Mike Ritter
Mike RitterAccessibility Resource Coordinator
Lindsey Smith
Lindsey SmithTesting Coordinator

Information and Resources for Students


Welcome to the Accessibility Resource Center. The primary function of the Center is to create an accessible and inclusive collegiate environment for students with disabilities. Students with documented disabilities are encouraged to visit the Accessibility Resource Center in Blum 212 to explore campus and community resources available while attending MWSU.


There are a number of significant changes that happen when a disabled student leaves the public education setting and enters the post-secondary (college/university) environment. The Department of Education has created a helpful document to explain the differences between the two academic environments and to assist students with making a successful transition.

What does it mean to be a person with a disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity.

What kinds of things are considered major life activities? 

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines major life activities as those functions that are important to most people’s daily lives. Examples of major life activities are breathing, walking, talking, hearing, seeing, sleeping, caring for one’s self, performing manual tasks, and working. Major life activities also include major bodily functions such as immune system functions, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.


An Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is not a suitable or sufficient form of disability documentation in the post-secondary environment. At MWSU, students with disabilities are required to provide documentation prepared by an appropriate professional, such as a medical doctor, psychologist, or other qualified diagnostician. Documentation must include the following: a diagnosis of the student’s current disability, as well as supporting information, such as the date of the diagnosis, how the diagnosis was reached, and the credentials of the diagnosing professional; information on how the student’s disability affects a major life activity; and information on how the disability affects the student’s academic performance. Documentation should provide enough information for the University to make a determination as to reasonable and effective academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and accommodations as we work with the student throughout the interactive process.

If a student does not have sufficient documentation, they will be referred to the vocational rehabilitation agency in their state of residence for an evaluation. You may locate your state vocational rehabilitation agency at http://rsa.ed.gov by clicking on “Info about RSA,” then “People and Offices,” and then “State Agencies/ Contacts.”

The Accommodation Process

Once a determination has been made that a student’s diagnosed disability has a significant impact on one or more major life activities, an accommodation letter will be created detailing the academic adjustments, auxiliary aids and accommodations that need to be put in place on their behalf. Students will receive this letter in their MWSU Gold Link email and will need to forward their email to their instructors and other relevant staff members. Returning students will need to request an updated letter at the beginning of each semester.

If you have any questions about the information on this page, please contact the ARC at arc@missouriwestern.edu or (816) 271-4330.