Rights and Responsibilities
The rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities receiving services at the college level differ from the K-12 school system. Education at the K-12 level is considered mandatory education and these types of services are provided to ensure that all students can receive an education. Education at the post-secondary level is voluntary, which means the Office of Disability Services (ODS) will provide accommodations to the student, but cannot mandate that they use services to which they are entitled. A helpful tool to read produced by Office of Civil Rights (OCR):
Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Students with Disabilities
As adults, our students have the right to choose whether or not they work with the Disability Services office. If a student with a disability does not want to work with our office or fails to follow the procedures required to receive an accommodation, that accommodation will not be given.
Responsibility of the Office of Disability Services (ODS)
The director is responsible for providing services and accommodations in a manner that promote independence, self-advocacy, and accountability for students with disabilities. The director and ODS staff will:
- Provide information regarding the Office Disability Services, accommodations and the initial paperwork needed for services.
- Receive and evaluate the documentation of a disability for eligibility for accommodations.
- Maintain a confidential file with documentation and past accommodations. ODS records will be retained for five years after withdrawal or graduation date. Students are encouraged to make copies of documentation and accommodations.
- Receive and facilitate requests for accommodations.
- Assist in communication with faculty members regarding classroom accommodations and other college departments as needed.
- Provide resources and referrals to campus and community services.
Responsibilities of the Students
Students must initiate the process when requesting accommodations. Students are responsible for providing documentation to verify his/her disability and to follow the procedures for receiving those accommodations. Failure to follow these procedures can result in a delay in receiving the requested accommodations.
- Provide appropriate documentation and verification of disability to the Director of ODS.
- Arrange a meeting with the director at the beginning of each semester or as soon as an academic adjustment is necessary to request accommodations.
- Give professors a copy of the ODS accommodation letter which verifies your disability status and communicates the appropriate accommodations for each course.
- Follow the procedures required to receive the needed services in a timely manner.
- Communicate with the director when additional information is needed to provide an accommodation or academic adjustment.
- Understand if a requested accommodation changes a Learning Outcome or is a fundamental alteration of a course or college program, then a request for an accommodation may be denied.
- Meet all academic and behavioral standards set by Westmont and individual faculty members. A faculty member will not modify essential course structure or grading policies.
- Advise the director if there are any problems they perceive from faculty, staff or students regarding their accommodations or other disability related issues.