Disability Services FAQs - Prospective & Incoming Student
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 for prospective and incoming students. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us at 805-565-6135 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 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) facilitates accommodations for students. Accommodations are determined on an individual basis using disability documentation and student interaction 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. We have limited summer hours. You can also let your admissions coordinator know you are interested in a meeting and they will make arrangements. We want to have time to discuss your particular situation and prefer 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 limited list of local community resources are available upon request. Students are encouraged to contact professionals in her/her own community for possible assessments. Students are responsible for the cost of any professional assessment.
I have been diagnosed with a disorder/condition. Will I automatically be provided accommodations?
No. Students must request accommodations through the registration process. A diagnosis alone does not qualify you for accommodations. Students with a disability 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 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.
Will I receive all of my requested accommodations?
ODS thoroughly reviews the Student Intake form and your providers' documentation. During the interactive process while meeting with the director, you will discuss reasonable accommodations and identify the barriers presented by your disability. Through this process, we decide on accommodations that will allow equal access.
Accommodations may differ according to class requirements and are determined on an individual basis. It is important to keep in mind, colleges are not required to lower standards or fundamentally change course requirements in an academic program; accommodations are intended to allow equal (leveled) access. See Accommodation Information
I think I may need accommodations due to a disability. Do I register with the Office of Disability Services once admitted and register for classes?*
Yes. Complete the Student Intake Form and Confidentiality Agreement. 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.
*If accommodations are needed at the beginning of the semester, the due date to receive completed forms is August 1, 2019 for Fall and October 30, 2019 for Spring 2020. Requests for accommodations after these dates will be processed according to the dates received.
What does my doctor or health care provider need to do?
Your provider needs to complete the appropriate forms according to the established guidelines for documenting a disability. See Documentation Requirements. Discuss with your provider what information you are requesting from them before you request their required signatures and completion of documents.
*Eligibility and required documentation in higher education 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. *See links below.
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 guidelines and recognizes student rights to determine who receives disability-related information. This information is stored separately from the academic records office. The accommodation process requires the student to provide letters from ODS to faculty (or staff) listing the agreed-upon accommodations.
What happens after my disability documentation is completed and student forms are received by ODS?
Students will need to meet with the director of ODS to discuss possible accommodations. You can schedule a meeting by emailing ODS@westmont.edu after we receive and confirm we have your Student Intake, Confidentiality Agreement and documentation. If accommodations are needed prior to the start of the semester, a phone meeting will be scheduled upon student request. It is up to the student to inquire if all forms and documentation have been received by ODS.
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.
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:
- *Students with Disabilities Preparing for Post-secondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities
- *Transition of Students With Disabilities To Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators - Very good information for students and parents.