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Disability Services
Hogue Hall 126
Phone: 509-963-2214
Fax: (509) 963-2587
Email: DS@cwu.edu

Understanding Accommodations

The purpose of academic accommodations is to give students with disabilities equal access to the learning environment.  Accommodations level the playing field and give all students the opportunity to learn. Accommodations are not designed to provide an unfair advantage or to ensure success.  Accommodations are determined on a case by case basis, depending on the specific disability related barriers that a student experiences. 

Commonly recommended accommodations are explained below; however, the list is not exhaustive. There are times when a more individualized accommodation is justified.

Exam Accommodation

Disability Services (DS) approves specific testing accommodations for students whose disability impairs their ability to demonstrate mastery  of their  courses  on exams/tests. Once approved, accommodated exams can be administered by the professor or by CWU Testing Services.  Accommodations are not retroactive. Exams taken without accommodations cannot be retaken with accommodations to raise the grade.

Exam accommodations include extended time, testing in an environment with reduced distractions, and use of assistive technology during exams.

Notetaking and Lecture Recording

Students whose disability impairs their ability to take comprehensive notes during lectures are provided with access to assistive notetaking devices (e.g., Smart Pen, digital recorder) or permission to use personal technology (e.g., cellular phone, laptop) during class. 

Modified Attendance

Students whose health is stable but who still experience periodic, unpredictable flare-ups that may prevent them from attending classes may be approved for modified attendance.  This accommodation does not mean that unlimited absences are  permitted. Students and faculty meet at the start of the quarter to complete the Modified Attendance Agreement. The number of absences permitted are determined on a case-by-case basis and must not create a fundamental alteration of the course.  It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the material and notes from missed classes from classmates.

Early Registration

Early Registration provides students who require specific scheduling considerations an opportunity for priority in the registration process. Students who have physical or attentional limitations or who have psychological disabilities which are aggravated by stress are encouraged to register early in order to create class schedules that best work for their individual circumstance.

Students who utilize textbooks in alternative formats or require sign language interpreters/ speech-to-text transcribers in their classes may be asked to register early so they may submit accommodation requests to the DS Office in a  timely manner. 

Students who need to administer medications at specific times of the day may  also be eligible for early registration.

Accessible Textbooks

Students with visual impairments or learning disabilities may require print material converted to an accessible medium, such as Braille, HTML or an electronic format. Because alternative text production is a time consuming process, students should request materials as soon as they register for classes. 

Check-ins

DS staff are available to provide support for students whose disability impacts executive functioning, through periodic check-ins. Students can discuss specific challenges that they are experiencing including time management, organization and study skills. DS staff will also assist students in navigating campus resources.

Physical Access

Disability Services provides coordination during winter months to ensure priority snow removal for students with physical disabilities. DS also manages student and faculty notifications and class relocations in the event of elevator outages. 

Communication Access Services

Services provided for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing include captioned video presentations, real-time captioning, and sign language interpreters.

Accommodations are determined based on the functional limitations of a student's disability. The above list is not comprehensive and students needing accommodations not listed above should contact ds@cwu.edu to discuss their specific situation.