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Accessibility & Disability Support

Everyone has an equal opportunity to access all aspects of university life. Find all you need to request and access academic, housing, and emotional support animal accommodations here.

Accessibility means getting the support you need to thrive at Widener.

The Office of Student Accessibility Services will work with you to identify how you can equally access everything Widener has to offer to make the most of your college experience. 

Through careful planning and implementation, we'll develop an individualized plan and strategies to help you remove assessed barriers to ensure an inclusive environment.

On this page, you can:

How to Request Accommodations

Depending on the volume of need in our office, this process can take a few weeks to complete. Make sure to give yourself enough time to have accommodations in place before you need them in class!

Step 2: Submit Supporting Documentation

Documentation from either your treatment or evaluation provider is required to ensure we have all the information we need to best accommodate you. We just need a few details which can be found within each request form. View FAQs below or download a PDF to learn more.

Step 3: Meet with Us

Once we have your accommodation request form(s) and supporting documentation, we'll get in touch with you to set up a meeting. We'll review your request, describe how accommodations will work if approved, and answer any questions you have about accessibility at Widener.

Types of Accommodations

Widener offers an array of academic accommodations to support students with a variety of abilities and needs. To apply for an academic accommodation, please fill out this form describing the nature of the disability for which you are requesting accommodation and how the accommodation will support your academic functioning. Supporting documentation must be submitted along with this form. Our team will help you find the best accommodations for you.

Academic accommodations include, but are not limited to:

  • Test taking support
  • Note taking assistance
  • Accessible text requests

Please review the academic policies & expectations, including the academic integrity policy, before any scheduled exams.

Residential students that have needs which necessitate a housing accommodation should complete a Housing Accommodation Request form. Once documentation has been received, your request will reviewed and every effort will be made to approve and accommodate the request.

Widener is committed to providing those who have disabilities with equal access to programs, services, and physical facilities. It is acknowledged that some members of the Widener University community who have disabilities may require the use of service and assistance animals while on campus.

Steps to Request Permission to Have an Assistance Animal in Campus Housing

  • Submit this form to the Office of Student Accessibility Services. Provide supporting documentation listed on the request form including:

    • Vaccination records

    • Animal license, if applicable

    • Photo of animal

  • Sign and agree to the "Policy and Care Agreement."

  • Along with supporting documentation from a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other health professional who is not a family member, documentation of the need for an assistance animal must include the following:

    • A description of why the animal is necessary for the student to use or enjoy university housing

    • A description of an identifiable relationship or nexus between the disability and the assistance the animal provides.

Approval of an assistance animal is determined on a case-by-case basis. Students must reapply each academic year to have an assistance animal in campus housing.

Use Your Accommodations

FAQ About Supporting Documentation

Documentation must be provided by either the practitioner treating the condition, or the most recent practitioner who diagnosed the student. This person should be someone with expertise in that area of practice. (For instance, an optometrist cannot write for the needs someone has due to an anxiety diagnosis.) Additionally the person providing documentation should not be an immediate family member of the student.

No. We ask practitioners to supply students with a letter providing the details of the student’s diagnosis. Typically, this comes on letterhead from the practice involved.

Please note: Notes on prescription scripts are not generally sufficient documentation.

At minimum, the letter should include the following items:

  • A current DSM V or ICD-10 diagnosis
  • A full description of the symptoms experienced (including severity and frequency)
    • Including how symptoms elevate to the level of being disabling
  • A connection to how those symptoms impact the experience at Widener University
  • Any recommendations the practitioner has for suitable accommodations

    Please remember, depending on the diagnosis, we may ask for additional documentation to obtain a full picture of the limitations involved.

Having a diagnosis does not necessarily mean a person is disabled by those symptoms. Documentation must show how symptoms impact major life activities. Major life activities include activities such as sleeping, eating, writing, focus, etc.

Many students simply scan and email documentation to disabilities@widener.edu.

Documentation can also be faxed to 610-499-1192 or mailed to our office at the below address:

Attn: Student Accessibility Services
Widener University
One University Place
Chester, PA 19012-5792

Additional Support Resources

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Academic Support

Widener offers a host of academic support resources to all students regardless of major or accommodation plan. Whether you're looking to drop into the Math or Writing Centers before a big exam or if you need consistent coaching and tutoring throughout the semester, your academic success is our ultimate goal.

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Counseling & Mental Health

Widener's Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is committed to providing culturally responsive mental health services to all students through confidential counseling, walk-in hours, appointments, support groups, and other resources. Visit the link below to find more information and schedule an appointment online.

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Physical Wellbeing

Your physical wellness is vital to your success in college, and we're here to help you navigate any medical concerns. Student Health Services pro medication dispensation to immunizations to lab tests and much more. Get information on scheduling an appointment and maintaining good health below.

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Report a Concern

You have the right to feel welcome, safe, and supported in all Widener spaces, physical or virtual. Our Equal Opportunity, Harassment, and Nondiscrimination Policy strongly condemns discrimination, harassment, and misconduct of any kind, and we urge students to report any incidents of such—including bias based on a protected class, such as disability and perceived disability status—as soon as possible.

For general questions, please contact the office at disabilities@widener.edu or call (610) 499-1266.