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You’re encouraged to utilize the Office of Accessibility Services as a resource, and to connect with us early and often. We offer several different accommodations and support systems to help make your time at WPI as smooth and successful as possible.  If you need help accessing any information or forms on our website, we will gladly assist you.  Please contact us by phone at 508-831-4908, by email at accessibilityservices@wpi.edu, or by visiting Unity Hall - 5th floor.  Our office hours are Monday-Friday from 8am-12pm, and 1pm-5pm.  During the summer months (end of May through early August), the office closes at 4:30pm.  

Disclosing Process

In order to disclose a disability and request academic accommodations, you must:

After you submit the online intake form you will receive an auto reply, from the office to your WPI email account, indicating that the form was received.  Within 5 to 7 business days, after both the online intake form and submitted documentation have been reviewed, an OAS staff member will email you to schedule an intake appointment. During this meeting college appropriate accommodations will be discussed as well as general office supports that OAS can help with during your time at WPI. Once accommodations have been approved, you’ll be able to receive them throughout your time at WPI unless said accommodations have been approved on a temporary basis, you take substantial time off, or your disability has changed. 

There are times that the Office of Accessibility Services does consult with campus stakeholders to assist in the review of documentation.  These offices include, but are not limited to, Health Services, the Student Development and Counseling Center, and Residential Services.

Please note: Documentation review and intakes are not held during final exam preparation and administration.  Due to the high volume of exams that OAS helps accommodate we are unable to meet for intakes during the final 3 days of each term.

To request a housing accommodation, see the accommodated housing section for more information on the process to request. 

Philosophy on Self-Advocacy

We strongly believe in equipping students with the skills needed to be their best self-advocate.  As such, if any issues arise or you are not receiving your approved accommodations, we encourage you (the student) to notify the Office of Accessibility Services as soon as possible.  

In order to access accommodations each term, a student must:

1. Send a copy of their accommodation letters to their professors (preferably at the start of the term) through the OAS Student Portal.  

2. Speak to their professors to discuss how accommodations will be implemented for each course.

For more information, see our step-by-step guide on sending accommodation letters or contact our office.  

Helpful Assistive Technology

Interested in trying out some free or low-cost apps that can help with various school-related tasks? Here are a few of our favorites.

  • Cold Turkey can be programmed to block certain websites and other distractions
  • Quizlet provides material for interactive study sessions
  • Pomodoro Timer lets you schedule effective study and break times
  • Remember the Milk makes it easy to keep track of tasks and to-dos
  • SimplyNoise drowns out background noise to help you concentrate

Alternate Format Media

If you have approved for an Alternate Format Media accommodation, you must:

  • Fill out the E-Text Alternative Format Request form for each course as soon as the textbook information becomes available. If possible, please contact the course professor, prior to the start of the term, to inquire about materials needed.
  • Please note that this process takes time. Requests that require OAS to contact the publishing company directly can take up to 10 business days or longer.
  • If you have questions about other course materials and how OAS may be able to help create them in an accessible format, please contact the office as soon as you can.

Dining Accommodations

Students with food allergies or other dietary concerns are encouraged to contact OAS so that we may better understand their needs.  OAS can help make connections with either a member of our WPI Food Allergen Trained Staff or WPI Health Services. Dining Services has published a brochure on Dining with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease that you may find helpful to review. If a student feels they need to request additional accommodations, after talking with either a member of the Dining Servies or Health Services team, such accommodations can be requested through the housing accommodation request process.   

Housing Accommodations

  • The deadline for incoming first-year students to request housing accommodations for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year is Thursday, June 30th. 
  • The deadline for upper-class students to request housing accommodations for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year is Monday, February 14th.
  • All housing accommodation requests that are received after the set housing deadlines will be placed on a waitlist.  Based on current occupancy levels at WPI there is no guarantee of what pace the waitlist moves at. 
  • We cannot guarantee the availability of spaces will meet late applicants' accommodation needs.
  • Students must submit a housing accommodation request each year that they wish to live on campus.

Housing-based accommodations are available to students with a documented need. If you plan to request accommodations for housing, please complete the Housing Accommodation Request Form  (WPI Login Required).  You will need to submit some form of supporting documentation such as the Disability Verification for Housing Accommodation Requests (PDF) from a qualified provider or a letter that follows our documentation guidelines.  All students will also need to complete WPI’s housing application. If you would like to find out more information about Gender-Inclusive housing, please visit the Residential Services webpage.

Please note: there is a difference between housing accommodations and housing preferences.  Preferences for certain types of housing (i.e. specific residence halls, rooms, locations on campus, roommates) cannot be guaranteed.  Housing accommodations are only approved for the singular student who has a disability-related need (i.e. not roommates or suitemates as well).

Students who feel they may need evacuation assistance in the event of an emergency are encouraged to add themselves to the Voluntary Emergency Evacuation List. Information submitted on this form is forwarded directly to WPI Campus Police.  

Note-Taking Assistance

If you have been approved for peer note-taking assistance, first check and see if the slides or notes from your professor are available and sufficient. If not, please fill out a Note-Taker Request Form for each course you are seeking note-taking assistance. OAS will contact the course roster and find a  volunteer note-taker, who will be another student in your class, who will share their notes. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer note-taker, email us for more information.

Temporary Accommodations

Temporary disabilities may include broken limbs, hand injuries, concussions, or short-term impairments following surgery or medical treatments. To receive temporary accommodations, you must:

  • Submit our online intake form
  • Provide documentation from your doctor, hospital, and/or provider with expected recovery time and recommended accommodations

To learn more about the offices and supports available to assist students with temporary injuries, please see our Temporary Injuries and Accommodations Guide (PDF).  If you’ve missed a substantial amount of class time and won’t be able to successfully complete the term due to a medical or psychological disability, please contact Student Health Services for a medical disability or the Student Development & Counseling Center for a psychological disability to schedule an appointment to go through the medical withdrawal and re-entry process.

Testing Accommodations

Students with approved testing-based accommodations are encouraged to speak directly with their professors at the beginning of each term.  Students are encouraged to discuss their testing-based accommodations and how they will be implemented in the classroom setting.

  • If professors are able to accommodate you in the classroom setting - you should plan to stay in the classroom setting to complete your exam. 
  • If professors are administering online exams you are encouraged to speak directly with your professor to determine how extended time will be implemented.
  • If your professor is unable to proctor your exam and you will be utilizing our Exam Proctoring Center (EPC), you need to schedule your tests at least two school days in advance through the OAS Student Portal. OAS requires at least a two school day sign-up process for several reasons: OAS-approved testing accommodations are a reasonable accommodation and not an emergency service, OAS staff members need this time to obtain copies of exams from professors, and the need for OAS staff to navigate seating capacity within our Exam Proctoring Center.    

Exam Proctoring Center (EPC) Information:

  • When you schedule an exam in the EPC, through the OAS Student Portal, you will receive an auto-reply, indicating the exam has been booked.  If you do not receive an auto-reply, this means the request was not completed and must be redone.
  • Masks must be worn in the EPC at all times.
  • Due to limited seating capacity, the EPC will only be proctoring quizzes/exams that can only take place in person. You are strongly encouraged to reach out to your professors if you have questions/concerns about how your accommodations apply in a remote setting. All exams taking place on Canvas or electronic/take-home format will not be proctored by the EPC.
  • If a professor is able to proctor your exam within the classroom setting - please plan to stay in the classroom setting for your exam.
  • Late sign-ups may not be accommodated due to seating capacity. Please email epc@wpi.edu so that we may assist with scheduling.
  • All alternate time quiz/exam requests must be handled via email. Please email your professor and ask for permission for the alternate time request. Please forward that email to epc@wpi.edu so that we may assist with scheduling.
  • Should you have any questions and would like to meet with an OAS staff member please email accessibilityservices@wpi.edu to set up an appointment.



ACCESS

ACCESS (Awareness, Community, Collaboration, Empowerment, Support, and Success) is a student organization focused on advocating for campus and educational accessibility. Made up of students with disabilities as well as allies, ACCESS strives to develop a welcoming, supportive, and universally acceptable campus. Visit their website for information on how to join, meeting times, events and activities, and more.