Student Affairs - Dean's Office

Student Guide to Disability Resources

Wesleyan University is committed to supporting students in their academic and co-curricular endeavors.  Students with documented learning, physical, sensory, or psychiatric disabilities may request reasonable accommodations to ensure access to education, housing, and recreational opportunities at Wesleyan. The University offers all students a broad range of programs providing academic support and enrichment, such as the Writing and Math Workshops and a peer tutoring program. These programs are an integral part of the Wesleyan community, built around a culture of intellectual growth and personal development.

Process for Requesting Reasonable Accommodations

Students who would like to request 504/ADA reasonable accommodations are expected to self-disclose by completing the Notification Form and making a follow-up appointment with Dean Patey. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss your disability in the context of your academic and nonacademic plans, review documentation and at your request, to assist you with arranging appropriate accommodations with your instructors and other university offices, as needed. 

You may establish your disabilities file at any time, though many students do it in their first semester, sending their documentation to the office in advance of their arrival on campus. Even if you think you may not want to request accommodations for your disability, you are encouraged to make an appointment to discuss your options and resources. Students with disabilities should notify the office by submitting the Disability Resources Notification Form on-line.

Documentation Guidelines

Documentation requirements vary by situation. Because each person's situation is unique, the office simply asks that interested students meet/speak with Dean Patey about their situation and the potential need for accommodations and other resources and the documentation that will need to be submitted.

Though reporting formats vary, the following information and data are typically needed:

  • a clear statement of the diagnosed disability and severity of the condition;
  • date of diagnosis;
  • a list of the major life functions impacted by the disability;
  • a diagnostic summary with an indication of how your disability will affect participation in college courses, activities, and the residential experience;
  • recommended strategies to assist you with becoming an efficient learner, and recommended accommodations that are appropriate for the disability; and
  • the examiner's name, address, telephone number, and credentials with the signature of an evaluator qualified to make the diagnosis.

The Disability Provider Form and Housing Provider Form can be used to provide documentation of your disability. 

Students must request reasonable academic accommodations at the beginning of each semester by filling out the appropriate Accommodation Request form and meeting with the dean. The dean, in conjunction with the student, prepares a letter for each instructor that indicates the appropriate accommodations for that course.

PLEASE NOTE: These letters serve as your entry point into a dialogue with your professors. The dean will act as a mediator with faculty when needed; however, it is the expectation that you will advocate for your own needs directly with professors. Please note that Dean Patey, not your professor, is the appropriate person with whom to begin the request process for obtaining reasonable accommodations.

Students are encouraged to request accommodation letters from the dean, and speak with their professors about arranging the specifics of their accommodations within the first few weeks of the semester. Disability Resources and faculty need sufficient notice in order to recommend and provide reasonable accommodations. They may not be able, nor may they be obligated, to honor last-minute requests.

In some cases, students who request accommodations, but are in the process of acquiring proper or updated documentation, may be granted provisional reasonable accommodations. Provisional accommodations are generally granted for one semester only.

Reasonable Accommodations

Disability Resources may review requests for reasonable accommodations with either the Counseling and Psychological Services or Health Services. With your permission, your class dean can also be notified when you request accommodations.

Accommodation requests are considered within the context of both warranted documentation and available resources. Each student's situation is reviewed based on the information shared by the student and the relevant documentation to determine the type of accommodation recommended. Accommodations that are considered reasonable are those that do not fundamentally alter the nature of an academic course or the institution's policies, and do not place an undue hardship on the institution. Reasonable accommodations are distinguished from services of a personal nature, which the University does not provide but the student may choose to employ. Such services of a personal nature may include individual assistants or coaches.

In addition to reasonable accommodations, a variety of assistive technologies is also available on campus to help students achieve their academic goals. Interested students should consult with Dean Patey.

Academic resources

There are a variety of academic services to assist all Wesleyan students. Students with disabilities are encouraged to seek out these resources, which include:

Writing Workshop
Writing mentors and tutors work individually with students and assist many students with disabilities. The Writing Workshop is located at Downey House, Lower Level. For more information, contact Professor Anne Greene, (860) 685-2240.
Math Workshop
The Math Workshop is located in Room 113A Science Center, on the Main floor Conference Room in the Science Library. It is open Sunday through Thursday from 7 to 10 pm and Monday through Thursday from 2:30 to 5:00 p. m. during the semester. There are always two staff members on duty, who may be either experienced undergraduates, or math graduate students. The staff offer a drop-in tutoring service, available to all members of the Wesleyan community. Staff members provide a friendly, relaxed atmosphere while answering questions about mathematics. (860) 685-2205  
Peer Tutoring Program/Dean's Office
Peer tutors are provided free of charge for individual students in need of further course-content instruction. Students interested in this program should visit the the website and fill out the request forms.
Peer Advisors
Peer Advisors are available to assist with skill building in time management, study skills, note taking, test taking, math, and writing. For more information, visit the Peer Advisor blog.


Students who are dissatisfied with the disabilities accommodations or services they have been granted should first report their dissatisfaction to Dean Patey. If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, students may request an Academic Appeal to the ADA/504 Coordinator.