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Disability Support Services

North Foundation Hall, Room 103A
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-3266
Fax: (248) 370-4327
Video Phone: (248) 841-8015
TTY: (248) 370-3268
DSS@oakland.edu

Office Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wednesdays with extended hours, by appointment only

Disability Support Services

North Foundation Hall, Room 103A
318 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-3266
Fax: (248) 370-4327
Video Phone: (248) 841-8015
TTY: (248) 370-3268
DSS@oakland.edu

Office Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Wednesdays with extended hours, by appointment only

woman holding a brochure open, facing a young woman seated on a couch

Policies

Oakland University is committed to enabling individuals with documented disabilities to participate and benefit from all of the University's programs and activities. The University has a Disability Services office that has as its mission the goal of facilitating and providing individualized services and accommodations to individuals with documented disabilities. The policies and procedures found in this section can assist students with disabilities in their pursuit of equal access.

Courses
Reduced course load
Some students with disabilities may be eligible to take a reduced course load that may impact their financial aid. Contact the DSS office and your financial aid adviser for information.

Enrollment exception
Submit a request for enrollment exception form (located on the Office of the Registrar's website, under General Forms) to request an exception to published university policy regarding registration deadlines or procedures and/or tuition cancellation.
Grievance Procedure
Pursuant to the Federal Rehabilitation Act, Oakland University will make reasonable modifications to its academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating, on the basis of disability, against a qualified disabled applicant or student; provided however, that no modifications will be made to requirements essential to the instruction being pursued by such student or to any directly related licensing requirement.  Reasonable modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted.  Similarly, pursuant to the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act, Oakland University will make reasonable modifications in polices, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability; provided however, no modifications will be made that will fundamentally alter the nature of the services, program, or activity.

Students  who believe they have been the victims of unlawful discrimination, involving for example, the denial of reasonable accommodations auxiliary aids or the denial of classroom materials in accessible format, should follow the process outlined below.

Resolving Conflict with the University, Faculty and/or Staff, Department, Program or Organization:
  1. Discuss the issue with the director of DSS. The director may call the faculty/program head in an effort to resolve the issue. Sometimes a meeting is held to discuss the issue with all parties involved. In most instances, a resolution can be established at this stage.
  2. The Dean of Students may be contacted to explore possible resolution of the complaint where the complaint involves another student (student-student complaint).
  3. The student may at any time file a complaint with the director of the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The office investigates complaints against faculty/staff members and the director serves as the University’s ADA Coordinator.
Privacy
Confidentiality and Release of Information
Medical information is treated as confidential and not disclosed unless required or permitted by law. Information from a student’s file, including information regarding disability may be released to a third party in the event of a serious health or safety threat to self or others or as otherwise provided by law.

Confidentiality and Privacy of Records
Your right to privacy and confidentiality is a high priority at Oakland University’s Disability Support Services office. All records are kept in locked file cabinets. Except as noted below, no information regarding a student’s disability or use of services will be released to parties outside of DSS without prior written consent:
  • General information concerning the student such as name and address will be released in the same manner as other student records. See the OU Catalog for description of OU’s policy regarding the release of student records.
  • Confidential information, such as the student’s disability or use of services, may be shared in the course of consultation with or referral to other appropriate professionals within OU, when the person has a legitimate educational interest. This would be on a need to know basis.
  • For legally mandated audits and investigations.
  • When required by court order or subpoena, the specific information requested will be released.
  • In extreme situations where immediate harm to self or others may result, the law may require that essential information to be reported to necessary agencies or parties.
  • The DSS office does not send out faculty notification letters to instructors; this is to protect your right to privacy. It is your responsibility to pick up the letters and deliver them to your instructor s and discuss the accommodations.
  • If a student wishes to allow a parent or guardian to access the information in their DSS file, the student will need to fill out a FERPA release form. Otherwise, no information will be shared with the parent or guardian.
  • DSS student files are maintained for seven years from the date of last attendance. At the end of the seven year period, all records in the file will be destroyed. For this reason, students are advised to retain personal copies of all disability documentation submitted to the DSS office.
FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), affords an OU student certain privacy rights with respect to their educational records. This right is afforded to students. With limited exception, DSS will share student information with parents and other third parties only with a written release from the student.
Mobility Devices
In recent years, some people with mobility disabilities have begun using less traditional mobility devices such as golf cars or Segways. These devices are called “other power-driven mobility device” (OPDMD). OPDMDs are mobility devices powered by batteries, fuel, or other engines that are used for the purpose of locomotion, including golf carts, electronic personal assistance mobility devices. OPDMDs can include Segway PT, or any mobility device designed to operate in areas without defined pedestrian routes. OPDMDs are not wheelchairs.

Oakland University does not supply OPDMDs for individual use but permits their use. The University makes reasonable accommodations for usage of OPDMDs unless the device cannot be accommodated because of legitimate safety requirements. In determining whether a particular type of OPDMD can be accommodated in a specific facility or campus venue, the following factors may be considered:
  • The type, size, weight, dimensions and speed of the device;
  • The facility’s volume of pedestrian traffic (which may vary at different times of the day, week, month or year);
  • The facility’s design and operational characteristics (e.g., indoors, outdoors, square footage, density and placement of furniture and other stationary devices, and the availability of storage for the OPDMD if needed and requested by the user);
  • Whether legitimate safety requirements (e.g., limiting speed to the pace of pedestrian traffic or prohibiting use on escalators) can be established to permit the safe operation of the OPDMD in the specific facility, and
  • Whether the use of the OPDMD creates a substantial risk of serious harm to the immediate environment or natural or cultural resources, or poses a conflict with Federal land management laws and regulation.
Guidelines for safe usage of OPDMDs:
  • Operate the device at the speed of pedestrian traffic.
  • Pedestrians always have the right of way on campus pathways.
  • No passing or weaving in and out of pedestrian traffic.
  • OPDMDs should not be operated in a manner that may endanger its passenger, other individuals, or damage Oakland University property.
  • Operator must obey all campus traffic regulations and signs.