Disability Services

Achieving full participation and integration of people with disabilities requires the cooperative efforts of the departments, offices and personnel. To this end, the University will continue to strive to achieve excellence in its programs and services and to assure that its services are delivered equitably and efficiently to all of its members.

Disability Services is committed to supporting students as they learn to self-advocate and negotiate the campus and academics at the University. The program provides a wide array of reasonable, appropriate accommodations for students with learning, physical, psychological, or medical challenges. Students are expected to provide current documentation of their disabilities. Please write to ds@westfield.ma.edu with your questions.

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Services

Resources

Forms and Manuals

Disabilities Notification Form

Are you:  

  1. New to Westfield State University as a transfer or undergraduate (day division or DGCE) or graduate student; and,  
  2. Have one or more disabilities?

Please fill out the Disabilities Notification Form to tell us that you are on campus. A Banacos staff person will reach out to tell you more about our services.

Policies

Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan (The Plan)

How To Register and Request Reasonable Accommodations

To request reasonable accommodations, students should make an appointment with the access advisor, Kaitlin Karetka, and provide her with the Reasonable Accommodations Request Form filled out.  You may fill this form out at the appointment, before the appointment and drop it off in the Banacos Academic Center, or submit it via email to ds@westfield.ma.edu. (If you are a student in the Learning Disabilities Program please see your assigned LDP advisor.)

If this is your first time requesting reasonable accommodations, please register with the office by filling out the Registration Form and scheduling an appointment with the access advisor. Please provide the access advisor with documentation to support all requests for reasonable accommodations.  The documentation should meet the documentation guidelines.  You may provide your medical or mental health practitioner with a condition verification form to fill out which will serve to describe and provide relevant information about your disability. This should be sent to the access advisor.  At the appointment, the access advisor will review the documentation, registration form and requests with the student to determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations.  Further documentation will be requested where needed.

Reasonable accommodations are available based on documented need. Please be sure to meet with your Access Advisor to determine what accommodations are supported by your documentation. Below are some examples which students have received.

  • Extended time on quizzes and exams (50% or 100%).
  • Exam room.
  • Readers/scribes for examinations.
  • Assistance in obtaining audio recordings or electronic files for books.
  • Access to Kurzweil 3000 reader software.
  • Access to voice recognition software. 
  • Assistive listening device. 
  • Priority registration for classes.

Banacos Academic Center

The Banacos Academic Center is home to Disability Services, as well as the Academic Strategies ProgramUniversity Tutoring Program, and our program for students with Learning Disabilities.

Westfield State University is committed to providing a learning, working and living environment for students, employees and other members of the University community, which values the diverse backgrounds of all people. The University is committed to assuring that the “university experience” is one that challenges, empowers, supports and prepares its students to live in, work in, and value our increasingly global and diverse world.

Contact Disability Services at the Banacos Academic Center

Please note that the Access Advisor, Graduate Assistant and the Director all receive messages sent to ds@westfield.ma.edu in their inboxes. There is no need to copy any of the below people onto an email sent to the Disabilty Services email address. Thank you! 

Kaitlin Karetka, Access Advisor
ds@westfield.ma.edu
(413) 572-5789
Scanlon Hall, room 226

Gemma Archer, Graduate Assistant
(413) 572-8140
ds@westfield.ma.edu
Scanlon Hall

Sarah E. Lazare, Director
Banacos Academic Center
slazare@westfield.ma.edu
(413) 572-8789
Scanlon Hall, room 217
 
Last updated 8/11/21, LT