Access Services FAQs
Who qualifies for Access Services?
Any enrolled Winona State University student with a permanent documented disability is eligible to use the accommodations provided by Access Services. Students with a temporary condition such as a broken leg, hospitalization, pregnancy, or extended illness may find these resources (PDF) helpful.
Will my disability affect my admissions status?
Students with disabilities are admitted to Winona State through regular admission procedures. Access Services is not involved in the consideration of candidates for admission to the college. Results of non-standard test administrations and documentation of a disability may be submitted in support of any application, but are not essential for full consideration. Once admitted, students with disabilities are expected to maintain the same academic standards as all other students attending WSU.
Do I have to tell Winona State that I have a disability?
No. However, if you want the University to provide accommodations based on your disability, you must identify yourself to Access Services as having a disability and have an established plan with them prior to receiving any accommodations. Likewise, you should let the school know about your disability if you want to ensure that you are assigned to accessible facilities. In any event, your disclosure of a disability is always voluntary.
What accommodations are offered at WSU?
The following are common accommodations provided by Access Services: alternative testing (including extended time, distraction free, scribes, audio format), note taking technology, assistive technology, sign language interpreting, textbooks in alternate format, priority registration, alternative housing accommodations and advocacy.
What kinds of services are not provided?
Personal devices such as wheelchairs or glasses, personal services such as private tutoring or personal attendants, modifications that would lower or change course standards or program standards, and services that are unduly burdensome, administratively or financially.
How do I register with Access Services?
- Apply and be accepted to Winona State University.
- Complete the online Application for Access Services. Students should use their personal StarID followed by "@winona.edu" to log in.
- Submit Acceptable Documentation (PDF) from a certified professional.
- Meet with Access Services Grad Assistant to discuss accommodation plan and complete an Accommodation Request Form for the current semester.
What if I have special housing needs?
Newly admitted and currently enrolled students seeking housing accommodations on the basis of a disability should contact Housing & Residence Life at firstname.lastname@example.org after they’ve submitted their documentation to Access Services. You’ll want to do this as early as possible to be sure you get the housing accommodations that you need.
What should I do if I have a broken arm or leg?
Students with a temporary condition such as a broken leg, hospitalization, pregnancy, or extended illness may find these resources (PDF) helpful.
Where can I get tested if I think I have a disability?
Do I have to disclose my disability to my instructors?
If a student is expecting a classroom accommodation, then they are responsible for telling their instructors they have a disability and are registered with Access Services. You do not have to tell your professor any specific details about your disability. Your instructor will receive a notification from the Access Services office that you are eligible to receive accommodations.
How do I file a grievance?
This grievance process shall apply to situations where a student has followed the established procedures to request accommodations on the basis of disability and the request has been denied or otherwise not provided.
- Written or emailed complaints should be filed within 30 days of the date the incident occurred with the Coordinator of Access Services.
- If an informal resolution is not reached, the student should file a complaint through the University’s Affirmative Action Office.
- Students also may file a complaint directly with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights or with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The Statue of Limitations for filing a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights is 180 days from the date the incident occurred.
Can I study abroad if I have a disability?
Many students choose to spend a semester in another country through study abroad programs. Students with disabilities are welcome and encouraged to participate in these programs. However students with disabilities thinking about spending a semester away need to be aware of the differences in foreign countries related to disabilities. Other countries may have different cultural norms, attitudes toward disabilities and infrastructure development.
For example, in other countries, it could be the cultural norm that teachers utilize the Socratic method of teaching—requiring listening and speaking, instead of lecturing from a Power Point—involving more reading. In some less developed countries, wheelchair access may not be as developed as it is in the United States. Furthermore, accommodation requirements and regulations may be different in other countries than they are in the US because the ADA is an American law, and carries no authority in foreign countries. While students with disabilities need to consider many factors before studying abroad, in most situations students can find a situation that will work for them. However, it is imperative that students begin research early, and that they work closely with Access Services.
Can international students get accommodations?
International students with disabilities will be accommodated the same as domestic students in accordance with requirements under the ADA. Documentation criteria are the same and must be met.
What if I’m late in signing up for an exam?
You will receive an email notice telling you that you are too late to sign up. You will be expected to take the exam in class. We recommend signing up for all exams listed on your syllabi at the beginning of the semester, to avoid the stress of missing deadlines.
What if a test date changes or gets cancelled?
Simply notify Access Services by email at email@example.com or call 507.457.5878. You may be asked to send correspondence received from your professor to verify the change.
What happens if I’m late for my exam?
The time will be deducted from the total time allowed for the exam. If it’s more than 30 minutes and the class may already be done with the exam, the professor will be notified of the late start and it will be up to their discretion if the test will be accepted.
What happens if I’m sick on the day of an exam?
Please notify your professor and Access Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. It will be up to your professor’s discretion if and/or when you’re allowed to make it up. Your professor will need to contact Access Services to approve the new time.
What will be different from high school to college?
You may find that your accommodations in college may be considerably different than how it worked in high school. You’ll want to check out the differences (PDF), so you are prepared.
What are the most common disabilities at WSU?
Access Services accommodates over 300 students per year. For the last school year, the top three disabilities on campus were ADD/ADHD, psychiatric disabilities such as depression or anxiety, and Learning Disabilities.
What role do my parents play in the process?
Students who are 18 years old or older are legally recognized as adults. In this case, the student is responsible for their own accommodation requests and disability-related decisions. However, students are encouraged to have an open dialogue with their parents as we know they can be a great source of support for you. We have found that students who take an active role in setting up their accommodations are more likely to use the services than those whose parents did all the work.