Disability Resource Center

Reasonable Accommodations

The role of the DRC is not to diagnose individuals with a clinical or medical disability. Rather, the DRC works with the student to determine what accommodations, if any, would be reasonable given the situation presented. All requests for accommodations must be reasonable both at the institutional level and at the individual level. While most accommodation requests made by students are reasonable requests, some would not be considered reasonable according to disability law. Therefore, this section seeks to clarify how a request may be determined to be unreasonable.

Defining reasonable accommodations at the institutional level is best done through outlining when an accommodation is not reasonable. Reasonable accommodations do not and should not:

  • substantially alter the educational standards or mission of Western Illinois University;
  • fundamentally alter the nature of the program, course, service and/or activity;
  • allow access to a program when a student is not otherwise qualified (with or without accommodations) to meet the academic and technical standards required for admission or participation in an education program, course, service and/or activity;
  • cause undue financial or administrative hardship (college-wide);
  • be of a personal service in nature (personal aid, study coach, individually paid tutor, etc.)
  • pose a direct threat to the health or safety of the student with a disability or others as a result of accommodation implementation.

Accommodation requests that appear reasonable and logically based on the diagnosis but fall under one of the categories listed above will often be denied. The decision of whether or not an accommodation request falls under one of the above categories will be made by the DRC, often with input from relevant university staff and faculty.

Individually, any student who is committed to an accommodation request that does not logically and reasonably follow the reported diagnosis based on the DRC’s evaluation of all collected information (ex: A student with Crohn’s Disease adamantly wants a test reader) is encouraged and may be asked to submit documentation from a third party in order to better understand the nature of request. In these situations, submission of documentation from a third party does not ensure that the requested accommodation will be supported or implemented by the University. The purpose of the third party documentation is to add to the DRC’s pool of information so that a reasonable outcome, including denial of request, can be identified.

Accommodation Process

To receive accommodations, students should follow the process below:

  1. Students self-identify and follow the necessary procedures to connect with DRC. In order to register with DRC, students meet with a DRC staff member to discuss barriers they are experiencing in the classroom and provide documentation to support requests for accommodations. This meeting is called a Welcome appointment.
  2. Beginning the first day of class, students will have access to the DRC Faculty Notification Form on STARS. Please note that students must meet with a DRC staff member to be trained on the accommodation process in order to gain access to this screen. If you are not able to get access to this screen, please call 309-298-2512 or email disability@wiu.edu to schedule your faculty notification training. Once you have received your training, you may log-on to STARS using your Ecom username and password. Go to the menu in the upper left-hand corner and select DRC Faculty Notification Form. From this screen, you will have the option to choose accommodations for each course. Please be sure to only choose the accommodations that are needed in each course (e.g., if there are no exams in your composition course, you will not need to choose extended time for your exams).
  3. Within 24 hours, instructors will receive the notification. Please follow-up with your instructors to discuss specific accommodation arrangements (e.g., will they provide the exam accommodations in the department or will they send you to the DRC for exams?)

Hours of Operation

Monday - Friday
8:00am to 4:30pm

Contact Info

Disability Resource Center
Memorial Hall 143
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455

Email: disability@wiu.edu
Phone: (309) 298-2512
Fax: (309) 298-2361