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 with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the academic environment, contactLorie Fontaine,
Director of Accessible Education Services
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 or a fundamental alteration of a University program or service.
Academic accommodations exist in order to enable individuals with disabilities to have an equal opportunity to participate in their academic program. To request disability-related academic accommodations, follow this process:
- Schedule an appointment with the Accessible Education Services (AES) office to discuss your situation.
- Bring appropriate disability documentation to your appointment or send it to the AES office.
- Once you are determined eligible, receive your letter of accommodation from AES.
- Share your letter of accommodation with your professors and discuss in-class accommodations with them.
- Notify the AES office of any barriers to equal opportunity or if accommodations are not working.
Willamette University provides support for individuals with a diagnosed disability that creates a limitation in the academic setting (e.g., learning, visual, hearing, psychiatric, chronic illness, etc.). Appropriate documentation must be on file with this office to receive reasonable accommodations and services.
Documentation provided to Accessible Education Services should include the following:
- A diagnostic statement identifying the disability
- A history of the condition, past accommodations, and/or medications
- A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability
- A description of the current functional limitations as relevant to the academic environment
- Names of any assessment instruments used
- Recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services
- The credentials of the evaluator(s)
The documentation must be current. In general, for students with learning disabilities, this should be no more than five years old, and for students with ADHD, this should be no more than three years old. The diagnostician must be impartial, not a family member of the student, and be a practitioner in the specific area of the diagnosis. It is the responsibility of the student to provide documentation to the Accessible Education Services office. Willamette will determine if your documentation meets our standards and eligibility criteria. Costs associated with diagnosis, evaluation, and testing are your responsibility as a student. Referral sources are available through the Accessible Education Services office.
The Director of Accessible Education 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.
After considering your documentation, the results of the personal interview, and any information related to the student's history of disability-related accommodations, the Director will work with the student to devise a letter of academic accommodations, which verifies eligibility for specific accommodations. The student should share the letter with his/her/their professors at the beginning of the semester, or as soon as possible, to discuss accommodations and how they will be implemented. The student is not required nor expected to disclose the specific disability, but the student is encouraged to discuss way in which the disability affects him/her/them.
Every student who receives an accommodation letter shall have the opportunity to review the accommodations with the Director of Accessible Education Services upon request at the beginning of each semester. Each student shall immediately report any dissatisfaction with an accommodation to the Director of Accessible Education Services. It is the student's responsibility to request from the Director of Accessible Education Services a letter of academic accommodation each semester.
Decision Review Process
Procedures for Review of an Accommodation Implementation
Students may request review of situations where they believe accommodation decisions are not being adequately implemented and/or enforced.
- If the student who has received accommodation deems that an accommodation decision is not being sufficiently 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.
- If resolution by informal means in not achieved, the student may submit a written complaint to the Accessible Education Services Director, setting forth the particular problem(s) and the prior informal attempts at resolution. The Director 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.
- If resolution is not achieved, the Director shall refer the issue to the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, who shall receive the complaint as the Accessible Education Appeals Officer for Willamette University. The Appeals Officer may review all documents directly related to the complaint. The Appeals Officer 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 Accessible Education Services Director. 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. Consistent with the University's need to conduct an adequate investigation, 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.
Procedures for Review of an Accessible Education Services Decision
Students may request review of situations where they believe accommodation decisions will not adequately address the student’s condition.
- If a student feels an accommodation decision by the Director of Accessible Education Services will not adequately address the student’s disability, the student is encouraged to first attempt to resolve the concern cooperatively with the Director of Accessible Education Services within 10 business days of receiving the written decisions.
- If the student and the Director cannot resolve the student’s concerns, then the student should contact the Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, located in the Office of the President (within 10 business days of the final decision of the Director of Accessible Education Services), who shall receive the appeal as the Accessible Education Appeals Officer for Willamette University. After reviewing the issue in dispute, the Appeals Officer may take steps as necessary to acquire additional information prior to making the determination about what accommodation(s) will be offered to the student Accommodation decisions made 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. Consistent with the University's need to conduct an adequate investigation 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 that relate to Accessible Education Services in general may be made to the Associate Dean of Student Success.