Introduction to the Office for Disability & Access
The Office for Disability & Access (ODA) is organized to ensure students equitable access without altering the fundamental nature or goals of a program, the pedagogy of a course, or the institution. Accommodations, whether they are in the form of academic adjustments or housing/dining requests, are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Admission to Oberlin College
By law, a student need not disclose their disability either before or after admission to college. However, a student may choose to disclose a disability during the admissions process or after enrollment.
The student with a disability must be 'otherwise qualified' and meet the same academic standards for admission as any other student. In order to receive accommodations as a student with a disability, the student must contact ODA to self-identify and complete the registration process.
While there are many resources available to all Oberlin College students, the ODA provides accommodations specifically for students with disabilities. Our office does not provide personal services such as transportation or personal aides.
Transitioning to Higher Education
Different rules govern disability resources in college than in K-12 programs (IDEA no longer applies and college students have no IEP); therefore, accommodations at Oberlin may vary from those previously received in high school.
We understand that this can be a difficult and intimidating transition for students, parents, and support people so ODA is here to help guide you through the process. We encourage you to take a moment to review these changes with your support people before arriving on campus. We are always happy to have a meeting with both you and your support people to discuss the transition to college and building self-advocacy. To schedule an informational appointment, please email ODA@oberlin.edu or call us at (440) 775-5588.
Of course! We know that the transition to college can be intimidating, so you are more than welcome to include your parent/guardian(s) on communication(s) and have them attend meetings with you for support.
However, it is important to remember that our process is student driven. This means that you, not your parents or support people, will need to take the lead with all communication and the request process. Your parents/support people cannot act or speak on your behalf (i.e., schedule meetings for you, request an accommodation, or request an appeal on your behalf).
Privacy laws actually restrict the sharing of certain types of information with others (including parents) without the student's expressed, written consent. This means that the ODA is, by law, unable to speak with your parents/guardians or providers in more than generalities without a Release of Information (ROI) form signed by you (the student). If you would like to sign an ROI form allowing the ODA to speak with your parents in more than just generalities, please 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.