s) is/are expected to last. The student shall provide the documentation to the Coordinator of Disability Services. The Coordinator may ask the student to provide additional information if the initial documentation the student provides is incomplete or inadequate to justify the need for accommodation. A student with learning disabilities must provide professional testing and evaluation results that reflect the student's present levels of achievement and ability to process information. For documentation criteria, contact the Coordinator of Disability Services. The cost of obtaining professional documentation of a disability shall be borne by the student.

Granting Accommodations

The Coordinator of Disability Services shall review all documents submitted and will conduct a personal interview to explore the particular needs of the student requesting accommodation. The student may be asked to submit a history, if any, of accommodations received in secondary or post-secondary institutions or in places of employment. Such a history of accommodations will be subject to verification by the institution or place of employment that facilitated the accommodations.

After considering the information provided by the student and his or her health care provider, the results of the personal interview, and any information related to the student's history of disability-related accommodations, the Coordinator will work with the student to devise a schedule of academic accommodations. The student shall be notified, in writing, of the Coordinator's decision promptly after it has been made. Unless the student challenges the decision subject to the provisions of Section IV below, the accommodation decision will be implemented as soon as is practicable. Every student who receives accommodation shall meet, upon request, with the Coordinator of Disability Services to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations in place.

Each student shall immediately report any dissatisfaction with an accommodation to the Coordinator of Disability Services. It is the student's responsibility to request from the Coordinator of Disability Services a letter of academic accommodation each semester which gives notice to his or her professor(s) of the granted accommodations. (In the graduate programs, this letter would be given by the student to the Disability Liaison in the respective College, if preferred.) The nature of the disability is confidential.

Decision Review Process

Procedures for Review of a Disability Services Decision

Students may request review of situations in which they believe accommodation decisions will not adequately address their condition.

  1. If a student feels an accommodation decision by the Coordinator of Disability Services will not adequately address the student's disability, the student is encouraged to first attempt to resolve the concern cooperatively with the Coordinator within 10 business days of receiving the written decision (as stated on the Preliminary Eligibility Form).
  2. If the student and the Coordinator cannot resolve the student's concerns, then the student should contact the Vice President and Executive Assistant to the President, who shall serve as the Disability Appeals Officer for Willamette University. The student must contact the Appeals Officer within 10 business days of the final decision of the Coordinator of Disability Services. After reviewing the issue in dispute, the Appeals Officer will take steps as necessary to acquire additional information prior to making the determination regarding what accommodation(s) will be offered to the student. Accommodation decisions made by the Appeals Officer are final.

Procedures for Review of an Accommodation Implementation

Students may request review of situations in which they believe accommodation decisions are not being adequately implemented and/or enforced.

  1. If the student who has received accommodation believes that an accommodation decision is not being adequately implemented by Willamette faculty or staff, the student is encouraged to first attempt to resolve the dispute amicably through discussion with the specific faculty and/or staff member(s) involved.
  2. If resolution by informal means is not achieved, the student may submit a written complaint to the Coordinator of Disability Services, setting forth the particular problem(s) and the prior informal attempts at resolution. The Coordinator shall then meet with the student and the faculty and/or staff member(s) involved, and the appropriate Dean, if necessary, to attempt to resolve the problem.
    The student may have an advisor present in an advisory capacity to the student. However, the advisor is not permitted to participate in the proceedings.
  3. If resolution is not achieved, the Coordinator shall refer the issue to the Vice President and Executive Assistant to the President who shall serve as the Disability Appeals Officer for Willamette University. The Appeals Officer will review all documents directly related to the complaint, and may also meet with the student and any faculty and/or staff member(s) involved. After reviewing the documents and any other relevant information, the Appeals Officer shall make a determination concerning the complaint within a reasonable amount of time, but no later than ten (10) business days following the receipt of the referral from the Coordinator of Disability Services. Decisions by the Appeals Officer are final.

The University will not tolerate any retaliatory treatment or adverse consequences as a result of a student acting in good faith to report a complaint or participating in an investigation.

Reports of retaliation will be promptly, thoroughly and impartially investigated. Where a reasonable person would consider an action to be in violation of policy, prompt corrective action to rectify any retaliation will take place. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.

Complaints not directly related to the accommodations but related to Disability Services in general may be made to the Dean of Campus Life.