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Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR)

Mission & Goals 

It is our mission to remove barriers and ensure equal access for all qualified students with disabilities.

In support of this mission, the goals of the Office of Accessibility Resources are to:

  • Serve as advocates for accessibility for students with disabilities while promoting student independence, self-determination, and responsibility;
  • Coordinate and provide accommodations and related support services for accessibility for students with disabilities;
  • Provide training and resources for faculty, staff, and administration around accessibility for students with disabilities;
  • Provide consultation, information, and outreach to parents and prospective students regarding accessibility and accommodations for students with disabilities;
  • Foster awareness and understanding University-wide of issues of accessibility in all aspects of campus life;
  • Assist the University in supporting the civil rights of students with disabilities as provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), its amendments (ADAAA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) removes barriers in support of equal access for individuals with disabilities by providing campus-wide accessibility services and reasonable accommodations for eligible students. We recognize that students have been admitted to the university based on their abilities to succeed, expected to meet the same academic and technical standards. The OAR supports disability as an aspect of diversity and inclusion integral to our campus community and society.

Students not registered with the OAR and requesting accommodations for the first time at Western Carolina University should engage as soon as possible once they have identified a barrier or need.

Requesting Accommodations

The OAR uses an online system, Accessible Information Management (AIM), where students can register for accommodations. New Students need to apply to begin the registration process using your myWCU login. Upon completing the application process, the OAR will facilitate an interactive and engaging intake meeting to determine accommodations to support the student. Students with approved accommodations are provided an Accommodation Letter, which they share with their instructors.

Accommodations

  • Academic: Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis via an interactive intake meeting and takes into consideration the functional impact of the student's documented disability. Students utilize Accommodation Letters to inform faculty of their approved accommodations. 
  • Testing: Faculty regularly provide approved testing accommodations for students with active accommodation letters, such as extended time and reduced distractions. In addition, the OAR Test Proctoring Center in Killian Annex offers alternative testing services for registered OAR students with testing accommodations. 
  • Housing: The process for students with disabilities to Request Special Housing Accommodations (which also includes ESA's)is initiated through Residential Living. You will need to complete and submit the Housing Accommodation form which can be found on their webpage. All documentation also needs to be sent to Residential Living. To learn more about animals on campus please click this link: Animals on Campus
  • Temporary Disabilities: If you have a temporary disability due to an injury or medical condition, the OAR can provide accommodations on a temporary or short-term basis. Please use the steps outlined above for Requesting Accommodations.

Services

  • Alternative Format Textbooks: Students who receive accommodations for Alternative Format Textbooks (AFT) can make requests once they have paid for their books for the semester. 
  • Assistive Technology & Kurzweil 3000: Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or product, whether acquired commercially, or customized that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of an individual with a disability. The OAR utilizes Kurzweil 3000 to increase accessibility with print and digital content available to a broad spectrum of students. 
  • American Sign Language and Captioning: Services can be arranged through the OAR. Please email accessibility@wcu.edu or call 828.227.2716 for assistance.

Campus Resources

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