Accessibility Resource Center

New Students

Welcome to MWSU!

The Accessibility Resource Center works 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. An environmental barrier can be anything (including places, policies and procedures) that excludes a student from full participation in all of the academic and co-curricular programs offered at MWSU.

The following are a few of the barriers typically encountered by students with disabilities:

  • Class lectures delivered orally will be inaccessible to students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Printed class materials will be inaccessible to students who are blind or have low vision.
  • Quizzes and exams that do not allow enough time to read, process and respond to all of the test questions will be inaccessible for many students with a wide variety of disabilities.
  • Classrooms with built-in seating will be inaccessible for students who use wheelchairs or scooters.

Our job is to facilitate accommodations in order to remove or greatly minimize the impact of these barriers on students with disabilities. We prefer to meet with students in person prior to the beginning of their first semester. To make an appointment with the ARC coordinator, please send an email to Mike Ritter at mritter@missouriwestern.edu. It will be helpful if students bring to their appointment some form of professional documentation describing their diagnosed disabilities. We use this information to explore which accommodations may be useful for removing the barriers identified during our meeting. The 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., “Abigail Abercrombie has been diagnosed with a Specific Learning Disability in Mathematics”).

Once we have identified the barriers and determined the best way to remove them, we will put together a Student Information Letter outlining the procedures necessary for faculty and staff to provide equal access, inclusion and opportunities. At the beginning of each semester, students are encouraged to take a copy of their letter to all of their instructors, as well as their academic advisor, to discuss any particular concerns for the upcoming semester.

Services in the ARC are limited to creating an accessible environment where students with disabilities have the same opportunities as their peers. For students who are having trouble learning the course material, the Center for Academic Support offers free tutoring services. In addition to tutoring, students have access to Supplemental Instruction (SI) and workshops sponsored by the Center. Flashcards and handouts are also available. Another excellent resource is the Student Success & Academic Advising Center where students have access to professional academic advisors, help with career exploration, and workshops on note taking, study skills, stress management, time management, minimizing test anxiety, and test taking strategies.

The Accessibility Resource Center is a department within the Division of Student Affairs. To find out more about all of the services and programs available through Student Affairs, visit our web page at https://www.missouriwestern.edu/studentaffairs/.