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Eligibility Requirements: Overview

Disability documentation

It is the student’s responsibility to provide documentation of disability from a licensed professional along with other application materials.  Ideally documentation will meet the following criteria:

  • Generated by an approved expert in the specific area of disability
  • Sufficiently comprehensive, identifying the testing mechanisms, procedures and findings, and the recommended accommodations
  • Sufficiently recent, typically generated within the last 3 years, to provide an accurate representation of the current disability and its impact on academic endeavors.
  • If the initial documentation does not provide enough information to determine the extent of the disability and reasonable accommodations, the disability services director has the discretion to require additional documentation.  Students are responsible for the costs related to obtaining documentation.
  • A student who is unable to provide professional documentation of disability but believes there is disability-related justification for accommodations is encouraged to contact Disability Services staff to discuss options

Allow 30 days, after submission of all materials, for Disability Services staff to evaluate your application and reply.

Intake procedure

In Walden University’s online environment, the intake procedure for Disability Services is:

  • Submission of Walden’s Accommodation Request form, along with documentation of disability, by the student.
  • Review of those materials by the Disability Services Director,
  • Exchange of emails between Disability Services and the student clarifying any unanswered questions and
  • Formal confirmation of approved accommodations via email from the Director of Disability Services to the student’s Walden email account.

Students are welcome to request a telephone appointment with the Disability Services Director to provide additional information or ask for clarification of processes at any time.

Using the documentation of disability provided by the student, the Director of Disability Services determines the most appropriate accommodations.

Students receive confirmation of approved accommodations, with instructions for initiating accommodations each term, in the form of an email sent from disability@waldenu.edu.

Students who disagree with the approved accommodations may ask for a review of their application and provide additional information at any time.  However, only confirmed approved accommodations will be provided during the review period.

Walden University is not obligated to provide accommodations until the application process has been completed and accommodations have been officially approved.  Students are encouraged to begin the process early to ensure accommodations are approved prior to beginning coursework.

Temporary medical conditions

Walden’s online courses are designed to allow students ample time to complete assignments even during times of illness or injury.  However, some medical conditions may result in temporary impairment and may require leniency for a limited amount of time. These conditions do not include routine health issues, which should be manageable without any leniency because of the built-in flexibility of Walden’s online courses. Further, not all medical conditions meet eligibility requirements for registration with Disability Services. Though not considered a qualifying disability, some medical conditions which are transitory (lasting less than six months) or are minor may be considered sufficient enough to require leniency and may include surgery, accidents, severe illness, or any other significant medical condition that temporarily impairs regular attendance, academic performance, or certain major life activities. 

See Walden’s Request for Leniency procedure below to address temporary medical conditions. If students feel that they have experienced a temporary impairment that has impacted their ability to meet an assignment deadline or that has had major impact on their performance in a course, they may request that their instructor(s) consider offering them extra time. The instructor determines if any delay in submission is acceptable, whether or not explained by a medical issue. While the duration of the temporary impairment may be a factor, it is not the only factor in determining whether granting short term leniency on deadlines or more extensive accommodations through Disability Services is appropriate.  If a student is unsure whether or not he or she may have a qualifying disability, he or she should contact Disability Services to determine whether an accommodation is available.  

 

Request for Leniency Process:

Each situation under this policy will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.  Faculty will not solicit medical documentation from students but may ask that claims of medical or related sensitive issues impacting a student’s ability to meet deadlines are verified by the university. If so, students should submit medical documentation to medicaldocumentation@waldenu.edu with a request for an e-mail verifying receipt of the documentation. Students are to include their name, student ID, course name and full course number, and name of the instructor. Faculty receiving unsolicited medical documentation from students are asked to avoid reading it and refer students to the above policy. E-mail attachments with medical documentation should be forwarded to medicaldocumentation@waldenu.edu with originals retained to avoid mishandling of medical documentation. Do not send medical documentation directly to faculty.  If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact Disability Services.