Disability Accommodations

Western New England University School of Law recognizes that each person has a unique learning style and individual physical needs. Through the Office of Student Affairs, the School of Law assists students with challenges in developing strategies to participate fully in the law school experience. Our goal is to help students become independent learners with the skills and abilities to take full responsibility for their own academic success.

Upon admission to the law school, students with physical, psychological, and/or learning disabilities (who can show current documentation less than three years old) can request academic accommodations through the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Planning. Participation is strictly voluntary. The School of Law admission process is independent from consideration of student disabilities.

The student reviews disability issues and academic needs with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Planning. Appropriate accommodations based upon submitted documentation, on a class-by-class basis, are discussed. Such accommodations might include extended time for exams and papers, peer note takers in the class, exams given in a distraction free setting, audio taping of class lectures, alternative testing formats, sign interpreters, books on tape, etc.

At the request of the student, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Planning will work with the faculty to accommodate the needs of the student. In addition, students are offered a service of regular meetings to monitor accommodations and academic progress.

When should a student inquire about services?

Inquire as soon as possible! The sooner the inquiry after admission occurs, the sooner the student can register with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Planning and discuss appropriate academic accommodations for the upcoming semester. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Planning can provide a list of possible evaluation sites if needed.

It is the responsibility of the student:

  • To disclose a disability to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment Planning in a timely manner when requesting academic accommodations.
  • To provide appropriate, current documentation supporting the disability. The documentation must include a report from a qualified professional identifying the disability and indicating academic recommendations. A high school Individual Education Plan is not sufficient for a complete documentation file.
  • To understand the attendance policy and attend classes unless illness or emergency prevents them from doing so.
  • To meet the academic requirements of their courses and of their majors.
  • To assess the extent to which the accommodations agreed upon and implemented for the semester are meeting their needs and share their conclusions with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Enrollment Planning.

Responsibilities of the University

Through the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Planning, the law school provides a variety of services to students with disabilities based on individual documentation and need. The responsibility of the law school is to provide reasonable accommodations on a case-by-case basis and to afford equal opportunity for student participation in the institution’s programs, activities, and services.

Additional services are provided through Student Disability Services

  • Students evaluate their academic strengths and learn how to use them to their advantage.
  • Students have the opportunity to develop areas that need strengthening, such as:
    • Listening, speaking, reading, and writing
    • Mathematical and organizational abilities
    • Studying, note-taking, and test-taking
    • Library research
    • Time management
  • Students receive training as needed on adaptive lab equipment (voice recognition software, inspiration software, and math skills software).

 

Dispute of Accommodation Decisions or Process

Students who wish to challenge any part of the accommodations process may do so under the procedures for student grievances outlined in the School of Law's Student Handbook.

Disclosure and Confidentiality

Student disclosure of a disability is voluntary. Data about students with disabilities is collected at various points of a student’s entrance into the University for the purpose of reporting demographic information, but it is voluntary. Western New England University considers disability-related information as confidential material and will protect it in accordance with the Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA). The information will not be released except in response to a student’s request or written authorization, as needed to assist a student with an educationally related issue, or as permitted under certain circumstances in accordance with FERPA guidelines. 
 
Western New England University provides services to support students with disabilities because it is of the utmost importance that all students at the University are offered the appropriate tools to succeed. The Student Disability Services Office can be utilized voluntarily by students and is a free service offered by the college.For further information contact:

Michael Johnson
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
and Enrollment Planning
1215 Wilbraham Road
Springfield, MA 01119-2684
mjohnson@law.wne.edu
Telephone:  413-782-1376 or 413-782-1624
Fax:              413-782-2067