Frequently Asked Questions | OAA

Who does the Office of Accessibility & Accommodation Services (OAA) serve?

We provide services to students who have a disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the ADA Amendment Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

What kinds of disabilities can OAA accommodate?

OAA accommodates all disabilities required by law. Students served by the OAA have had mobility impairments, visual impairments, learning disabilities, speech impairments, psychiatric disabilities, hidden disabilities, and temporary disabilities.

What type of documentation is acceptable?

Documentation must provide enough information for Pacific University to determine what academic adjustments are appropriate. The amount and kind of information needed depends upon the nature of the disability and the academic adjustments. If you already have some documentation, you may mail, scan/email, fax, or hand deliver it to us and we will let you know what kinds of additional information are necessary. For more information, download our New Client packet.

When must the documentation be provided?

We encourage you to turn in documentation as soon as possible, so that we may make timely preparations for the accommodations that are required. After you are accepted for admission to Pacific University, download the New Client packet and contact the OAA with any questions you have.

Where can I get assessed?

There are a variety of clinics that offer disability testing. Visit our Where Can I Get Assessed? page to view some options.

Where can I get documentation of my disability?

If you do not have any documentation of your disability, please contact Kim Garrett to discuss your situation, so that we may provide you with the most appropriate suggestions for your specific situation.

What is a temporary disability and can I be accommodated if I have one?

A temporary disability is a disability that is not permanent. It is something that stops you from functioning as you could before. An example of a temporary disability is a broken body part. If you have a temporary disability, contact us right away.

Do I have to make my disability known?

No. You only have to disclose your disability if you want to use any accommodations arranged by the OAA. Some students do not currently use accommodations but have registered with us to ensure support in case it is needed in the future.

If I send information about my disability to the Admissions Office am I automatically registered with the OAA?

No. Disability information is not provided to the OAA by the Admissions Office unless the student requests. Students must register with the OAA to receive accommodations.

Is there a fee to receive services?

No, it is unlawful for the University to charge for accommodations. However, the University is not required to provide auxiliary aids of a personal nature, which may include personal devices, personal assistance, readers for personal study, or software for personal use. You may need to pay for these items yourself.

Do I need to register with the OAA every semester?

No, you do not need to re-register with the OAA every semester.  However, if you have updated documentation that would change your current accommodations, please provide the new documentation to the OAA so that your updates can be put in place.   

Are there housing accommodations available for students with disabilities?

Housing accommodations can be arranged with help from the OAA and the Housing Office if there is space available. After the OAA has necessary documentation from you, the Housing Office will be notified of your requested accommodation. 

If you make your request late or after your housing assignment is confirmed, Housing may no longer have space available to accommodate you. Requests received after May 15 for fall semester, December 1 for January assignments, or January 1 for February assignments are considered late.

What is Pacific University's Policy regarding Service & Companion Animals?

Service and Companion Animals policy.pdf  Individuals who have a service animal, or are requesting a companion animal, are encouraged to register with the OAA and inform University Housing that they plan to have a service or companion animal with them in student housing. This will give housing staff an opportunity to meet the student’s specific housing needs.  To get registered with the OAA as a client, please provide the OAA appropriate documentation regarding your Service or Companion Animal. Once all of the necessary documentation is received by the OAA, the Housing Office will be notified of the approved accommodation. The Housing Office will then set-up a meeting with the residential student to discuss housing expectations for the student and their companion animal.  Additional details regarding the policy and procedures are outlined on our Services page.

How are services for students with disabilities in college different from services provided in high school?

It is the responsibility of the college student to seek out the office that provides accommodations for students with disabilities, unlike in high school where the school seeks out and identifies students with disabilities. The College student must provide documentation about their disability. The University will not evaluate the student's disability.

Often in high school the school maintains contact with the student's parents/guardians to arrange accommodations and track the student's progress, but in college the offices are not allowed to disclose information to outside sources, including the student's guardians, without the student's consent. Therefore, it is vital that the student has the ability to communicate what accommodations they need and discuss what does or does not work.

For additional information about transitioning to a higher education institution, we have provided a copy of a pamphlet from the U.S. Department of Education entitled Preparing for Postsecondary Education.

What other useful resources are available at Pacific University?

In addition to the OAA, other helpful resources around the Pacific University campus include the Tutoring and Learning Center, the Center for Educational Technology, the Center for Languages & International Collaboration, the Career Development Center, the Student Counseling Center, the Health Center , and each student's individual academic faculty advisor.