If you have any questions on our policies and procedures, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office at (440) 775-5588 or ODA@oberlin.edu.
ODA values a student self-reported information as a crucial part of determining accommodations and academic adjustments.
The Office for Disability & Access (ODA) at Oberlin College and Conservatory engages in a collaborative and iterative process with its students individually to determine appropriate accommodations that ensure students equitable access without altering the fundamental nature or goals of a program, the pedagogy of a course, or the institution. Academic needs are determined by documentation submitted by the student and a student interview.
As part of the interactive process, when necessary, ODA will seek information from faculty about the academic requirements essential to the course or program for which the student seeks an accommodation, any licensure requirements directly related to course or program, and other relevant information specific to nature of the course or program. When doing so, ODA will inquire of faculty the academic requirements (or the licensing requirements) that are essential to the course or program. This information is used to inform the decision about whether, after considering other alternatives and their feasibility, cost, and effect on the academic course or program, the requested accommodation [or alternative accommodations (if any)] would result in lowering academic standards and/or involve a fundamental alteration of the course or program. ODA will document its conclusions regarding such requests for accommodations or academic adjustments.
It is important to note that a diagnosis or medical provider recommendation does not guarantee that the student’s request for specific accommodations will be approved. The ODA completes a holistic review of the provider’s recommendations, current nature of the student’s symptoms, student’s self-report, and all available accommodations and college support resources when making final decisions and recommendations.
Oberlin College is committed to providing opportunities for personal growth and civil discourse, and this process is viewed in those terms. If a student wishes to request an administrative review of their accommodation determination, they must make the request directly and in writing to ODA@oberlin.edu. Students are expected to be the leading participant in conversations. Therefore, while parents may participate in the interactive process with an appropriate signed release, students must be present for all exchanges and discussions, be fully involved in all dialogue, and be included in all electronic communications. Parental participation in the appeals process will not serve as a replacement for a student's involvement. Once an appeal request is submitted in writing to the above email address, instructions for the next steps will be sent via email response to the student.
If a student disagrees with an academic accommodation determination, the following appeals process must be followed. After each meeting, the student will receive a written summary of the conversation and the outcome.
1.) Students must schedule and attend an appointment with the Assistant Dean and Director of the Office for Disability & Access. If the Assistant Dean and Director of ODA upholds the initial determination on the student’s accommodation request, the student’s grievance process may continue at the second step.
2.) If, after meeting with the Assistant Dean and Director of ODA, the student wishes to pursue further redress, the student must complete the ODA Appeal Form and submit it to the Assistant Vice President (AVP) and Dean for Intercultural Engagement (CIE) by emailing ODA@oberlin.edu.
3.) If the student wishes to pursue further redress after meeting with the AVP and Dean for CIE, the student must schedule an appointment with the campus ADA coordinator, Rebecca Mosley. Mosely oversees the Oberlin College Policy on Discrimination and Harassment and will review the matter with this Policy in mind. Mosely will also review the case to ensure that appropriate academic adjustments or accommodations are available to our community. Mosley's determination will serve as the college's final determination.
*Understand that if you have new information unavailable at the time of the original request, please submit it to the Office for Disability and Access for a re-review of your request. An appeal would not be appropriate in this case.
Truthful and Accurate information
Inaccurate or false allegations can harm the individuals involved and the college community. Individuals who make false allegations within their accommodation request or grievance process are subject to discipline.
Housing and Dining Accommodation Appeals
If the Housing Accommodation Review Committee finds that a requested accommodation is unreasonable or not necessary, the student may file a written appeal with the Assistant Dean and Director with the Office for Disability & Access. Students will receive information about the reconsideration process upon receiving a denial notification. Students should be advised that there is only one reconsideration opportunity: the final decision regarding the request.
1. Request an appeal meeting with the Assistant Dean and Director in the Office for Disability & Access within five (5) business days of receiving the decision email from ODA. This meeting can be in-person, via Zoom, or a phone call.
2. The appeal must be based upon one of the following criteria*:
- Procedural error(s) made in consideration of the request
- The Housing Accommodation Review Committee improperly or unfairly reviewed the original request
3. Upon receipt of the appeal, the Assistant Dean & Director will review all the relevant information and provide a written response within five (5) to seven (7) business days, either granting the appeal and modifying the initial decision, or denying the appeal and maintaining the initial decision.
Nothing in the policy shall prohibit a student who believes they may have been subjected to disability discrimination from utilizing Oberlin College & Conservatory’s Section 504 Grievance Procedures or pursuing a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights.
* Understand that if you have new information unavailable at the time of the original request, please submit it to the Office for Disability and Access for a re-review of your request. An appeal would not be appropriate in this case.
In accordance with Subpart E of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a student with a qualifying disability that adversely affects their ability to take or read notes may be permitted to audio-record class lectures as a form of reasonable academic accommodation. Use of this accommodation is subject to the conditions of the Audio Recorded Lecture Policy.
The ODA is unable to speak with parents/guardians or providers in more than generalities without a Release of Information (ROI) form signed by the student.
A Release of Information (ROI) does not indicate that ODA will communicate solely to the parties listed on the form, nor can the person(s) on the form speak on the student’s behalf. Students at Oberlin College are responsible for communicating their needs directly with our office. The intent of the ROI will allow ODA staff to:
1) disclose that we are working with the student
2) allow staff to share basic procedural information,
3) allow staff to speak in more than program generalities with the person listed on the ROI. The person indicated on the Information Release Consent form cannot request an accommodation or appeal on the student's behalf.
If students would like to sign an ROI form allowing the ODA to speak with their parents in more than just generalities, please have them contact our office for instructions on how to complete the form. Please note that ROI forms filed with other departments do not transfer to the ODA.