Prospective Students

We understand the access to disability services provided at Westmont is an important factor as you make an informed college choice. To help answer the many questions you may have, below are some Frequently Asked Questions. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us at 805-565-6135 or 805-565-6186. We are located in the Voskuyl Library, 310A, 311.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Does Westmont provide services for students with disabilities?
Yes, accommodations and services are provided for students with documented disabilities to provide equal access to educational programs and services in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990 as amended in 2008). The Office of Disability Services (ODS) organizes the provision of services and accommodations for students. Accommodations are determined on an individual basis using disability documentation and in consultation with the ODS director.

Can I stop by and visit the Office of Disability Services while on a campus tour?
Yes, but if you are planning to visit our campus, please contact ODS to set up an appointment. You can also let your visit coordinator know you are interested in a meeting and they will make arrangements with us to meet you. We want to have time to discuss your particular situation and will need to plan ahead.

Is there a separate admissions procedure for students with disabilities?
No, the admissions process and criteria are the same for all students applying to Westmont. Disability status will not be a consideration in admission decisions.

Does ODS diagnose disabilities?
No. A list of community resources is available upon request. Students are responsible for the cost of any professional assessment.

I have been diagnosed with a disorder/condition. Will I automatically be provided accommodations?
A diagnosis alone does not qualify you for accommodations. You must document the existence of an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, the current impact of this condition and how it affects your ability to function in the academic setting as well as the rationale and objective basis for the requested accommodations.

Should I send my disability documentation with my application?
No, documentation should be submitted to ODS only after you have been admitted to the College. Information provided to Westmont Health Services will not be shared with ODS unless requested by the student.

I have been admitted to Westmont. When do I register with the Office of Disability Services?
The Student Intake Form and Confidentiality Agreement are available online, http://www.westmont.edu/_offices/disability/InitialProcedure.html as well as documentation forms for the diagnosing professional to fill out and return. We prefer to receive this information as soon as possible and with at least a minimum of ten business days to review the documents. A student won’t be fully registered until a consultation appointment with ODS takes place.

What documentation is required to receive disability services?
Documentation must be current and comprehensive. There are established guidelines for documenting disabling conditions. Please refer to the ODS website http://www.westmont.edu/_offices/disability/InitialProcedure.html or call us with further questions.

Please note that eligibility guidelines and accommodations differ from your high school and may differ from other colleges you have attended. An Individualized Education Plan or 504 plan alone is not sufficient documentation.

Who at the College will know about my disability if I register with ODS?
The Office of Disability Services maintains confidential files. ODS follows FERPA guidlines and recognizes the right of the student to determine who receives disability-related information. This information is stored separately from academic records. The accommodation process requires the student to provide letters from ODS to faculty (or staff) listing the agreed-upon accommodations.

Is there a deadline for submitting disability documentation?
ODS will facilitate approved accommodations at the start of the academic year. Students are encouraged to submit documentation during the summer months. However, students may register at any time during the school year.

What happens after my disability documentation is approved?
Students will need to meet with the director of ODS to discuss individual needs and discuss accommodation procedures before accommodations will be provided. You can schedule a meeting by calling 805-565-6135.

Is there a fee for disability services?
No. Students are not charged for reasonable accommodations. Students are responsible for the costs of personal aids or assistance devices such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, computers to be used at home or personal service attendants. Professional diagnosis of a disability and tutoring services are not provided by ODS and would be the responsibility of the student to acquire. 

What accommodations and services will I be eligible for?
Westmont provides appropriate academic adjustments necessary to ensure it allows students equal access to an education or educational program. The accommodations may differ according to class requirements and are determined on an individual basis using current and comprehensive disability documentation. Please use this link for more information on accommodations. http://www.westmont.edu/_offices/disability/Accommodations.html

What other services are available to students with disabilities?
Many services are available on campus that assists all students, including those with disabilities. Writer’s Corner assists with all writing needs, the Health and Counseling Center provides a variety of services; librarians are available for individual research assistance, and academic departments have lists of student tutors for hire. The director of ODS is also happy to meet with students to discuss plans for success. ODS also maintains a list of community resources upon request.

Where can I find additional resources on the transition to college?
For more information on the transition to college, visit the following websites. U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights: