PATH Success Center

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Disability Services

Step 1: Student self-identifies to ADA Coordinator: Sunshine Hattingh, office located in La Quinta Mansion, email, cell phone 918-397-4351

Step 2: Get supporting documentation (in the last four years) from an approved professional in the field. This could include documentation from your professional medical or mental health provider, or a copy of the evaluation for a 504/IEP (it must include diagnosis).

Step 3: Fill out the Application for

  1. Application for Disability Accomodations
  2. Release of Information Request
  3. Informed Consent

Step 4: Meet with the ADA Coordinator to fill out Access Plan

Step 5: Send Access Plan to each professor at the start of the semester, via email

Step 6: Request to use your accommodations with your professor

Step 7: Set up a meeting with the ADA Coordinator if you have any concerns or want to review your plan


Secondary Verses Post-Secondary

High School

Laws: Services provided under IDEA or Section 504.


  • School district is responsible for identifying, evaluating, and planning educational interventions.
  • Involve parents or guardians.
  • Provide non-academic services.
  • Modify educational programs or requirements.
  • Prepare IEPs, 504 plans.

Laws: Services provided under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act.


  • Students are responsible for self-identification, providing documentation, and obtaining disability services
  • Deal directly with student (18+ years old); protect student’s right to privacy (FERPA)
  • Provide access to any service, program, or activity sponsored by the institution.
  • Provide accommodations in order to meet established standards/requirements.
  • Provide reasonable accommodations based on documentation and student request.

Frequenty Asked questions

How do students access services?

Students with disabilities that wish to access services may initialize their request by contacting the Disabilities Coordinator. Students can expect to meet with the coordinator to discuss their academic needs. During this intake process, students will have an opportunity to identify specific academic accommodations and will be asked to complete a formal request form, a release of information form, and provide current documentation about their disability.

How do students qualify for services?

OKWU is committed to serving all students with disabilities as defined by federal regulations. A qualified person with a disability means: …an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity.

 The federal definition of a disability includes a person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities, (2) has a record of such impairment, or (3) is regarded as having such impairment.

 The student must provide documentation of impairment and the documentation must show that the impairment restricts his or her ability to perform a major life function in comparison to most people. If a person does not have a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit a major life activity the person is not entitled to ADA protection.

 The determination of whether an individual has a disability under ADA is not based upon the name or diagnosis of the impairment, but rather upon the impact of that impairment on the life of the individual.

How often must a student request services?

Planned services are provided based upon the requests of the student. Since different classes may require different accommodations it is important to look at a student’s needs on a semester-by-semester basis. Services, therefore, must be requested at least once prior to the beginning of each semester or at the time a need is identified within a semester.

Why is a diagnosis not enough? A friend of mine has the same diagnosis and gets different accommodations.

The use of accommodations in post-secondary institutions is based upon more than just the diagnosis of a disability. It is based upon the severity of impact (functional impact) on a major life activity. This is why documentation for a post-secondary institution has to provide more information than just a diagnosis. It must address the severity of the impact. Another student with the same disability may be impacted differently by his or her disability; therefore, all accommodations are viewed on a case-by-case basis.

My parents have always taken care of my accommodations with the school. Can’t they bring in documentation without me and handle this for me?

No. Students at post-secondary institutions are considered adults. The agreement for services needs to be made with the person requesting the services and not at the request of the third party. The federal laws and FERPA are very clear that institutions are not to communicate, without written permission from the student, to anyone other than the student about that individual’s academic progress and/or disability-related needs.

Are there special classes or programs designed just for students with learning disabilities?

No. The purpose of the accommodations is to provide each student with equal access to the information and course content. Given these accommodations, a student who is otherwise qualified should be able to be successful within the context of a normal classroom setting.

Is there someone who will help me obtain accommodations if I run into problems?

Yes. Speak with Sunshine Hattingh the Disabilities Coordinator — the person with whom you arranged your accommodations. She will assist you in trying to resolve any conflict that may arise.

Why can’t I just do my work at home and come to class when I feel like it?

While in some classes, attendance may not be a critical issue, in many classes it is considered to be a critical component of the curriculum. Examples would be when learning is a hands-on experience, involves group dynamics or interaction, and/or extends beyond just textbook knowledge of a subject. Many times some flexibility in an attendance policy might be negotiated with an instructor, but in some cases that may not be possible.

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