Section 2: Case Policies and Procedures

To view Case Western Reserve University's official policy statement regarding disability resources and accommodations, click here.

Students requesting accommodations must go through the documentation and eligibility process outlined by ESS. Once a student has gone through this process, their instructors will be notified of the approved accommodation(s) via an official email memo. Here are some important tips and guidelines for faculty regarding student accommodations:

  • To receive accommodations, students must go through the official process via the Disability Resources Office. If a student comes to you and discloses a disability or asks you for accommodations, you should direct them to the Disability Resources Office at ESS. If you direct them to ESS in a verbal conversation, please follow up with an email that reiterates your advice and provides contact information for ESS; this will ensure that there is written documentation of the interaction.
  • Disability Resources determines what accommodations are appropriate for each student. These accommodations only take effect once they are approved by Disability Resources and cannot be applied retroactively.
  • Although you will be notified of any accommodations via an official accommodation memo from ESS Disability Resources, the student is still encouraged to initiate a conversation with you regarding their needs in your course. However, if you receive an accommodation memo and have questions regarding how those accommodations will be implemented in your particular classroom, please contact a Disability Resources staff member at 216.368.5230.
  • The accommodations memo you receive will not list a student's particular diagnosis nor any other medical details. Students may voluntarily disclose this information to you, but it is not appropriate to ask for medical information or any other details beyond what is necessary to conduct your class.
  • It is always the student's decision regarding whether to disclose a disability, begin the accommodations process, or make use of the accommodations for which they have been approved. If you notice that one of your students is having academic difficulties, do not automatically assume that they have a disability or even that their possible disability is the cause of their difficulties. If you are concerned about the students struggles, simply refer them to ESS and an Academic Resources staff member can make the necessary connection.
  • It is also important to note that a student may disclose a disability or request accommodations at any time during the semester. A student's accommodations take effect once they have delivered their accommodation memo to you; the accommodations do not apply to materials or situations that occurred prior to their distribution of the accommodation memo.

There are several types of accommodations for which students may be approved, and not all of them will affect what happens in the classroom. Here are some of the common types of accommodations which faculty may encounter:

Testing Accommodations

Testing accommodations apply to in-class, timed assessments (tests, quizzes, timed labs) only. This accommodation does not apply to out-of-class assignments such as papers or long term assignments.

Undergraduate students may take their accommodated tests through the ESS Testing Center, managed by Rachel Inman. There are specific procedures for both faculty and students who use this service.

For more information on testing accommodations, use the following link:

Flexible Attendance Policy

When a student has a chronic condition with random or cyclical acute episodes, modifications to attendance policies may be appropriate as an accommodation.

Attendance accommodations need to be established in advance with the office of Disability Resources and cannot be applied retroactively.

For more information on the flexible attendance policy and the application of it in your course, please use the following link:

Peer Note Taking

A peer note taker is a volunteer CWRU student that makes duplicate copies of their notes from a class and provides a copy to the requesting eligible student registered with Disability Resources. If a student requires a peer note taker for your course, you will be contacted with more information by an ESS Disability Resources staff member.

Alternative Text Requests

The University is required to provide course materials in alternate formats to those who have a documented need for it in order to access the courses in which they are enrolled. Commonly used alternate formats include audio recordings, e-text, and Braille.

For more information on alternate test requests, please use the following link:

Service Animals

A service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Other animals, whether wild or domestic, do not qualify as service animals.

Examples of such work or tasks include, but are not limited to, guiding individuals with no or low vision, alerting people who are deaf or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, recognizing and assisting during a seizure, retrieving items, interrupting obsessive compulsive or destructive behavior, reminding a personal with a psychological or psychiatric disability to take prescribed medications, assisting with balance, or calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack. Service animals are working animals not pets.

For more information on service and assistance animals, please use the following link:

Responsive Transportation Procedures

Students with disabilities may have a temporary injury or a permanent condition impacting their mobility. Students may be unable to ambulate, or they may have a condition that negatively impacts their stamina. These students may be eligible to use responsive transportation on campus.

For more information on responsive transport, please use the following link:

Accessible Parking Procedures

Students, especially commuters, may need accessible parking in order to have reasonable access to their programs and activities. Accessible parking is offered to allow students with these needs to purchase permits for parking lots appropriate to their schedules.

For more information on accessible parking, please use the following link:

Emergency Evacuation for Persons with Disabilities

Students with disabilities may require assistance, depending on their disability, when evacuating a building in an emergency. Review these standard approaches to employ during an emergency situation.

For more information on emergency evacuation for persons with disabilities, please use the following link: