Disability Accommodations Overview

Webster's Accommodation Process involves four steps which may be repeated multiple times. It can be started or stopped at any point, and students who initially opt out of the accommodations process can reverse their decision at any point in their Webster career. However, we do advise incoming students who know they will require accommodations to consult the ARC or their local site director as early as possible. Student who feel that their disabilities have not been properly accommodated at Webster are invited to view our ADA Grievance Policy.

1. Student Request and Documentation

All students accepted by Webster receive a letter that states Webster provides services for students with documented disabilities. The letter directs them to contact the ADA Coordinator, the Site Director, or their designee(s) to discuss documentation and to request accommodations. Documentation of the student's disability must be provided by a qualified professional. Students who develop or discover additional disabilities during their time at Webster may need to submit additional documentation to ensure that adequate accommodation is provided for them.

2. Eligibility Evaluation

Decisions regarding accommodations are the result of joint consultation between the student and the ARC or local site staff designated to coordinate disability accommodations. These decisions are based on the student's disability, prior accommodation history, suggestions in the documentation, recommendations of prior instructors, and best practices criteria.

Applications for class waivers and course substitutions are submitted to the Chairman of the student's declared major department and to the Dean of the School in which the department resides. Decisions about class waivers must be submitted to the chair of the student's major department and are subject to the department's designation of the specific class or skill as an essential or a non-essential element of that major.

3. Faculty Notification

After receiving the student's permission, the Webster ARC or the site staff will send each term's current instructors a written notification listing the accommodations and auxiliary aids approved for each student with a disability who is registered in his or her class(es). ADA notifications for online classes and Saint Louis area campuses will be sent via Webster email.The purpose of the letter is to prepare the instructor and advisor for auxiliary aids that may impact the classroom (e.g., a guide dog, a sign interpreter), to specify accommodations to which the student is legally entitled (e.g., extended time on tests), to enlist instructor assistance in providing accommodations (e.g., help in locating a volunteer note taker, wearing a lapel microphone), and to provide information that has instructional ramifications (e.g., needs visual cues) or about disabilities that could create crisis situations in the classroom (e.g., diabetes, epilepsy). To avoid the negative attitudes sometimes attached to particular labels, specific diagnostic terminology is used only when obvious (e.g., vision or hearing impairment) or when it provides behavioral management suggestions or information (e.g., Tourette's or Autism Spectrum).

4. Effectiveness Evaluation

Throughout a student's career at Webster University, information from instructors, from advisors, and from the student is used to assess the effectiveness of his or her current accommodations. Faculty or student feedback indicating that an accommodation is ineffective or unnecessary often results in its elimination and/or the substitution of one that may prove more effective. Amended notification letters are then constructed and sent, and the new accommodations are implemented and subsequently assessed by faculty and students for their effectiveness.

Students with documented disabilities who return to Webster after an absence of a year or more must notify either the Academic Resource Center assistant director/ADA coordinator or their local site director in order to review and continue any accommodations.


Academic Resource Center

40 Loretto Hall
470 E. Lockwood Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63119