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WVU Office of Accessibility Services piloting new accommodation process for summer

Campus Sunset

Faculty are asked to read the following changes being piloted for a new, streamlined accommodation process this summer even if you are familiar with past letters, as the process has changed somewhat. 

Dear Faculty:

As you may have noticed, we are piloting a new, streamlined accommodation process this summer. We ask that you please read the accommodation letter closely, even if you are familiar with past letters, as the process has changed somewhat. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Historically, we have had a large number of faculty letters go unsigned, and we have no way of knowing whether that is because they have not been read or whether it is because they are waiting on students. This allows us to confirm, at least, that the letters have been received and that faculty have been informed of their responsibilities.

Faculty are no longer required to discuss implementation of accommodations with students before signing the letter. The function of signing the letter is simply to attest that you have received it and intend to implement accommodations as written. 

Implementation of accommodations may or may not require discussion with the student. If discussion is necessary to implement accommodations, students are told to reach out to initiate that conversation. As in the past, you are not required to initiate that discussion.

There are a few additional benefits to the new process:

• Discussions may now take place via email, phone and Zoom, etc. They are not required to take place in person, as in the past. This cuts down on the number of meetings required by faculty, and eliminates scenarios where students approach faculty after class to try to have the discussions in a less-than-confidential environment.

• We have also discovered that, for many accommodations, a discussion simply is not necessary and only leads to delays in implementation (e.g., meetings that were unnecessary, meetings that could have been emails, etc.).

• Email is, in fact, often an ideal way to communicate about the implementation of accommodations because it creates a written record of what was discussed should there later be some disagreement about implementation.

• There is now additional guidance that addresses the most frequently encountered considerations when implementing a given accommodation.

These changes were made after considering feedback from both students and faculty about how to streamline the accommodation process. We welcome your feedback on the process, as we continue to fine-tune it through the summer.


The OAS Team