Accessibility Resource Center

New Students

Welcome to MWSU!

Since 1989, the Accessibility Resource Center has been working to create an academic environment that is free of barriers and full of opportunities for a diverse group of learners. We work with faculty and staff to remove environmental barriers that would prevent students with disabilities from having equal access to the same opportunities available to their peers. Here is a brief list of the things we do to provide an excellent experience for students with disabilities at MWSU:

  • We have added accessible parking spaces in close proximity to most of our buildings and facilities.
  • We are currently working to make our sidewalks increasingly accessible.
  • We have added push-button operated doors at most of the main entrances to most of our buildings and facilities.
  • We are working to make our restrooms increasingly accessible.
  • Many of our classrooms have been outfitted with accessible desks and tables.
  • We help faculty create accessible methods of delivering course lectures.
  • We help faculty create course materials in accessible formats.

 

We have seen students with   we have seen a great number of those students achieve success both academically and in their chosen careers. We hope that you will become one of our success stories as well. As a student with a disability, you are not required to disclose that you have a disability unless you need to request accommodations. If you would like to explore which accommodations may be available to you, please follow the steps outlined below. 

I wish you great success in your academic endeavors.

Sincerely,

Mike Ritter
Accessibility Resource Center Coordinator

 

1) Students needing to request accommodations must first provide documentation of their disability to the Accessibility Resource Center. This documentation does not need to be extensive or exhaustive but it does need to clearly state the type of disability that has been diagnosed (i.e., Jane Doe has been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disability in Mathematics). If the diagnosis is not clearly stated, additional documentation will be required. While we do accept Individualized Educational Plans (IEPs) and 504 Plans for the purpose of establishing the existence of a disability, please keep in mind that many of the accommodations that were reasonable in K-12 under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) may not be considered reasonable under the Americans with Disabilities Act which governs accommodation in the post-secondary environment. It is also important to keep in mind that students with disabilities are expected to meet the same academic standards as their peers.

Documentation may be submitted by:

email:  (preferred) mritter@missouriwestern.edu

fax:       (816) 271-5930

mail:     Missouri Western State University Accessibility Resource Center 4525 Downs Drive St. Joseph MO 64507

Note: Handwritten documentation that is illegible will cause a delay in services and is therefore discouraged.

Or, anytime you are going to be on campus, you may bring your documentation to the Accessibility Resource Center in Eder Hall Suite 203 Room N.

* Please Note: Missouri Western State University follows the Guidance on Disability Documentation Practices published by the Association on Higher Education and Disability.  Students needing to take standardized tests (e.g. C-BASE, PRAXIS, NCLEX, etc.) should be aware that each testing agency may have different documentation standards and practices. Students should become familiar with the documentation guidelines for their specific exam and apply for accommodations well in advance so they can secure additional documentation if necessary.

2) Students will need to make an appointment with the Accessibility Resource Center Coordinator to discuss which accommodations may be available and to learn how to notify instructors of those accommodations at the beginning of each semester. To make an appointment with the ARC Coordinator, contact Kathy Lau at (816) 271-4327. This appointment may last up to an hour so please plan accordingly.

When you meet with the Coordinator, you will need to be prepared to discuss the nature of your disability and how it may impact you as a student at MWSU. The more you know about your disability, the better we can help you discover ways to work around the challenges you face.

Upon review of the information provided in your documentation and during your appointment, a determination will be made regarding your requested accommodations. Your approved accommodations will be written into a personalized Accessibility Plan and it will be your responsibility to download and take a copy of your plan to each of your instructors at the beginning of each semester.

Typical accommodations include but are not limited to:

  • Sign language interpreters for deaf students.
  • Braille Audio books for students who are blind.
  • Additional time to complete exams and in-class assignments for students with disabilities related to reading, writing, thinking and concentrating.

In addition to the support services offered through the ARC, the Center for Academic Support provides one-on-one and small group tutoring for math and writing specifically and for most other courses as well. In addition to these services, students have access to Supplemental Instruction (SI) and workshops sponsored by the Center. Flashcards and handouts are also available. Located on the northeast corner of the library building, the Center consists of group study spaces and a large open area for students to receive tutoring or work independently.

 

Important Deadlines for Requesting Accommodations

  • The Accessibility Resource Center encourages students who are who are deaf or blind to contact the Accessibility Resource Center at least 60 days prior to the beginning of the semester to discuss related services.
  • Students who use wheelchairs, scooters or other mobility devices, are encouraged to contact the Accessibility Resource Center at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester to discuss related services.
  • Students who will be living on campus and have special dietary restrictions, are encouraged to contact the Accessibility Resource Center at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester to discuss related services.
  • Students who will be living on campus and need to have an accessible room, are encouraged to contact the Accessibility Resource Center at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester to discuss related services.
  • Students who will be living on campus and will be accompanied by a service animal, are encouraged to contact the Accessibility Resource Center at least 30 days prior to the beginning of the semester to discuss related services.

Failing to request accommodations in advance may cause a delay in the provision of these services.