Frequently Asked Questions

Review the following to find answers to frequently asked questions about WCL building accessibility, disability accommodations for current students, health and wellness care at WCL, working in the legal profession with a disability, and who to go to for help.

Accommodations and Disability Support - FAQ

Which routes to the school are accessible?

The law school has its own parking garage with handicap parking spaces. For information about parking in the law school garage, visit https://www.wcl.american.edu/here/our-campus/facilities/parking/.

The law school is right next to stops on the M4, N2, 30S, 30N, 31, 33, 96, H2, H3, and H4 bus lines. Buses are equipped with ramps and wheelchair securement areas to accommodate passengers with disabilities. There is also preferential seating on all buses for passengers with disabilities. Many stops are equipped with buttons that trigger an automated voice listing the estimated arrival times of buses for visually impaired passengers. For full Metrobus accessibility features, visit https://www.wmata.com/service/accessibility/metrobus.cfm.

The law school is about 0.2 miles from the Tenleytown-AU Metro stop on the Red Line.

The Metro has escalators on the east and west sides of Wisconsin Avenue and an elevator on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue. Each Metro station has a wide, accessible faregate. The faregate by the elevator is also wide. Metro trains contain preferential seating for passengers with disabilities and wheelchair-designated spaces. . Should there be an elevator outage, Metro provides free shuttle service from a neighboring Metro station. To receive notifications about elevator outages and from which stations shuttle service is provided, sign up for ELStat at https://elstat.wmata.com. For more information about Metrorail accessibility for passengers with various disabilities, including low vision and mobility challenges, visit https://www.wmata.com/service/accessibility/metrorail.cfm.

If you cannot make the walk from the Metro to the law school, you may take the free American University shuttle and request that the driver stop at the law school. You may also take the N2, 30S, 30N, 30N, 31, 33, 96, H2, H3, or H4 bus lines about one stop to their respective Tenley Circle stops.

For the full customer guide for Metrobus and Metrorail passengers with disabilities, visit https://www.wmata.com/service/accessibility/upload/Customer-Guide-Third-Edition.pdf.

Although full-time WCL students currently receive a U-Pass, which includes unlimited Metrobus and Metrorail usage during the semester, Metro passengers with disabilities might be eligible for a reduced fare. For more information, please visit https://www.wmata.com/service/accessibility/reduced-fare.cfm.

Which routes in and around the school are accessible?

Maps showing accessible routes can be found here.

Who should I contact if there are issues with elevators, automatic doors, or accessible routes?

Please contact facilities at facilityreq@wcl.american.edu, in YT05, or at (202) 274-4357.  Copy Shira Cohen, Student Affairs and ADA Coordinator, on any emails.

When should I start the process of requesting accommodations?

WCL encourages students to document disabilities and request accommodations as early as possible. As outlined below, the process for granting accommodations requires meeting with the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) on main campus, as well as with the WCL Office of Student Affairs. Once you’ve been granted accommodations, the ADA Coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs will advise you of the timeline for classroom and exam accommodations.  For a student newly receiving accommodations, the last day of classes each semester is the last day a student can be processed to receive final exam accommodations.

Where is ASAC, and how do I contact ASAC?

American University Academic Support and Access Center

Mary Graydon Center 243

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW

Washington, D.C. 20016

You can find the AU campus map here:

http://www.american.edu/aumaps/upload/Main_Tenley_Vicinity.pdf

For more information, visit the ASAC web page at http://www.american.edu/ocl/asac/.

If you have questions for ASAC, contact the office at (202) 885-3360 or asac@american.edu.

How do I request accommodations for a permanent disability?

Accommodations for WCL students are requested through the American University Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) on main campus and administered through WCL’s Office of Student Affairs. To receive accommodations, you should:

  1. Register with ASAC using this website: https://clockwork.american.edu/clockwork/user/intake/default.aspx. With ASAC, you will 1) submit documentation of your disability, 2) complete the Student Accommodations Questionnaire, and 3) meet with an ASAC counselor to discuss your request. ASAC will assess your request and grant accommodations as appropriate.
  2. Following the ASAC process, you’ll meet with the WCL Office of Student Affairs. The ADA Coordinator will explain the accommodations process to you, and you’ll then accept your accommodations.

If you have any questions about this process at all, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 202-274-4030. They’re happy to guide you through it!

How do I request accommodations for a temporary disability? How do the process and requirements differ?

Students seeking accommodations on the basis of a temporary disability must notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Students will be required to provide documentation to the ASAC on main campus verifying the nature of the condition, stating the expected duration of the condition, and describing the accommodations deemed necessary.

How do I confirm my accommodations?

When you’re first granted accommodations, you’ll meet with the WCL Office of Student Affairs to confirm that you accept your accommodations overall. Student Affairs will also explain the process of receiving your accommodations throughout the semester and will show you the Accommodations Portal. Among other things, the Portal is used to request accommodations for final exams. Each semester, students receiving accommodations will receive emails from the ADA Coordinator leading up to finals that explain the process for “accepting accommodations for final exams.”

Must I follow a separate process for midterms? Does the process for midterm exam accommodations differ from the process for final exams?

Yes. Across the law school, midterms differ from finals in the way they’re administered. For final exam accommodations, we use the Portal. Midterms, however, are not logged through the Portal. If you have a midterm and require your accommodations, please inform the ADA Coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs as soon as you’re aware. The Coordinator will then facilitate your midterm.

Must I tell my professors about my accommodations?

In general, no. However, certain accommodations might require professor knowledge, such as those involving tardiness or absences. It might also be helpful to explain your disability to your professor in advance so that if an issue arises during the semester, your professor is already aware. The Assistant Director of Student Affairs can help you determine which course of action is best for you. However, to maintain the anonymity of the examination process, DO NOT discuss any testing accommodations with professors or ask professors questions about testing accommodations.

If I wish to speak to my professors, what is the best way to do so?

If you have an accommodation that requires professor knowledge, the Office of Student Affairs may draft a letter to notify your professors. Otherwise, you may wish to meet with your professors to discuss your disability. The Office of Student Affairs is happy to help you think through and prepare for these conversations, should you desire.

Why should I document and disclose my disability?

Although no student is required to disclose a disability, students cannot be accommodated if the school or professors are unaware. Law school can be a stressful and difficult time, which can exacerbate any existing medical concerns. It is much easier to disclose and document your disability when you begin school than to scramble to disclose once issues or obstacles begin to progress. The school can also provide accommodations from the beginning to prevent unnecessary obstacles. If you disclose your disability, the Office of Student Affairs can help to ensure that you are accommodated in your classes. Additionally, the process for receiving accommodations on the Bar exam will require certification of the accommodations you received in law school. Thus, if you anticipate requiring accommodations for your disability on the Bar exam, you should request accommodations in law school. If you have further questions, please contact the Office of Student Affairs.

How do I request accommodations for the Bar?

Get in touch with the Assistant Director of Student Affairs, as early as possible. If you request accommodations on the Bar, the Bar will question WCL to see if you received accommodations during school. The more robust your record, the better the chance you can receive accommodations on the Bar. If you do not receive accommodations at WCL, you are less likely to receive accommodations on the Bar.

Each Bar has its own process for requesting accommodations. Please visit the website of the Bar you are taking and read instructions carefully. You may contact that Bar for further questions.

How do I request closed captioning or interpreters?

If you receive closed captioning or interpreters as an accommodation, the Office of Student Affairs will secure these services for your academic courses each semester. Continue to be in touch with the Office about your course schedule and update the Office if changes arise. Should you require closed captioning or interpreters for outside of your academic courses, contact the ADA Coordinator in the Office of Student Affairs with at least 2 weeks’ notice.

Which number should I call in case of an emergency?

If you are on campus and experience a medical emergency, please call Public Safety at 202-885-3636. If you are off campus, please call 911.

How do I request dining hall accommodations if I have food allergy or dietary restrictions?

The dining hall at the Washington College of Law can accommodate certain food allergies and dietary restrictions upon request. For more information, please contact Aramark at dining@wcl.american.edu. You can also ask to speak with a chef about your allergy upon ordering food.

Are epipens available on campus?

Epipens are not widely available across campus, so students with an allergy that require an epipen should have an epipen on them at all times in case of emergency.

Is there a health center on campus?

The student health center is located on the main AU Campus. For more information, visit http://www.american.edu/ocl/healthcenter/. Additionally, you may call the Nurse Advice Line at 855-678-8679 + Pin 1009, available 24/7.

Does WCL provide counseling or therapy sessions?

Yes. WCL students can receive six to eight free counseling sessions with our on-campus counselors. Counselors are available for appointments at WCL several days a week, and their office is located inside the Student Affairs suite (Capital 107E). Students interested in this service should call for a confidential initial consultation with the AU main campus Counseling Center. For more information, please visit http://www.american.edu/ocl/counseling/Counseling-and-Other-Services.cfm.

Confidential Initial Consultations on AU main campus:

(202) 885-3500

Mary Graydon Center 214

Consultation appointments at WCL:

Fall 2017: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays in C107E

Urgent Care Walk-ins on AU main campus:

Monday-Friday 2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Mary Graydon Center 214

What are the resources WCL provides for survivors of sexual assault?

American University’s Office of Advocacy Services for Interpersonal and Sexual Violence (OASIS) provides free and confidential victim advocacy services. More information can be found at http://www.american.edu/ocl/wellness/sexual-assault-resources.cfm.

The Counseling Center on AU’s main campus offers counseling, support, and referrals for survivors of sexual violence. The counseling center can also make referrals to off-campus counselors who specialize in trauma.

What are the resources WCL provides for veterans?

Information on veteran benefits can be found at https://www.wcl.american.edu/finaid/gibill_edu_benefits.cfm.

For more information and resources about the American University veteran community, visit http://www.american.edu/veterans/

How do I submit a diversity statement to an employer or apply for a diversity position?

Once you are eligible to meet with the Office of Career & Professional Development and have met with your assigned staff member once, you can make an appointment with Tiffany Simmons, Career Counselor and Diversity Liaison, on Careerlink. She can be contacted at tsimmons@wcl.american.edu or (202) 274-4339.

 

Who are the key staff and resources at the university and law school?

Shira Cohen

Student Affairs and ADA Coordinator

cohens@wcl.american.edu

Lucy Goss

Assistant Director of Student Affairs

lgoss@wcl.american.edu

Nicole Schoeb

Associate Director of Disability Support, ASAC

nschoeb@american.edu

Who are the student groups and student representatives that can assist me?

Marissa Ditkowsky is the Student Bar Association, or student government, Disability Liaison. As the SBA Disability Liaison, she can provide resources and field questions and concerns about the Washington College of Law, accessibility, accommodations, and other areas pertaining to disability. She can be reached at md9251a@student.american.edu.

You might also be interested in participating in the Disability Law Society. Although the organization is open to all students interested in disability law, the organization encourages students with disabilities to become involved and share their perspectives. For more information, contact wcldisabilitylawsociety@gmail.com.