Accommodate Helps Ohio University Reduce Student Traffic and Streamline Accessibility Services Across Multiple Campuses

Ohio University’s Student Accessibility Services (SAS) office was using an Excel spreadsheet to track students who registered with their office. Students had to complete multiple forms that could only be accessed in the office during regular business hours. In-office traffic became a big problem, and the amount of paperwork required per student made it nearly impossible to organize and communicate student information across other Ohio University campuses.

“Students have really appreciated the flexibility they get through Accommodate. If it's 1am and they need to make a request, they can go online and not wait until our office opens at 8am to come in."

Carey Busch,
Assistant Dean for Student Accessibility


Four years ago, the office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at Ohio University was struggling to maintain an effective process for tracking and delivering student accommodations. The office did not employ an online management system for students to register for their services, so staff would use a large Excel spreadsheet to record only the students who had successfully registered with their office. However, they had no way to track where these students were in the process. Furthermore, staff had to periodically revise the Excel sheet and manually remove students who were no longer seeking accommodation services or had transferred to another campus.

Registering with the SAS office was also difficult for students, who had to complete up to six paper forms during office hours to fulfill their request. Students were forced to make many stops into the office, and staff had multiple forms to track per student. Organizing and storing student information was very challenging, and the rate of student traffic kept increasing every year.


Ohio University implemented Accommodate in 2014 to streamline their processes for staff and students and make information easily accessible across multiple campuses. During implementation, Ohio University staff worked with Symplicity to modify their system and train employees on how to utilize the software from a student’s perspective. They created mock student profiles and learned to navigate the site as a student in order to anticipate students' needs and answer any of their questions. They also created handouts and training materials to prepare students for the launch of the new Accommodate site.

Ohio and Symplicity staff also worked together to customize the site to meet the school’s administrative needs, like adding filters to the Test Room Book module and leveraging the Survey function to replace paper forms and collect student data. Accommodate also reduced the amount of paperwork that staff had to collect and organize per student by providing them a platform that housed all student information. Offering accommodation services for students across multiple campuses was often challenging, and the school benefited from the data storage capacity and reliability that Accommodate provided.


Since implementing Accommodate, the SAS office has greatly reduced student traffic by providing them the flexibility to register and update their accommodation requests online. Students no longer have to walk into the office multiple times to fill out forms, but can instead submit their requests from the comfort of their home and on their own time. Accommodate also allowed student data to be captured, communicated, and tracked online. If a student transfers campuses or if their coordinator is not available, another staff member can look at their profile, make changes, and determine the appropriate follow-up.

Thanks to Accommodate, staff members now have more time to provide more specialized assistance to high-risk students. By reducing student traffic and replacing paper forms previously handled by multiple people, Accommodate became the equivalent to one full-time administrative employee in the SAS office.

“[Accommodate] has reduced the foot traffic in the office so much, and it's reduced all those manual processes and forms that needed to get handled by three different people. It really is like having a whole other staff person."



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