Mission of the Office of Disabilities Services

The Office of Disabilities Services (ODS) is committed to meeting ethical and legal responsibilities to ensure equitable educational access to cadets with documented disabilities. We support the academic success, personal growth and development of life and leadership skills for cadets in a manner that promotes self-awareness, self-determination, and self-advocacy. ODS also serves as a resource to the VMI community to encourage awareness and understanding regarding disabilities issues in higher education.

Cadets with documented disabilities are encouraged to schedule a meeting with the Director of ODS as early as possible to allow adequate time for review of documentation, to allow for a thorough assessment of academic needs, and to familiarize new cadets with administrative procedures.

Goals

  • Establish clearly defined policies and procedures to address the responsibilities of cadets as well as the Institute
  • Based on review and evaluation of documentation presented by cadets, facilitate the provision of reasonable academic accommodations that remove barriers to learning and demonstrating knowledge without altering fundamental components of a course or program
  • Assist cadets in acquiring and using technology that helps compensate for disabilities that impact language processing
  • Educate cadets so they can make informed choices about their rights and responsibilities
  • Refer cadets to appropriate resources
  • Promote awareness and understanding of cadets with disabilities in the Corps and the VMI community
  • Provide information regarding program services to the VMI community as well as prospective cadets
  • Conduct assessment to support continuous improvement of programs and services


Receiving Academic Accommodations in College

The legislation governing disability accommodations in postsecondary schools is different from high school.  Whereas high school students are entitled to many accommodations, college students have a right to “reasonable accommodations.” For more information on regulations and policies related to disabilities services in higher education, please visit:  http://www.ed.gov/ocr/publications.html#Section504

At VMI, students are actively involved in the process; they must:

  • Identify themselves as having a disability and schedule an intake appointment
  • Provide documentation of their disability
  • Request accommodations EACH semester
  • Take responsibility for following Institute policies and procedures associated with the accommodations they receive