Wesleyan University is committed to supporting all students in their academic and co-curricular endeavors. Each semester, a significant number of students document psychological, learning, sight, hearing, manual, speech, mobility and other disabilities, which may require reasonable accommodations to ensure access to education, housing, and recreation. Although Wesleyan does not offer academic programs specifically directed at individuals with disabilities, the University does provide services and reasonable accommodations to all students who need and have a legal entitlement to such accommodations.
Scott Backer, associate dean for student academic resources, administers services for students with disabilities: North College, Room 021/022, telephone extension 2332, e-mail: email@example.com. He holds office hours while classes are in session: MTF 2:00 - 3:00 p.m., W 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. and Th 11:00 a.m. - noon.
Students who request accommodations are required to provide documentation of their disabilities and to discuss how appropriate accommodations may assist them in participating in campus life or courses and fulfilling course requirements. In addition, Dean Backer will discuss other types of support and services available to all Wesleyan students, such as tutoring programs and writing support through the Writing Workshop.
Students with documented learning disabilities are encouraged to meet with Dean Backer at the beginning of each semester. Testing to diagnose learning disabilities is not provided on campus. A student who would like to be tested for a learning disability should make an appointment to meet with Dr. Jennifer D'Andrea, director of the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services. After the consultation, a student may choose to schedule an evaluation by an external expert professional who is qualified to diagnose learning disabilities. The evaluation should include a comprehensive report with recommendations for addressing the disability.
Students with physical, psychological or other disabilities, who require reasonable accommodation, must speak with Dean Backer and provide pertinent information from an appropriate medical or mental health practitioner that is useful for determining appropriate reasonable accommodations or modifications. Dean Backer works with various offices on campus to arrange reasonable accommodations. Making accommodations for students with physical disabilities can be an involved process that requires considerable advance notice, even a semester in advance. For example, accommodations could include coordinating classroom locations, securing sign language interpreters, or procuring class materials in alternate formats.
Notification to Instructors
Students requesting accommodations from faculty should have received prior approval for the accommodation from Disabilities Services. After a student provides the required documentation to Disabilities Services and meets with the dean for student academic resources, the dean will provide letters via e-mail to instructors, which indicate the appropriate accommodation. However, students must make most arrangements with the professor by assuming the responsibility to ask for and obtain those approved services and/or accommodations that will help them achieve their goals.
Accommodations that have been used to accommodate various disabilities
Following are examples of accommodations provided to students:
- Extended time for exams and timed assignments (arranged by student with instructor).
- Space free of environmental distractions for exams (arranged by instructor).
- Printed material, including books, in alternate formats.
- Tape recording classes (student is responsible for providing equipment).
- Note takers. Students are responsible for finding note takers in a class or asking professors for notes. (Note takers can be paid for their services by the University, but the student is responsible for obtaining the notes.)
- Readers. Disabilities Services employs readers for students when necessary.
- Sign language interpreters.
- Relocation of class or university events to an accessible space.
Support Technologies currently available
Assistive technologies available on campus include:
- Laptop Computer for in-class exam use.
- Assistive listening devices (available in some classrooms).
- Kurzweil 3000 software
- Computing Labs: computers in some labs are equipped with head phones and microphones
Academic Support Services
The following services are available to assist all students, including students with disabilities:
- Writing Workshop Peer Mentoring Program: This program is open to all students and is directed by Anne Greene. Students with disabilities are encouraged to use writing mentors, who will work individually with students on a regular basis. This is a program funded by the Student Affairs/Deans' Office.
- Math Workshop
- Time Management Workshops
- Student tutors for individual courses when needed
- Student Academic Resources Network contains all of the academic support services outside of course instruction available to students at Wesleyan.
- Medical Transportation Shuttle Service