The primary purpose of the Accessibility Resource Center is to create an academic environment where students with disabilities have the same opportunities as their peers. If you are a student with a disability and would like to request accommodations, please contact Mike Ritter, Accessibility Resource Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Accessibility Resource Center is located in Eder 203.
Documentation – Although IEPs and 504 Plans do not transition to college, they can be an important source of information for helping our staff make informed decisions regarding reasonable, appropriate and effective accommodations. As long as the student’s diagnoses are clearly stated, these documents can be used to initiate advocacy services through the ARC. Other sources of documentation include a letter from a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, education specialist, etc.
*If a student does not have documentation supporting a diagnosed disability, they will be referred to Vocational Rehabilitation to inquire about qualifying for a free evaluation. To qualify for Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation services, a student must be a resident of the state of Missouri. The phone number for the Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation regional office in St. Joseph is (816) 387-2280.
Accommodations – The sole purpose of an accommodation is to remove unnecessary barriers that prohibit a student with a disability from having equal access to the same opportunities readily available to their peers. A barrier can be anything (spaces, places, policies and procedures) that excludes a student with a disability from full participation in the academic and extracurricular activities available at MWSU. Examples of barriers include but are not limited to:
- A dorm room that is inaccessible for a student who uses a wheelchair
- Printed textbooks that are inaccessible for a blind student
- An exam that is administered in a noisy and distracting classroom
- Class lectures and discussions that are inaccessible for a deaf student
- An exam that does not allow sufficient time for completion
Procedures – Students with disabilities are not required to disclose to the University that they have a disability unless they need to request an accommodation. We work to minimize the need for accommodations but sometimes they are still necessary to ensure a student with a disability has the same opportunities as their peers. To request accommodations, students will need to follow the procedures outlined below:
- Students will need to schedule an appointment with ARC staff by calling (816) 271-4327.
- Students will need to meet with ARC staff to discuss their needs.
- Students will need to provide ARC staff with documentation clearly stating their diagnoses.
- During the first appointment, the ARC Coordinator and student will discuss the accommodations that were effective in high school and determine which of those accommodations will be appropriate at MWSU. The Coordinator will also refer the student to additional support services available on campus and within the community.
- Following a successful first appointment, the Coordinator will create a Student Information Letter outlining the accommodations that are going to be put in place on behalf of the student. This letter will be emailed to the student at their MWSU email address. The student is fully responsible for taking a copy of their letter to each of their instructors and their academic advisor at the beginning of each semester. Because the Student Information Letter expires at the end of each semester, students will need to request an updated letter from the ARC prior to the beginning of each semester. We highly recommend students make an appointment with each of their instructors during the first week of the semester to discuss the information in their letter.
Expectations – Students with disabilities are held to the exact same standards as all other students.
With regard to the Student Code of Conduct, students with disabilities are accountable for their actions.
With regard to academic standards, students with disabilities are required to meet the same standards as their peers.
With regard to academic success, we have every expectation that students with disabilities will perform as well in the classroom as their peers.
With regard to student engagement, we encourage students to become actively involved in student organizations, extracurricular activities and volunteer opportunities available within the St. Joseph community.
We truly hope you enjoy being a Griffon. If there is anything we can do to help you have equal access to the same opportunities available to your peers, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Accessibility Resource Center
Griffon Testing Center
Adaptive Technology Services
Instructional Media Center