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Student Accessibility Services (SAS) cultivates an accessible and inclusive community where students with permanent or temporary disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of campus life through appropriate academic accommodations. SAS promotes accessibility awareness through the development of student self-advocacy, collaboration and partnerships with faculty, staff and departments, and the broader campus community.
Student Accessibility Services is committed to:
- Establishing a welcoming, respectful, supportive and engaging environment in SAS and on the campus community,
- Assisting students with disabilities to increase self-advocacy,
- Supporting students with disabilities to achieve their postsecondary education goals,
- Collaborating with faculty to provide equitable access and the appropriate reasonable accommodations within courses and programs for students with disabilities,
- And promoting disability as an aspect of diversity.
The Student Accessibility Services office coordinates support services and programs that enable equal access to education and university life for students with disabilities—including temporary or permanent challenges with mental health, chronic health, sensory ability, physical health/mobility, and learning ability. If you are living with one or more disabilities, we invite you to meet with us and register with our office—it is voluntary and confidential. Students will need to supply documentation by a qualified professional regarding the impact of their disability along with their Registration Form.
Worcester State University is committed to equal access for students, visitors and employees, and encourages all to participate in its programs and activities.
The following services do not represent a complete account of all accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are determined based on documentation and a discussion with the student at an intake meeting. Not all students will qualify for all accommodations.
Educational accommodations in higher education are based upon access, not success and are determined on an individual basis. Examples of educational accommodations include extended time for quizzes, tests and exams; reduced distraction testing location; and, lecture capture.
Students requesting Educational Accommodations can complete the Registration Form.
SAS is equipped with adaptive and accessible computer equipment and software. Assistive technology includes: alternative format texts, screen reader, notetaking/lecture capture software (GLEAN), text-to-speech software (Kurzweil) and contrast keyboards.
Students requesting Assistive Technology can complete the Registration Form.
Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing students rely upon various modes of communication access. Student Accessibility Services (SAS) coordinates provision of Sign Language interpreters, Remote CART (Communication Access in Real Time), TypeWell Transcribers, closed captioning, equipment (such as FM Systems) and notetakers.
Students requesting Communication Access accommodations can complete the Registration Form.
This Housing Accommodation procedure, which represents a collaborative effort between Residence Life and Housing, Student Accessibility Services, Counseling Services and Health Services, seeks to provide a student-focused process that allows students to apply for reasonable housing accommodations based on disability status. Housing Accommodations are based upon necessity, not a personal preference.
Housing requests for first years and transfers are due by May 31st.
Housing requests for returning students are due by February 1st.
Please see Housing Accommodations for more information.
Differences Between Service and Assistance Animals:
A Service Animal is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as a dog or miniature horse that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. For example, a person who is blind may have a dog that guides the individual throughout activities of daily living, or a person who has epilepsy may have a dog that is trained to detect the onset of a seizure and then help the person remain safe during the seizure. Please see our Service Animal Policy for more information.
Assistance Animals, also known as emotional support or companion animals, are terms used to described animals that provide comfort to a person. Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act. For example a person with an anxiety disorder may find that a cat eases their symptoms. Please see our Assistance Animal Policy for more information.
Students with Service Animals are not required to contact SAS unless the animal will be living in the dorm rooms. Assistance Animals MUST be approved by SAS before being brought to campus (including classrooms, dorms, etc). Please see Housing Accommodations if you will be requesting an assistance animal in Worcester State housing.
Students who need to ensure that their class is located in an accessible building, who may need an adjustable height table, or have other furniture/location needs will register for classes early so that SAS can work with the Registrar’s office to meet their classroom access needs.
Students who are requesting Classroom Accommodations can complete the Registration Form.
Students with special dietary needs are often able to have their needs met by Chartwells, Worcester State’s dining service provider.
Student Accessibility Services (SAS) will work with the student to determine if accommodations may be needed within the required meal plan. Meal plan accommodations, including a modification or exemption from mandatory participation in a meal plan are rare. Exemptions are made solely for documented medical conditions, including food allergies, that require specially medically necessitated diets that cannot be accommodated by Chartwells.
Students who have a temporary illness, surgery or injury (such as a concussion), may request accommodations by submitting written evaluations from treatment professionals documenting the nature of the illness/injury and meeting with an SAS staff member for an intake appointment. If seeking temporary accommodations, please reach out to SAS and provide documentation as soon as possible.
For students who want to register for temporary accommodations, please fill out the Registration Form.
SAS coordinates a Peer Mentoring Program for incoming first year or transfer students registered with SAS. Peer mentors meet with mentees once a week and offer support for students navigating college.
Students registered with SAS may be eligible for Academic Coaching. Students partaking in Academic Coaching typically meet with an SAS Specialist or graduate assistant for half an hour once a week for academic support. Academic Coaching sessions are personalized to student needs, and may focus on a range of executive functioning skills, including organization, time management, study skills, etc. The goal of coaching sessions is for the student to develop self advocacy and independent skills that will support their long term goals.
Contact Student Accessibility Services
Celebrating Our Students
Student Accessibility Services sponsors the Gamma Chi chapter of Delta Alpha Pi (DAPi). SAS students with a GPA of 3.1 or higher, and at least 24 credits, are invited to join. The Gamma Chi chapter is active and engaged, and provides peer mentoring for incoming SAS freshman and transfer students.
Delta Alpha Pi is an academic honor society founded to recognize high-achieving students with disabilities who are attending colleges (including community colleges) and universities as undergraduate or graduate students. This dynamic organization celebrates and supports academic achievement, leadership and advocacy for post-secondary students with disabilities. Over 150 institutions have established a chapter to recognize students’ academic achievement.
Frequently Asked Questions
A student with a disability is any person who:
- has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities;
- has a record of such impairment; or
- is regarded as having such an impairment.
The determination of a disability is an individualized inquiry. SAS conducts interactive intakes with students on an individual basis, and requires documentation from a qualified professional(s) with a diagnosis and a description of functional limitations related to the diagnosis. The intake process also takes into account the students’ self-report and the evaluator’s assessment. Each student’s impairment and functional limitations are different.
- Reasonable accommodations are adjustments in the learning environment that provide equal opportunity for qualified disabled students.
- Reasonable accommodations modify nonessential elements of Worcester State University’s programs.
- It is the student’s responsibility to register and request accommodations through SAS.
- A student must provide comprehensive documentation by a qualified professional to SAS to support (or deny) the request for a reasonable accommodation.
- SAS may determine that an accommodation is not reasonable if it fundamentally alters a course curriculum or technical standards of the program of study.