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Karen Terhune: Hello. Welcome to the Office for Students with Disabilities, known as “OSWD”. I’m Karen Terhune, a coordinator at OSWD. We are here to help qualified students with disabilities succeed through equal access to education and academic activities at Gallaudet University.
James Akridge: I’m James Akridge, also an OSWD coordinator. OSWD approves accommodations for students with disabilities guided by the Americans with Disabilities Act. We work to create a welcoming and productive experience that reflects a barrier-free environment with equal access to quality education. Students who wish to receive accommodations from OSWD start by filling out an online “Intake Application Form” (found on our "Forms" page). Students also are required to provide medical documentation about their disability, which OSWD reviews to determine eligibility.
Karen Terhune: The intake form can be completed online, and more information is available at the website for Gallaudet University. Search for “OSWD” and have a look at the page named “Applying for Services from OSWD”. Students may apply for services and request accommodations at any time during their academic career at Gallaudet. We encourage students new to Gallaudet to start this process well before their first term begins. Once students are accepted for services, they talk with an assigned coordinator to discuss possible accommodations. Disability related information is strictly confidential and handled the same as other medical information.
James Akridge: There are many possible accommodations. Some frequently used accommodations are:
- Extended time for taking tests
- Extended time to complete homework assignments
- Note-takers for classes
- Class materials and text books in alternative formats
If you have any questions regarding how to apply for OSWD services, or general questions regarding OSWD services, you may contact OSWD@Gallaudet.edu.