WOU: Office of Disability Services

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Disability Services

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a disability?

  • A disability is an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Examples of major life activities include walking, listening, reading, and learning.

Do I need to tell anyone about my disability?

  • It is your choice whether or not you disclose your disability, even to your professors. If you want to receive accommodations, you must provide documentation of your disability to the Office of Disability Services (ODS).

How do I document my disability?

  • You need to provide a statement from a competent medical professional (a doctor, psychiatrist, or other medical professional), that verifies the functional limitations caused by your disability. For example, a student that has a diagnosis of cerebral palsy may have difficulty writing. The functional limitations may include lack of fine motor control. Recommended accommodations may include a scribe or the use of voice activation software during exams and a note taker for classes.

When should I provide documentation?

  • You are strongly encouraged to complete an application and provide medical documentation before the term in which you are needing the services starts. We need to have these materials before you can receive accommodations and services through the Office of Disability Services.

Where is my documentation kept?

  • In accordance with state and federal law, documentation regarding your disability is kept in a separate, confidential file at ODS and will not be part of your academic record.

How does Western use information about my disability?

  • The Office of Disability Services needs sufficient information in order to determine eligibility and effective accommodations for each student. We may use non-identifying information about your disability to gather statistical information for planning and allocation of resources.


Office of Disability Services (503) 838-8250 VTTY; fax (503) 838-8721 | or e-mail: ods@wou.edu
Location: APSC room 405

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