The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSWD) provides individually tailored, comprehensive disability support services and programs for qualified students with disabilities. OSWD serves students with mental and physical disabilities including those with visual, neurological, psychological, and learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorders, and chronic illness. Other disabilities types not listed above are taken into consideration upon application.
Two legal mandates protect students with disabilities from discrimination, ensuring equal access to all aspects of university life: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and subsequent amendments. In order to receive disability support services, students are responsible for disclosing their disability to OSWD, the designated office on campus responsible for determining disability eligibility and support services. Students are also responsible for providing OSWD with current documentation of the student’s disability and accommodation needs. This information is reviewed to determine eligibility status for OSWD service acceptance. These records are treated as such to the fullest extent of the law. Student files are kept in a secure location and may not be accessed by anyone other than OSWD staff without written permission of the student.
Because OSWD believes that learning is a lifelong endeavor, we support and provide experiences and opportunities to build confidence both in and beyond the classroom. Our mission is to empower eligible students to succeed in their pursuit of higher education by striving to assure equal access and opportunities to participate in curricular and extracurricular activities.
OSWD’s main service areas:
- Counseling and Staff Support: Students accepted by OSWD are assigned a counselor who assists them with disability support service planning. Counselors are available for consultation and/or advice on many topics related to disabilities and accommodations.
- Testing Accommodations: Students are given the opportunity to study, work with faculty, and/or take tests for an extended time in a distraction-reduced environment.
- Auxiliary Aids: Note Takers, readers, scribes, and laboratory and library assistants, are provided for students who demonstrate a need for this service and request it through OSWD.
- Interpreting Services: OSWD coordinates with Gallaudet Interpreting Services to provide tactile and close vision interpreting for students who have a demonstrated need for this service.
- Materials in Alternative Formats: Academic materials are available in various formats, including eBooks, large print, and Braille, to assure accessibility for students with disabilities.
- Adaptive Technology: Equipment, furniture, or software that is used to increase, maintain, or improve a student’s functional capacity can be provided to ensure access to information and environments that would otherwise be challenging to use.