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Office of Services for Students with Disabilities


Contact Us  

Office of Services for Students with Disabilities

Lawrence Center 223
West Chester, PA 19383

Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Phone: 610-436-2564
Fax: 610-436-2600

If you are a high school or transfer student with a physical and/or learning disability and want to learn more about the OSSD at WCU, you (and your parent/guardian if you would like to bring them along) are invited to attend a Prospective Student Mini Question & Answer Session on Thursday, March 31, 2016. Please note that prospective students must be present and that disability documentation WILL NOT be reviewed during this session. Appointments must be arranged in advance by calling 610-436-2517.

The Office of Admissions conducts Information Sessions throughout the year. These sessions provide an opportunity to learn more about applying to WCU, along with the academic, residential, and extracurricular opportunites available. A representative from the OSSD will be available to conduct small group sessions as part of the program on Saturday, March 19, 2016 and Saturday, April 16, 2016. You must sign up on the Undergraduate Admissions website in order to attend.

Accommodation Process

Accommodation Process
  1. Submit documentation of disability to OSSD and schedule appointment to meet with Director of OSSD.
  2. Meet with Director to review documentation and determine reasonable accommodations.
  3. Receive Letter of Accommodation in WCU e-mail; print copies of the letter for each of your professors.
  4. Meet with your professors to deliver accommodation letter and discuss procedure to implement.
  5. Welcome to an Accessible WCU!

Interactive - Accommodation requests usually require a face to face meeting with OSSD staff, where student makes a request for specific modifications to classroom procedure. Students should have already submitted documentation of their disability.

Relevant and Timely - Requests should precede the need for an accommodation so there is sufficient time to make arrangements. Accommodations will not be granted retroactively. Some requests such as those for captioners, ASL, etext and alternate formats need to be made up to 4 weeks in advance of the semester (see technology link).

Supported and Reasonable Requests - Accommodation requests must be related to the initial presentation of the limitation and when the situation warrants a change. Requests to alter accommodations to improve a grade are not appropriate.

Effective Responses - OSSD will provide Letters of Accommodation each semester upon written request. Letters of Accommodation will be sent via secure e-mail to students. Faculty who receive Letters of Accommodation should be provided an opportunity to discuss provisions; for example, extended time on tests prior to implementation. The OSSD recommends that students present Letters of Accommodation in the initial week or two of class and at least a week prior to the first test.

If the accommodation is not met in class or you need additional assistance, return to the OSSD. We provide proctoring for tests, if you need a reader or scribe and a distraction reduced environment.

Determining Eligibility for Services

  • Providing documentation of disability is the responsibility of the student. In general, the less obvious the disability, the more information is required to assess a student's needs and make accommodation recommendations.
  • Documentation should be recent, relevant and comprehensive and, where appropriate, contain test scores and interpretation (e.g., learning disability reports, audiograms, etc.).
  • If the original documentation is incomplete or inadequate to determine the extent of the disability or reasonable accommodation, West Chester University has the discretion to require additional documentation. Any cost incurred in obtaining additional documentation is also borne by the student. If the documentation is complete but the university desires a second professional opinion, the University bears that cost.

Note: The University reserves the right to deny services or accommodations pending the receipt of appropriate documentation.

Mission Statement

The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD) offers services for students with physical, psychological, and learning disabilities. The OSSD is designed to assist students in making a successful transition to college life. We take a proactive stance that encourages students to understand their needs and strengths in order to best advocate for them.

At West Chester University, we recognize that some students with disabilities want minimal assistance while others require the full range of support and services. To facilitate successful transition, we recommend a comprehensive assessment of needs through this office. The office provides advocacy with faculty for classroom accommodations and substitution of courses for foreign language.

The OSSD is a part of the Academic Affairs Division of West Chester University and services the entire institution in matters regarding students with disabilities at WCU. OSSD provided services and programs that ensure compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). All programs and services are in keeping with the University's mission to provide equal education for all qualified students. It is the goal of the OSSD to maximize student success, self-advocacy, and independence in an accessible academic environment.

Information for 2015/16 First Year Students

  • Accepted Student Days: If you are planning to attend an Accepted Student Day program sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, you may want to stop by our office that day and enjoy one of our small group information sessions. Intake meetings will not be scheduled on these days so that we have ample time to cover general information about the accommodations and services we provide.
  • New Student Orientation Days: Please refer to the New Student Orientation page of the Division of Student Affairs for information about this program. During "break-out" sessions, OSSD staff will be available in our office to conduct information sessions. Intake meetings MAY be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis and ONLY if the student is present and has provided appropriate documentation in advance. Please note that we are not able to make photocopies of student paperwork.
  • Scheduling Intake Meetings: If you are a student interested in receiving classroom accommodations, you must first submit appropriate documentation to our office; we will then contact you via your WCU email address to schedule your intake meeting. Documentation may be sent to us via fax/regular mail (not email) or you may bring a hard copy to our office (we are not able to print/make copies). Please refer to our Documentation Guidelines to learn about acceptable forms of documentation. Intake meetings are one-on-one sessions: the student will meet for about 30 minutes with either the department director or assistant director.