Access Services

We’re Here for You

Our mission is to coordinate services to empower students with disabilities to participate and excel in every aspect of academic and campus life at WSU Tri-Cities.

Reasonable accommodations are available for students who have a documented disability.

If you have a documented disability, even temporary, make an appointment as soon as possible with the Access Services Coordinator.

All accommodations for disabilities must be approved through Access Services. Classroom accommodation forms are available through the Access Services office.

Some services and reasonable accommodations available on an individually determined basis include the following:

    • Accessible facilities
    • Alternative educational media
    • Alternative testing
    • ASL Interpreters
    • Note taking
    • Priority registration
    • Scribes
    • Specialized equipment

You will need to provide your instructor with the appropriate classroom accommodation form. The forms should be completed and submitted during the first week of class. Late notification may delay your accommodations.

MyAccess & YOU - applying for access resources

In order to have an equal opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, students with certain disabilities or chronic medical conditions require reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodations remove or reduce barriers to the university environment, which allows students an equal opportunity to engage in learning.

WSU Tri-Cities now uses MyAccess, a secure online platform that interconnects a student’s application for accommodations with the Access Services Office and, once the intake process is complete, the semester’s faculty.

Student MyAccess Login

Apply for WSU Access services: Fill out application 

Gretchen Hormel
Access and Support Services Coordinator

g.hormel@wsu.edu

509-372-7352

Book an appointment online with Access Services

Faculty & Staff: If you were unable to attend the summer workshop to assist with curriculum development for school year 2020-2021 the recording is available here: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Training on 6/29/2020 . More resources are available on the Tips for Creating Accessible Course Materials web page.

Process

Providing equal access is a university-wide responsibility in which Washington State faculty, staff, and students play important roles. The following guidelines help to clarify the different roles of those involved in the provision of accommodations and other services to students with disabilities.

What the student needs to do:

  • Confirm that all required documentation has been received and evaluated by Access Services.
  • Come in each semester that you are a Washington State Tri-Cities student to inform us of any concerns or additional needs related to your accommodations and to receive your updated Accommodations Form.
  • Be willing to discuss your accommodation needs and academic concerns with your instructors as needed. Many instructors prefer to work closely with you and are genuinely interested in your success — communicate early and often!
  • Promptly request accommodations as far in advance as possible so Access Services can work with students, faculty, staff, and other university and community offices to provide the most effective (and timely!) accommodations in accordance with your needs.
  • Check in with the Access Services Coordinator if there are changes to your disability which may require updated documentation.
  • Inform the Access Services Coordinator as soon as possible about any concerns you may have about receiving your accommodations; we will work with you to clarify questions and resolve the matter in a timely way.

What instructors need to do:

  • Work collaboratively with the student and Access Services to provide the approved accommodations, consistent with the Accommodations Form.
  • Contact the Access Services Coordinator if you feel additional accommodations may be needed, if you have questions about how to provide certain accommodations within your course format, or with any concerns you may have related to the process.
  • Know the essential elements of a course or program so that accommodations can be provided consistent with academic standards.

What Access Services will do:

  • Provide clear information about what documentation is needed to ensure that each student is eligible for accommodations and that the documentation is complete.
  • Help students identify and obtain reasonable accommodations.
  • Update Accommodation Forms each semester for each student who receives accommodations from Access Services.
  • Maintain student information confidentially and sensitively, according to state and federal privacy laws.
  • Inform you when additional documentation is needed or has become outdated.
  • Explore with you how you’re impacted by your disability and provide further information and/or referrals to other student services who can assist you.
  • Demonstrate professional respect, clear and timely communication, and courtesy in the provision of services to students, faculty, and staff.
  • Work collaboratively and positively with students and instructors to resolve questions, concerns, and needs for accommodations in an expedient manner.

Guidelines for Documenting Disabilities

The Access Services Office can provide accommodation for the following documented disabilities:

Vision

Guidelines for the Documentation of Vision Disabilities

Students who are seeking support services from Washington State University Tri-Cities on the basis of a vision disability will be required to submit documentation of a disability to verify eligibility. Documentation of disability and related information will be kept in a separate file in the Access Services Office. The cost and responsibility for providing this documentation shall be borne by the student.

Documentation should show current impact of the disability. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that the evaluation and report are appropriate for documenting eligibility and identifying appropriate academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids.

Any vision loss evaluation would be considered to be in the medical domain and require the expertise of a qualified licensed eye care professional. The documentation should include:

  1. The date of most recent visit, diagnosis of the eye disorder, and its pathology specific to this individual;
  2. A brief description of the severity of the vision loss, and current impact or limitations;
  3. Any medically relevant testing results;
  4. A description of assistive devices or services currently prescribed or in use, including the possible effectiveness of these devices or services in an educational setting;
  5. A description of the expected progression or stability of the vision loss over time.

Suggestions for academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids with supporting evidence may be included. The final determination for providing appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids rests with Washington State University’s Access Services Office.

Psychiatric

Guidelines for Documentation of Psychiatric Disabilities

Students who are seeking support services on the basis of a psychiatric disability will be required to submit documentation to verify eligibility. Documentation of disability and related information will be kept in a separate file in the Access Services Office. The cost and responsibility for providing this documentation shall be borne by the student.

For the purpose of this policy, a psychological/psychiatric disability is defined as an impairment of cognitive, educational, and/or social functioning caused by a disorder as described in the American Psychiatric Diagnostic Statistical Manual, 4th edition (DSM IV) or successive editions.

Documentation should show current impact of the disability. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that the evaluation and report are appropriate for documenting eligibility and identifying appropriate academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids. The report must be prepared by a qualified mental health professional.

The documentation should:

    1. Specify the nature, severity, current impact of the disability, and anticipated duration;
    2. State the diagnosis in the nomenclature used by the DSM IV or successive editions;
    3. Address the student’s current ability to function in the college environment (e.g. ability to focus, organize one’s time, attend class, work in groups or alone);
    4. Include medication and the current side effects that may impact the student in an educational setting.

Suggestions for academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids with supporting evidence may be included. The final determination for providing appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids rests with the Access Services Office. Questions or concerns regarding documentation requirements can be directed to Gretchen Hormel (509) 372-7352 or g.hormel@wsu.edu.

Health and Physical

Guidelines for Documenting of Health and Physical Disabilities

Students who are seeking support services from WSU Tri-Cities for a health or physical disability will be required to submit documentation to verify eligibility. Documentation of disability and related information will be kept in a separate file in the Access Services Office. The cost and responsibility for providing this documentation shall be borne by the student.

Health and physical disabilities include but are not limited to: Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, spinal cord injuries, cancer, AIDS, Muscular Dystrophy, and Spina Bifida. Any health or physical disability is considered to be in the medical domain and require the diagnosis of a qualified medical professional. Information describing the certification, licensure, and/or the professional training of individuals conducting the evaluation must be provided.

Documentation should show current impact of the disability. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that the evaluation and report are appropriate for documenting eligibility and identifying appropriate academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids.

The documentation should include:

    1. A clear statement of the medical diagnosis of the physical disability or illness;
    2. How the disability limits a major life activity, including but not limited to walking, breathing, seeing, hearing, performing manual tasks, caring for one’s self, learning, or working;
    3. A description of the type and severity of current symptoms and functional impact of the disability;
    4. Medical information relating to the student’s needs to include the existing side effects of medication on the student’s ability to meet the demands of the postsecondary environment (physical, perceptual, behavioral, or cognitive);
    5. A description of treatments, medications, assistive devices/services currently prescribed or in use, including the possible effectiveness of these devices or services in an educational setting;
    6. A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability over time.

Suggestions for academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids with supporting evidence may be included. The final determination for providing appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids rests with Access Services Office.

Learning

Guidelines for the Documentation of Learning Disabilities

Students who are seeking support services from Washington State University Tri-Cities on the basis of learning disability will be required to submit documentation of a disability to verify eligibility. Documentation of disability and related information will be kept in a separate file in the Access Services Office.

The student is responsible for providing this documentation. Documentation of a learning disability consists of the provision of professional testing and evaluation including a written report, which reflects the student’s present level of information processing as well as his or her achievement level.

Documentation should show current impact of the disability. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that the evaluation and report are most useful for documenting eligibility and identifying appropriate academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids. The documentation should:

    1. Be prepared by a professional qualified to diagnose learning disabilities, which would include: a licensed neuropsychologist or psychologist, learning disability specialist, clinical or educational psychologist, or other appropriately qualified professional. Experience in the evaluation of adults with learning disabilities is essential;
    2. Be comprehensive. The use of a single test and/or informal screening instruments (such as Slingerland, Peabody, Slossen and Scotopic Sensitivity Screening) is not acceptable for the purpose of diagnosis. Minimally, areas to be addressed must include but not be limited to:
      • Aptitude. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS III) including subtest scores is preferred. The Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery Revised: Tests of Cognitive Ability is acceptable. The Leiter International Performance Scale or the Comprehensive Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence is accepted when cultural bias or hearing loss is a concern;
      • Achievement. A comprehensive academic achievement battery is essential with all subtests and standard scores reported for those subtests administered. The battery should include current levels of functioning in reading (decoding and comprehension), mathematics, and written language. Acceptable instruments include the Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeducational Battery-Revised: Test of Achievement; Stanford Test of Academic Skills; or specific achievement tests such as the Test of Written Language-2,Woodcock Reading Master Test-Revised, or the Stanford Diagnostic Mathematics Test. (The Wide Range Achievement Test Revised is NOT a comprehensive measure of achievement and therefore is not suitable.);
      • Information Processing. Specific areas of information processing (e.g., short- and longterm memory; sequential memory; auditory and visual perception/processing; processing speed, executive functioning, and motor ability) must be assessed. Use of subtests from the WAIS III or the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability are acceptable; (This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of testing instruments or to restrict assessment in other pertinent and helpful areas, such as vocational interest and aptitudes. Future revisions of the above listed testing instruments will be accepted.)
    3. Be current. In most cases, this means within the past three years and adult normed testing instruments. The provision of all academic adjustments and auxiliary aids is based upon assessment of the current impact of the student’s disabilities on his or her academic performance. It is in a student’s best interest to provide recent and appropriate documentation to serve as the basis for decision making about adjustments in an academically competitive environment;
    4. Present clear and specific evidence, which identifies the learning disabilities and reflects the individual’s present level of functioning in aptitude, achievement, and processing. Individual “learning styles” and “learning differences” in and of themselves do not specify a learning disability;
    5. Include the exact instruments used and procedures followed to assess the learning disabilities. Test results (including subtests score data), standard scores, and/or percentiles should be provided for all normed measures. Grade equivalents alone are NOT acceptable. All reports should be on letterhead, typed, dated, and signed.

Suggestions for academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids with supporting evidence may be included. The final determination for providing appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids rests with Washington State University Tri-Cities Access Services Office.

Attention

Guidelines for Documenting Attention Disabilities

Students who are seeking support services from Washington State University Tri-Cities on the basis of an attention disability will be required to submit documentation to verify eligibility. Documentation of disability and related information will be kept in a separate file in the Access Services Office. The cost and responsibility for providing this documentation shall be borne by the student.

Although the more generic term Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is frequently used, the official nomenclature used in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) or successive editions, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), will be used in this document. Documentation should show current impact of the disability. The following guidelines are provided in the interest of assuring that the evaluation and report are appropriate for documenting eligibility and identifying appropriate academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids. The report should clearly state the names, titles, professional credentials, addresses, and phone numbers of the evaluators, indicate date(s) of testing, and be on official letterhead, typed, dated, and signed.

The documentation should:

    1. Be prepared by a professional who has comprehensive training in differential diagnosis and direct experience working with adolescents and adults with ADHD which may include: clinical psychologists, neuropsychologists, psychiatrists, and other relevantly trained medical doctors;
    2. Be current. The provision of all academic adjustments and auxiliary aids are based upon the assessment of the current impact of the disability on academic performance. This means that the diagnostic evaluation should show the current level of functioning and impact of the disability;
    3. Be comprehensive. Minimally, areas to be addressed should include:
      • Evidence of early and current impairment. Diagnostic assessment should consist of more than a self-report. Due to the fact that ADHD is, by definition in the DSM-IV, first exhibited in childhood and manifests itself in more than one setting, a comprehensive assessment typically includes a clinical summary of objective historical information garnered from sources such as transcripts, report cards, teacher comments, tutoring evaluations, psycho-educational testing, medical history, employment history, family history, and third party interviews when available;
      • Alternative diagnoses or explanations should be ruled out. Possible alternative diagnoses including medical, psychiatric disorders, and educational or cultural factors affecting the individual that may result in behaviors mimicking ADHD should be explored;
    4. Include relevant testing information. Test scores or subtest scores alone should not be used as a sole measure for the diagnostic decision regarding ADHD. Selected subtest scores from measures of intellectual ability, memory functions tests, attention or tracking tests, or continuous performance tests do not in and of themselves establish the presence or absence of ADHD. Checklists and/or surveys can serve to supplement the diagnostic profile, but in and of themselves are not adequate for the diagnosis of ADHD;
    5. If applicable, present a specific diagnosis of ADHD based on the DSM-IV, or successive editions, diagnostic criteria. The diagnostician should use direct language in the diagnosis of ADHD, avoiding the use of such terms as “suggests,” “is indicative of,” or “attention problems”;
    6. Provide a comprehensive interpretive summary synthesizing the evaluator’s judgment for the diagnosis. The report should include: all quantitative information in standard scores and/or percentiles, all relevant developmental, familial, medical, psychosocial, behavioral, and academic information; and a clear identification of the substantial limitation(s) of a major life function presented by the ADHD.

Suggestions for academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids with supporting evidence may be included. The final determination for providing appropriate academic adjustments and auxiliary aids rests with WSU Tri-Cities’s Access Services Office.

Additional Information and Resources

Confidentiality

You have a right to services and reasonable accommodations, which allow you to compete on an equal basis with non-disabled students, as long as you meet the basic requirements to perform activities of the program or occupation.I am text block.

Information regarding a student’s disability is confidential. Medical information will not be released unless there exists a clear and imminent danger to self, others, and/or the university.

Grievance procedures

Students registered with the WSU Tri-Cities Access Services who believe they have been adversely impacted by Access Services staff, policies or procedures, or who believed that an assigned accommodation is not being appropriately provided, should first contact the Access Services.

If the student is not satisfied, they have a right to file a formal grievance. This complaint should be made as soon as possible after the action that triggers concern, and the complaint will be resolved based on timelines stated in the procedures below. The student may file a formal grievance by:

1. Students should present their concerns in writing to the WSU Tri-Cities Director of Student Services. The grievance should contain the following elements.

  • Specifics of the concern, including the student’s rationale for filing the grievance
  • History of the issue, including steps the student has taken to date
  • Individuals against whom the concern is being filed
  • Requested resolution to the concern
  • Contact information for the student

If the grievance relates to accommodations granted or not granted to a student, accommodations will not be adjusted until the Director has reached a decision. The Director will investigate and respond to the student within two weeks.

Director of Student Services
Floyd 269D
509-372-7433

2. Once a formal decision has been made and the student is informed, the student may appeal to the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs within 20 business days of the Director’s response. Access Services will provide the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs with the grievance documents submitted by the students. Only facts already in evidence will be considered.

Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs
Floyd 269F
509-372-7267

Washington State University Tri-Cities students who believe they have been discriminated against due to a disability may pursue a formal grievance/complaint through WSU’s Office of Civil Rights Compliance and Investigation.

Office of Complaint and Civil Rights
Washington State University

509-335-8288

Students may also pursue a complaint/grievance with the Office of Civil Rights within the U.S. Department of Education.

Office for Civil Rights, Seattle Office
U.S. Department of Education

915 Second Avenue, Room 3310
Seattle, WA 98174-1099
206-607-1600 (phone)
206-607-1601 (fax)
OCR.Seattle@ed.gov

For faculty - testing accomodations

If you have a student in your class who is registered with the Access Services Office and has exam proctoring as an accommodation, please do the following:

  • Go to the Exam Proctoring Center website and submit a Proctoring Request Form. Provide the exam as soon as possible, at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the exam. Please note: The “Disabilities Services Students” paragraph provides the specifics applicable to your needs.
  • The exam proctoring office has set days and hours. Please be aware that schedule flexibility is essential, allowing a day or two between the earliest date that a proctored exam may be administered to the last date allowed. This will provide the Proctor flexibility to work with the student’s schedule, as well as the testing center’s schedule, to calendar the student’s proctored exam.
  • The Exam Proctoring Center website includes instructions for students, whose schedules have a tremendous influence on when the exam can be added to the Proctor’s schedule. Therefore, students do not have to wait for a Proctoring Request Form to be submitted by the instructor. The student can submit an online form, Student Scheduling Request – Student Use, to initiate the scheduling process. If a proctoring request form has not been submitted by the instructor first, then the instructor will be copied on the Scheduling Confirmation email with a statement and link in order that a Proctoring Request Form can be readily submitted — Proctor Request Form – Instructor Use.
  •  If you have any questions, do not hesitate to visit the Exam Proctor Center, located in the Learning Commons, or call the Exam Proctor Center at 509.372.7191. You can also email tricities.testingcenter@wsu.edu
COVID & Mental Health Resources
Access support services outside the classroom…