Disability Support Services

Walla Walla University provides a variety of services to students with disabilities. Disability Support Services provides assistance for enrolled or admitted students who have disabilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Receiving assistance

A student with a disability is a person who qualifies for an accommodation under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and/or the Americans with Disabilities Act. Disabilities may include (but are not limited to):

  • Physical disabilities, such as sensory disabilities (hearing, sight, etc.) or motor disabilities
  • Medical disabilities, such as cystic fibrosis, fibromyalgia, or diabetes
  • Psychological disabilities, such as depression, bipolar or obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Learning disabilities, such as attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder or dyslexia

To receive assistance, students must have diagnostic documentation according to the documentation guidelines. This documentation should explain the nature and extent of your disability, and may include professional recommendations for support services. Students must reach out to the DSS office or submit a request for accommodation on Accommodate to begin the process. 

While testing for disabilities is not offered by Disability Support Services, referrals to resources may be made when needed. 


Accommodate is an online case management system that assists students, faculty, and staff in requesting, approving, and implementing disability-related accommodations. Accommodate is used for students and faculty from every campus (College Place, Portland, Missoula, Billings, and Rosario). Letters of Accommodation are facilitated through Accommodate, as are testing accommodations.

Using Accommodate

Here are some resources that will help you as a faculty member to use Accommodate:

The Faculty User Instruction Guide PDF: step by step instructions for how to access and begin using Accommodate as a faculty member.
Video Tutorial: Logging in & Viewing Test Room Bookings: mp4 file type with demo of how instructors log in and navigate Accommodate. Shows where to find accommodation letters, test requests, and upload exams.
Test Room Booking Guide PDF: instructions for faculty on how to add upcoming exams in Accommodate, upload testing materials, and view existing requests.
Video Tutorial How to Upload an Exam: mp4 file type with instructions how to upload an exam to Accommodate.


Faculty Rights and Responsibilities for Disability Services

As employees of Walla Walla University, staff and faculty have compliance obligations under federal law. It is the responsibility of faculty members to assume a shared responsibility in providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. The University is responsible for implementation of up-to-date policies and procedures and to ensure reasonable accommodation for students is made while also making sure students adhere to the University code of conduct.

Faculty Rights:

Letter of Accommodation: Faculty should receive a Letter of Accommodation by the second week of the quarter. Faculty are not to provide academic adjustments unless there is a letter from Accommodate certifying that the student is qualified to receive services and the nature of the accommodations. Faculty may make additional recommendations for adjustments if they believe the student will benefit.

Classroom behavior: WWU students must adhere to the University code of conduct regardless of their disability. Infractions of this code should be directed to the Dean of Students. If the student has been identified as a student with a disability, DSS should also be notified of the incident.

Reasonable accommodations: Reasonable accommodations are based on documentation on file with DSS provided by the student through Accommodate. In some situations, the requested accommodation may not be appropriate for a particular course. DSS and Faculty will work together to determine reasonable accommodations.

Faculty Responsibilities: 

ACCOMMODATE by Symplicity: Accommodate is the interactive database that Walla Walla University uses to request, schedule and deliver student accommodations.

Testing Accommodations: Faculty will indicate if they would like to proctor student exams, or if they would like to have students take the exam at the Student Development Center during the meeting they have with students about their accommodations.
The SDC has limited testing space which must be reserved three days in advance via Accommodate (For Finals, two weeks in advance is advised). Generally, exams should be taken during the normal class time, unless that is not possible due to an accommodation for the length of time or class conflicts.

If DSS office testing spaces are full or unavailable, then alternative arrangements should be made with the professor’s permission to take the test at another time. 

Faculty will receive an email notification letting them know that a student requested exam proctoring at the SDC.

If the student has selected a date/time that is not one that was approved by the faculty member, please reach out to the student to ensure that there is a mutual understanding of the date/time that the faculty member approves. Then, email the SDC as we can cancel the test time that was not approved by faculty.

Once you get the notification, please fill out the information and upload the exam. We also need to know special instructions, what items students can use during the exam, how to best get in contact with faculty should we need to reach them, if faculty want the completed exam uploaded in Accommodate or if they want to pick it up or emailed to them. If faculty are unable to upload or have made prior arrangements with DSS, please email the exam to the dss@wallawalla.edu or stop by the SDC to drop of the exam in person.

If the faculty provide their class with a scantron or bluebook for tests make sure the student receiving accommodations also has been given what they need to take the test before the test is scheduled.

Once the exam is complete, faculty will receive an email reminder letting them know that the exam is ready to be picked up or has been uploaded to Accommodate. If for whatever reason faculty do not want the exam in Accommodate, please let the SDC know. We will keep hardcopy exams for 3 days before we shred the exams. Therefore, please email the SDC to let them know when it will be picked up.

Quiet location: If faculty are unable to locate a quiet location for a student, students can use the SDC. They must request it via Accommodate at least three days prior to the exam date.

Permission to Record Lecture: Studentsshould provide their own recording device and by signing the letter of accommodation, they are ensuring ethical use of class recordings.
In some classroom situations, such as nursing classes where specific patients may be discussed (but not identified), the need for confidentiality may supersede this accommodation. When this occurs, DSS will work with the professor to find another accommodation that gives students access to the material. If there is any concern about confidentiality, the professor can contact Disability Support Services to discuss the situation.

Assignments/Handouts in alternative Format: Faculty should be notified within the first two weeks of the quarter if students need this accommodation. Whenever possible, the professor should provide the information in the format requested. Professors are welcome to use the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology to translate material into a readable format. Contact Alix Harris, Sylvia Nosworthy, or Dave Reeves.

Lecture outline or notes: If students have this accommodation, they must talk with their professor to request this accommodation.
Whenever possible, professors should give students lecture notes/outlines prior to the beginning of each class session. If this is not available, then students should receive lecture notes/outlines after class.
Not all professors use lecture notes/outlines. When these are not available, please contact DSS to discuss different options (recording of the lecture, pictures of the board, access to PowerPoint slides, etc.)

Absences: Absences due to a disability may not necessarily be an accommodation, and requests for absences from class should be considered on an individual basis. Absences have a potentially adverse impact on learning class materials and could interfere with course completion. If a portion of the grade is dependent on classroom participation or attendance, professors are to work with students to explore what accommodations (if any) might be possible. It is the student's responsibility to obtain any missed lecture notes or other information if not in class. If at all possible, students should plan ahead and communicate proactively with their professors about absences before they occur.

Referral: If a faculty member is notified by a student that they have a disability or if the student brings a medical statement to the instructor, it is the faculty member’s responsibility to refer that student to Disability Support Services. If an instructor notices that a student is not performing up to standards, they may encourage the student to check with the Student Development Center for tutoring. The instructor should not make assumptions about whether a disability exists and should not discriminate against the student on the basis of any perceived disability.

Confidentiality Caution: Students with disabilities are protected under FERPA and civil rights law. At no time should faculty make any statements or implications that the student is any different from the general student population.

Examples of behaviors to be avoided:

  • Do not ask students for documentation. In Accommodate, you should have the letter of accommodation for students in your course.
  • Do not discuss the student’s needs or accommodations anywhere other than a private place.
  • Try to avoid singling the student out in the middle of class, by calling them out and dismissing them from the classroom, this can be avoided by having a prior plan with the student.

FAQs by Faculty in regards to Disability Support Services

Our role is to advocate and provide effective access to academic accommodations in classrooms and housing.

A student must self-identify their needs to the DSS office and provide documentation of their disability from a licensed provider in order to receive accommodations. The records are kept in Accommodate and are strictly confidential and are not part of the student’s academic record.

DSS prepares individualized letters to professors verifying the need for aides, services, and/or academic adjustments. Students are encouraged to meet with each professor early in the quarter to discuss the academic implications of their accommodations.

Please direct them to Accommodate to ensure they have made a quarter request. Accommodate is the only way to send out letter of accommodations to professors.

WWU provides accommodations on a case-by-case basis, based on submitted documentation. Examples of approved accommodations include: additional time for testing, textbooks in digital format, recording class lectures, or relocating classes for mobility reasons. This is not an exhaustive list.

Extended time on exams is a customary accommodation for students who need more time during tests for a variety of reasons due to a disability. DSS does not view untimed exams as a reasonable accommodation. Extended time can be 1.5x or 2x time longer than the class testing time.

Please contact the DSS office at disability.support@wallawalla.edu.  Faculty members are encouraged to contact DSS to discuss any concerns or questions; however, they do not have the right to contest disability diagnoses or refuse approved accommodations.

Faculty members are encouraged to contact DSS to discuss concerns and discuss reasonable accommodations that they suggest. If the student has met the prerequisites for the class, it is illegal to suggest they drop the class based on their disability.

Students with disabilities are expected to adhere to the attendance policies of their classes. However, some disabilities may prevent the student from attending some classes due to hospitalization or outpatient treatment (such as chemotherapy or side effects of medication). DSS can assist you in working out a reasonable accommodation with the student in these cases.

Students requesting to take an exam at another time other than normal class time should have that arranged with their faculty. Due to class conflicts, scheduling conflicts, and limited spacing at the SDC, student might have to test at another time but they must have it previously arranged and approved from their professor.