Welcome to AccessAbility Services (formerly Disability Services)
AccessAbility Services (AAS) was established to facilitate equal access for students with disabilities to all programs and activities at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU). The efforts of AAS are part of WCSU’s overall commitment to diversity.
AccessAbility Services coordinates and provides accommodations and support services to over 400 undergraduate and graduate students with documented disabilities. AAS seeks to accommodate students with documented disabilities to allow them equal access to their education. Accommodations are designed to level the playing field for students with disabilities, while maintaining the integrity and standards of each academic program. WCSU appreciates that everyone is unique; therefore each student who requests accommodations from AccessAbility Services is considered on a case-by-case basis. Our goal is to provide reasonable accommodations and services while supporting each student in developing the skills necessary to be an independent learner. Under the umbrella of Student Affairs, AccessAbility Services collaborates with all departments within the university to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to university programs. AccessAbility Services engages in proactive institutional planning to ensure that the university is meeting the diverse needs of the student body.
The University defines a reasonabe accommodation as the following: A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job activity, or facility that ensures an equal opportunity for qualified students with disabilities to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity. Aids, benefits, or services need not produce equal results, but must afford an equal opportunity to achieve equal results. When necessary, AAS staff will consult with faculty regarding whether an accommodation would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or activity or whether an academic requirement is essential to the instruction being pursued or to any directly related licensing requirement. In doing so, AAS will examine the following:
Barriers between individuals with disabilities and the campus environment in accessing courses, programs, services, jobs, activities or facilities without accommodations;
- Requested modifications, accommodations, and auxiliary aids;
- Whether the proposed accommodations would fundamentally alter the nature of the course, program, service, job, activity, or facility;
- Whether an academic requirement is essential to the instruction or to any directly related licensing requirement;
- Whether effective alternatives exist that would allow the individual with a disability to participate without lowering essential requirements or fundamentally altering the nature of the program.
When the University determines that a modification related to facilities or communication would result in a fundamental alteration or undue burden, AAS shall acquire the written opinion of the proper authority, i.e. department chair of impacted discipline, providing the reasoning supporting the decision.