Student Accessibility Services


Welcome! The Office of Accessibility Services office assists students with a qualified disability in meeting their academic and personal goals. Within the bounds of our resources, Gwynedd Mercy University will provide reasonable accommodations to meet the challenges and needs of students with a qualified disability.  

If you are a student with a qualified disability, choose from the links below to learn more about available services and the application and documentation process. All students seeking services must first complete the application process.

Below, you will find more information for the following topics:

  • Applying for Student Accessibility Services
  • Application Procedures
  • Documentation Requirements
  • Housing Accommodation Requests
  • Emotional Support Animal (ESA)
  • Contact Us
  • Additional Resources

Additional information is available in the Student Accessibility Services Manual (PDF).

 

Applying for Student Accessibility Services

You can make a request for accommodations pertaining to learning, psychological, and/or physical disabilities at the time of your acceptance to Gwynedd Mercy University or any time thereafter. The request must be made by you, the student, in person, by email, or via submission of the Student Accessibility Services Accommodation Application (PDF). Please note that other forms of contact such as phone calls or disclosures to other University staff or faculty are not recognized as requests for accommodations.

If you self-identify as having a disability and request accommodations, you are responsible for submitting appropriate documentation and following the procedures listed below. Please allow sufficient time for administrative processing of the application. GMercyU cannot make any accommodations without completing this process. 

Accommodation requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and the accommodations are based on each student's individual and unique needs. Please be aware the review, approval, and orientation process can take up to six weeks. It will benefit you to submit your application and documentation at least six to eight weeks before the start of your first course. If all documentation is not submitted, additional time may be needed.

Application Procedures

Please follow the steps below to apply for accommodations. 

  1. Contact the Director of Accessibility Services, Brandi Crawford, to discuss your request. Incoming and current students may email Ms. Crawford directly at crawford.b@gmercyu.edu.
  2. If this is your first time requesting accommodations from The Office of Accessibility Services, please complete the Student Accessibility Services Accommodation Application (PDF).
    1. The Health Care Professional Form section must be completed by an appropriate, certified professional and not a family member. 
    2. Gwynedd Mercy University reserves the right to request additional documentation. 
  3. All completed documentation should be submitted to the Director of Accessibility Services at crawford.b@gmercyu.edu.   
  4. The Director of Accessibility Services will contact you once documentation has been received and reviewed to request a meeting. At the intake meeting, you will have an opportunity to discuss your experiences and how your disability impacts your education. You can also discuss some accommodations you find helpful. This meeting is a collaborative and individualized process.
    1. Please be aware the review, approval, and orientation process can take up to six weeks. It will benefit you to submit your application and documentation at least six to eight weeks before the start of your first course. If all documentation is not submitted, additional time may be needed. 
    2. Accommodations are not retroactive and cannot be applied to previous tests or assignments. 
  5. The Director of Accessibility Services will review the documentation, and the student will be notified when a decision has been made regarding the accommodation request.
  6.  If a student qualifies for specific accommodation(s), a letter outlining the approved accommodation will be developed and given to the student either in person or electronically.
    1. The Director of Accessibility Services will forward letters to students for all of their classes and instruct students to give each of their professors a letter.
    2. Students must provide their letters to their professors to activate their accommodations. Not all accommodations may be approved for all courses; some accommodations are unique to a specific course or prohibited in a certain course.
  7. Students should meet privately with their professors to explain their needs and accommodations for each individual course.
  8.  If the Director of Accessibility Services determines the student does not qualify for an accommodation, a letter outlining the decision and reason for the decision will be developed and forwarded to the student.
  9. If the student disagrees will the decision regarding eligibility or the reasonable accommodation offered, then the student can discuss their concerns with the Director of Accessibility Services. 

If they would like to file a formal complaint, a student may choose this option if attempts at prior resolution have been unsuccessful. A signed, written summary of events must be submitted to the Dean of Student Success within 30 days of the initiation of the grievance process (see p. 72 of the Undergraduate Catalog for the process).

Documentation Requirements

All documentation in support of a disability should be reflective of the current, functional impact of the condition or impairment. Current testing and evaluations should have been completed within the past three to five years. Additionally, updated documentation may be requested, in some circumstances, where documentation is outdated or when ongoing treatment is being provided. Interviews with the student and other involved persons are viewed as an important part of the process and can provide valuable information to augment the documentation.

Documentation for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Physical, Neurological or Psychological Disabilities:

  • Health Care Professional Form in the Disability Application OR an original letter from the evaluating professional that includes the following areas: a clearly stated, specific diagnosis; a description of the symptoms; a description of the current functional limitations of the condition; an explanation of the impact of the condition on the academic and/or housing environment; and recommendations of appropriate accommodations.
  • A written evaluation by a psychiatrist, neurologist, licensed psychologist, or other qualified professional.
  • 504 Plan and the completed Health Care Practitioner form. 504 Plans submitted without supporting documentation will be accepted as supplemental information only and not the primary supporting document.

Documentation for Learning Disability:

  • Comprehensive Psycho-educational Evaluation Report or Re-evaluation Report by a school district, neurologist, licensed psychologist, or other qualified professional; the report should include results of psycho-educational testing.
  • An IEP, Summary of Performance will be accepted as supplemental information only and not the primary supporting document. The AHEAD Best Practices: Disability Documentation in Higher Education was used in developing these guidelines.
Housing Accommodation Requests

All requests for housing accommodations are due to the Director of Accessibility Services by May 1 of each year.

This procedure is NOT a housing application, but a request for accessibility-related housing accommodations only. You must also comply with Residence Life housing applications, guidelines, forms, and deadlines to apply for campus housing

If you are seeking housing accommodations, please make your request via the Student Accessibility Services Accommodation Application (PDF). Determinations are based on the documentation and information received. An application that is incomplete or received after the deadline may result in a housing assignment that does not meet your needs.

Factors given consideration for special housing requests:

  1. Is the impact of the condition life-threatening if the request is not met?
  2. Is the request an integral component of a treatment plan prescribed by a medical professional for the condition in question?
  3. Is space available to meet the student’s need?
  4. Can space be adapted without creating a safety hazard?
  5. Are there other effective means that would achieve similar benefits as the requested accommodation?
  6. How does meeting the documented need impact housing commitments for other students?
  7. Is the cost of meeting the need prohibitive?
  8. Was the request made by the deadline?

Please note: Private room accommodations are rare. We make every attempt to find reasonable accommodations for those conditions that are covered under the ADA.

Once a determination is made regarding a housing accommodation, written notification will be sent to you. You should review the notification and sign it and return it to the Director of Accessibility Services. If you are approved for housing accommodations, you must meet with the Director of Accessibility Services annually to renew your request.

Emotional Support Animal (ESA)

If you are planning to live on campus and have the need for an Emotional Support Animal (ESA), you can make a request through the Office of Accessibility Services. Before making your request, please thoroughly read GMercyU's ESA Policy. Upon reading the policy, please sign the last page. You will also need to fill out both the ESA Registration form and the ESA Animal Information form. Please send all completed documentation to the Director of Accessibility Services at crawford.b@gmercyu.edu.

ESA Policy (PDF)
ESA Registration Form (PDF)
ESA Animal Information Form (PDF)

Contact Us

The Office of Accessibility Services is located in the 2nd floor of Keiss Library, Room 201

Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Brandi Crawford, Director of Accessibility Services
Phone: 215-646-7300 ext. 21014
Email: crawford.b@gmercyu.edu

Gwynedd Mercy University does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, national origin, religion, sex or disability in the administration of its educational, admission, scholarship or loan policies.

Additional Resources

To learn more about disabilities, learning differences, accessibility, and assistive technology, check out our Student Accessibility Resources page!