This is how the Office of Accessibility Services Supports Clarkson Students

Here to Help you succeed … They do more than you think.

Clarkson’s Office of Accessibility Services – aka OAS. Our office of Accessibility Services is located on the first floor of Price Hall, in the same suite as the Dean of Students and Residence Life offices. Our goal is to provide every student who walks through our doors with kind, caring, and supportive actions to help them be the best they can be. 

What does OAS do?

Office of Accessibility Services is the designated office responsible for maintaining disability-related documentation, certifying eligibility for receipt of services, determining reasonable accommodations, and ensuring the provision of those services.

Okay… but what does that mean? That basically means that our office serves any student who has a variety of differences that affect them in their learning, dining, and living environments. 

Any student who is neurodiverse, has a complex learning need, or a medical need can seek assistance from OAS. OAS will evaluate the situation and documentation to work on providing appropriate accommodations to help each student be successful. 

On average, we serve approximately 10% of the student population on an ongoing basis as well as many students who develop a temporary disability.

How do I know if I am eligible for OAS?

This is a great question, and many students who are entering or already attending college might be struggling with how to know if and when they are eligible. We want to work with all students who need accommodations to help them do their best here at Clarkson. If you’re questioning it after reading this, come in and check with us or contact us.

We also provide services to students with temporary disabilities for those with unanticipated injuries and needs such as a concussion and surgery recovery. 

Clarkson University assures equal educational opportunities by providing accommodations and services for qualified students with documented disabilities in accordance with Federal Law, specifically the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

What does a qualified student mean?

Here at OAS, we use the federal law’s definition for qualifying disabilities. That means any person who

  • has a physical or mental impairment;
  • has a record of such impairment; and
  • is regarded as having such an impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities such as walking, standing, seeing, speaking, breathing, taking care of oneself, and learning.

What are my first steps? 

The first step is to contact us! As an incoming student, we encourage you to self-disclose prior to your arrival or start of class for a seamless transition. With that said, any student at any time can seek accommodations.

OAS staff can be contacted at any time during the semester to meet with students regarding their accessibility services needs. Please email oas@clarkson.edu to set up an appointment. 

What are some of the academic accommodations that you provide?

We have a variety of accommodations in order to meet individual student’s medical needs. Our most common academic accommodation is extended time for tests. Two-thirds of OAS students were eligible for extended time testing accommodations in the Spring of 2021. Here are some of the more common academic accommodations provided by OAS with a brief description of each. 

  • Extended time: A student with this accommodation has double time for all quizzes, tests, and exams. It is our standard practice for any student with this accommodation to give double time! In most cases, the exams are taken in our testing room in Price Hall. Students must sign up in advance through myCU to take advantage of this accommodation.
  • Text on tape: A student with this accommodation will inform our office if they would like us to find an alternate format textbook for them. The student is required to provide proof of purchase to our office in order for us to get an alternate format from the publisher. Alternate formats can be audio or PDF formats of the textbook and are determined by the formats available from the publishing company. 
  • Distraction reduced location: A student with this accommodation requires taking assessments in a distraction reduced environment, which includes 25 or fewer students with minimal sound or visual distractions. Students must sign up in advance through myCU to take advantage of this accommodation.
  • Separate location: A student with this accommodation takes all assessments in an individual room. Students must sign up in advance through myCU to take advantage of this accommodation.
  • Reader: A student with this accommodation is able to request that someone read the questions aloud to them during an assessment. 
  • No spelling penalty: A student with this accommodation shall not be penalized for incorrect spelling unless the spelling of a particular word changes the meaning of the word in such a way that it has a meaningful alteration of the student’s answer. Students are expected to utilize all resources available to them when submitting typed essays or other papers and as such, would not be given accommodation for spelling in this situation. This accommodation can be especially helpful for students with dyslexia.
One of the First Year Housing Buildings

Do you offer housing, Emotional Support Animal, and dietary accommodations?

Our office works to assist students in more than just academic accommodations. We provide accommodations to students related to accommodations for housing, emotional support animals, and dining . Last semester, 168 students had housing accommodations of some type, most commonly a single room.

We work with students who require these accommodations for medical reasons. As these types of accommodations vary greatly, we ask any student who is thinking they may qualify for one of these accommodations to contact us about making their request. You can access the request forms on our website.

Once I have reached out and made a plan with OAS, what’s next?

It’s super important to check your email! Email is the most common form of communication from the University, so you’ll always want to be checking your inbox. Our office primarily communicates through email and in-person for any implementation of accommodations and plans. 

At the start of every semester, OAS sends an email from oas@clarkson.edu that explains how to access accommodations through myCU. Any department updates and process changes are also included in the email, so it is especially important for OAS students to read all email communications from us.

It’s Never too Late to Reach Out!

Amy Dougan
Accessibility Services Coordinator

Just as a reminder, it’s never too late to seek us out–even if it’s the middle of the semester and you are struggling after trying to get by without accommodation. Email oas@clarkson.edu to discuss your options. We can help you determine if your accommodations need to be changed, reviewed, or start the process of implementing them. We meet with students all year long. Our goal is to help remove barriers to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to their education. We’re happy to do whatever we can to assist in that process so that you have the best possible opportunity for success!

Don’t be afraid to come in and chat with us if you feel you might benefit from academic, housing, or dietary accommodation. 

-The OAS Team

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