Office of Educational Accessibility

The Office of Educational Accessibility (OEA) offers services for all students with disabilities. The OEA is here to support students in making a successful transition to the University and to provide access and support during their WCU career. The office takes a proactive, restorative approach that encourages students to understand their needs and strengths in order to best advocate for themselves. OEA is committed to the social model of disability and the removal of barriers to access for the entire WCU community.

West Chester University recognizes that students are their own best advocates and experts on their own needs. The faculty and staff of the OEA support students as they become more self-reliant by emphasizing their knowledge and communication skills and the importance of understanding of their rights and obligations under the law. OEA engages each student in an interactive, iterative process to determine not only the accommodations appropriate to each individual based on their impairment but also those accommodations that are most reasonable and appropriate in a given environment.

The OEA provides advocacy and consultation with regard to classroom accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Final Rule of 2016, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. OEA adheres to the documentation guidelines established by the Association for Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD); therefore, documentation requirements will vary by student.  No student should delay in reaching out to OEA due to concerns over a lack of documentation. 

The OEA is housed in University College and coordinates provision of direct services for students with disabilities through faculty and support staff in all aspects university life. The office also advocates in the readmission procedure, with the offices of Financial Aid and the Registrar, course substitution, and WCU-managed housing. Since accommodations are not retroactive, students are encouraged to reach out to OEA early in their academic career to ensure they have access to their accommodations throughout their time at WCU; however, there is no deadline for notifying faculty of their accommodations, and students are able to request accommodations at any point during the semester.

Office of Educational Accessibility
223 Lawrence Center
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383

Services Provided for Students with Disabilities

  • Central documentation file
  • Optional comprehensive needs assessment
  • Advocacy with faculty
  • Alternative test-taking arrangements
  • Note-taking support
  • Assistance with alternate format materials
  • Adaptive technology
  • Readers for visually impaired students
  • Interpreters for deaf students