The Office of Access and Learning Accommodation (OALA) is the primary office that coordinates Baylor University’s compliance with ADA Title III and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 for students. OALA provides services and accommodations to meet the varying needs of students with disabilities at Baylor in both academic and non-academic programs and services.
The OALA staff supports the mission of Baylor and the Paul L. Foster Success Center by creating an encouraging, supportive and caring environment, in which students feel they are accepted and valued as individuals. We achieve this environment by showing compassion, patience, open-mindedness, as well as through teaching responsibility.
The roles of OALA include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Reviewing disability documentation from students to determine if they are eligible for accommodations;
- Making initial determinations of appropriate accommodations for individual students;
- Collaborating with faculty and administration in implementing accommodations for students and facilitating resolution of issues that may arise during implementation of accommodations;
- Providing various services and supports to students with disabilities;
- Acting as a resource for University administrators on other issues that may arise with students with disabilities, whether or not they are registered with OALA;
- Educating faculty, staff, and students on disability related issues; and
- Providing transitional information to parents and students.
The OALA policy and procedure on accommodations explains the role of OALA in making initial determinations on appropriate and necessary accommodations. This is an interactive process. Disagreements among students, instructors, other staff, and OALA over accommodations are elevated first to the director of OALA, and if necessary up the appropriate chain of command for the particular program or service for further review as part of the interactive process. OALA can also assist students with disabilities in the informal resolution of issues that may arise with faculty, staff, or other students.
Formal complaints of discrimination on the basis of disability must be filed under the Baylor Civil Rights Policy.