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Accessibility Services

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West Virginia Northern Community College is committed to assuring that students with disabilities are afforded the same opportunities and the same responsibilities as all other students.

Given legal mandates under the ADA, postsecondary institutions must make reasonable accommodations in order to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in courses, programs, and activities. 

It is important to understand that appropriate academic accommodation is determined based on individual disability and needs. It is also important to understand that postsecondary schools are not required to lower or substantially modify essential requirements or fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program, or activity, that would result in an undue financial or administrative burden. Finally, postsecondary schools do not have to provide personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature.

Accommodations for students with disabilities can be arranged through the Academic Support Center on each campus by emailing asc@wvncc.edu or by calling:

New Martinsville 304.510.8773

Weirton 304.723.7514

Wheeling 304.214.8923

IMPORTANT: An “intake” appointment for accessibility services should be scheduled at least one month prior to beginning coursework to allow time for arrangements and coordination with staff, faculty, and other service providers. Documentation should be provided during the “intake” appointment. For documentation to be useful in making accommodations decisions, it should meet these criteria:

  • The diagnosis is clearly stated.
  • Information is current.
  • Educational, developmental, and/or medical history are presented.
  • The diagnosis is supported.
  • The functional limitation is described.
  • Recommended accommodations are justified.
  • Evaluators’ professional credentials are established.

“Intake” Process

Appropriate ASC staff meet with students to learn more about their disability, evaluate documentation, and assess each student’s individual needs. The “intake” appointment usually lasts about 60 minutes. Accommodations and other appropriate services are determined on a case-by-case basis, but some accommodations are more commonly made at the postsecondary level, including:

  • Extended time for tests
  • Limited-distraction testing
  • Assistance with note-taking
  • Alternative formats
  • Readers/scribes

Staff members work closely with students and their instructors to determine and implement the appropriate accommodations. WVNCC makes every effort to assist students with disabilities in order to provide the opportunity for a successful college experience.

There is more to being a student than going to class and WVNCC wants to assure equal opportunity to students who choose to attend campus events and participate in the campus community. The ASC works with students and appropriate campus staff/departments to ensure that students with disabilities have access to all non-academic student programs and activities. Non-academic accommodations may be requested related to programs, services, jobs, activities, or facilities to ensure equitable opportunity to engage in the campus environment and with the campus community.

Accommodation requests for participation in any non-academic, school-related activity, program or service should be made through the ASC in the same manner that academic accommodation requests are made. Students are responsible for making requests that require time to plan for or implement in advance.


Eligibility for Services

Services are free and the ASC follows all guidelines and procedures regarding confidentiality. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the ASC to initiate the accommodation process. 

It is important to remember that in the context of the ADA, “disability” is a legal term rather than a medical one. The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more “major life activities.”


Non-Discrimination Practices

In implementing its equal opportunity policy regarding non-discrimination, it is the policy of WVNCC not to discriminate in its programs of education, employment, purchasing of goods and services, and all other activities. The college does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, handicap/disability or veteran status. Inquiries concerning this rule should be directed to Stephanie Kappel, who is designated coordinator for Title IX and Section 504. You can reach her at 304-214-8901 or skappel@wvncc.edu.


Complaint/Appeal Process

If, at any time, a student feels as though he/she is not receiving ADA services appropriately, the form linked here should be completed and submitted to begin the process. Questions regarding this form or the complaint/appeal process should be directed to the campus Accessibility Counselor.


Electronic Resource for Faculty, Staff and Students

The following resources can guide you through disabilities services at Northern, as well as ADA compliance and disability law.