You’re encouraged to utilize Disability 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 disabilityservices@wpi.edu, or by visiting 124 Daniels Hall.  Our office hours are Monday-Friday from 8am-12pm, and 1pm-5pm.  During the summer months, the office closes at 4:30pm.  

Disclosing a Disability

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

Once approved, you’ll be able to receive accommodations 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.

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 Disability 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 ODS 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 it’s determined that you require alternative format media, you must:

  • Decide which course materials you’d like to be converted (options include textbooks, handouts, professor notes, presentations, journal articles and papers, and videos), and which format they should be converted into.
  • For textbooks, fill out the E-Text Alternative Format Request form for each course as soon as textbook information becomes available.
  • Contact Disability Services staff to discuss options for all other materials.

Dining Accommodations

Students with food allergies, Celiac Disease, or other dietary concerns are encouraged to complete a request form to arrange a team meeting with our Food Allergen Trained Staff and WPI Health Services.  This meeting will allow us to gain insight into your individual needs and develop plans to assist you with navigating our dining areas on campus.  Dining Services has published a brochure on Dining with Food Allergies and Celiac Disease as well as created an Allergen Limited Living Facebook page to provide a resource for updates and guidance.  

If a student feels they need to request additional accommodations after meeting with the team, such accommodations can be requested through the housing accommodation request process below.   

Housing Accommodations

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 and submit a signed Disability Verification for Housing Accommodation Requests from a qualified provider.  All students will also need to complete WPI’s housing application.  The deadline for upperclass students to request a housing accommodation for the upcoming school year is January 15th and for incoming first-year students, June 1st.   Though the committee will review and consider requests submitted after the above listed deadlines, we cannot guarantee the availability of spaces will meet late applicants' accommodation needs.  Please note: students must submit a housing accommodation request each year that you wish you wish to live on campus.  

There is a difference between Housing Accommodations and Housing Preferences. Student preferences for certain types of housing (i.e. specific hall, room, or roommates) cannot be guaranteed, but will be considered in addition to a documented need for a disability-related accommodation.

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 to the form is shared directly with 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. This form will match you with a volunteer note-taker, another student in your class, who will share their notes with you after they’ve been reviewed by our staff.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer note-taker, email Jessica Szivos 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:

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, 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.

For official verification of absence from class due to illness or hospitalization to be sent to your professors, contact Student Health Services and the Office of Academic Advising.

Testing Accommodations

If you need testing-based accommodations, you should sit down with your course instructors at the beginning of each term to discuss accommodation options and how they can be implemented.  Some professors choose to provide approved accommodations directly, while others opt to use our Exam Proctoring Center (EPC) in Morgan Hall 103.  

The EPC features a variety of assistive technology accommodations, and is available for use by you and your instructor.  If you have been approved for testing-based accommodations, you need to schedule your tests at least two school days in advance through the ODS Student Portal.  For scheduling questions, download How to Schedule an Exam in the EPC (PDF), call 508-831-4955, or email the EPC.

Please note: effective August 24, 2017 the Exam Proctoring Center (EPC) will no longer schedule exams outside of the class time until written approval is provided by the professor. Students are responsible for emailing their professors to obtain permission, and forwarding the approval to epc@wpi.edu. If written approval is not provided prior to the scheduled exam, students can take the exam at the class time, or they are responsible for working with their professor to find an alternate solution.  If you have any questions, please speak with an ODS staff member as soon as possible.

ODS Ambassadors

Do you have questions about connecting with the Office of Disability Services?  Ask our ODS Ambassadors!

ODS Ambassadors are current students who can provide guidance and share their perspective on working with our office, sharing accommodation letters with professors, general WPI student questions, and being a strong self-advocate.  Reach out to our Ambassadors by email at ODS_Ambassadors@wpi.edu.  

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.

Quick Tip Video Series

Looking for help?  Check out our Quick Tip Video Series!  Each short video is designed to help you with a variety of topics.