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West Chester University Office of Educational Accessibility (OEA) Collection

Identifier: 078
STATEMENT ON HARMFUL AND/OR SENSITIVE CONTENT IN WCU SPECIAL COLLECTIONS HOLDINGS: Due to the nature of the historical materials, there may be occurrences of language, images, positions, and values that do not align with the current values of and practices at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Please be advised that there may be content and language that is offensive, harmful, or difficult to encounter.

The West Chester University Office of Educational Accessibility (OEA) Collection has been divided into four series: Committees, Correspondence, Departmental Materials, and Publications.

Series 1, Committees, includes materials from the Affirmative Action for the Handicapped Committee between 1977-79 and 1982, as well as materials from the Committee for Equal Educational Opportunities for Disabled Students from 1977 to 1982. Materials include meeting agendas and minutes, as well as membership lists.

Series 2, Correspondence features written communications between campus departments and officials, WCU and state and national government officials, and West Chester, PA community groups.

Series 3, Departmental Materials, consists of 1970s and 1980s campus accessibility information, contact lists and resources, related events and workshops held by the office or partners,institutional and self-evaluation forms, notes and memorandums, policies and plans, and reference guides for WCU personnel.

Series 4, Publications, includes campus and local bulletins, newsletters, and newspaper stories. It also includes national publications, such as the NACUBO Special Report on Section 504 and a Braille publication of the U.S. Congress Public Law 101-335, the Americans with Disabilities Act, volumes 1 and 2.


  • 1970 - 2001
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 1990

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.


2 Boxes (1 half-document box, 1 oversize medium flat box)

1.21 Linear Feet


The West Chester University Office of Educational Accessibility (OEA) Collection includes information about the founding and evolution of the Office of Educational Accessibility and advocacy for campus accessibility at West Chester University. Materials consists of committee documents, correspondence, departmental materials, and local and national publications. Materials range in date from 1970 to 2001, with the bulk of items being from 1970 to 1990.

Biographical / Historical

The Office of Educational Accessibility (OEA) is "committed to providing equal access and opportunity to all campus programs and services for persons with disabilities". (1) OEA works with members of the West Chester University (WCU) community to develop, implement, and provide accomodations and other supportive programs and services that enhance and make university life accessible for all.

OEA has had several names since its establishment at the university, with its most recent former name being the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. In summer 2023, OEA changed its name "to more accurately reflect the vast array of services and resources we offer and demonstrate our commitment to the social model of disability and a strengths-based perspective of student success". (2)

Some services and programs provided by OEA today include Academic Coaching, Mindfulness Coaching, and Assistive Technology Training. OEA is a member of the Academic Affairs Division of WCU in University College and their office is located at Lawrence Hall, Room 223.

OEA has its roots in members of the WCU community's advocacy for campus accessibility and equal education for all at the university. Countless individuals and committees have advocated for and contributed to this cause and supportive services and programs for students over the years. However, two notable individuals who helped start the process at WCU include William Guy and Susan Maxwell. Similarly, two key pieces of national legislation in the United States, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, also have contributed to the university addressing accessibility and equal education on campus.

In the late 1970s, William Guy worked in the Academic Affairs department at WCU. Guy served on the WCU Committee on Equal Educational Opportunity for the Handicapped and became its Co-Chairman in 1978. In 1979, Guy founded and directed the Academic Development Program (ADP), creating a summer program for five students with disabilities from the Widener Memorial School in Philadelphia, who were enrolling in Fall semester 1979.

The ADP program served as a precursor to the Academic Success Program (ASP), which supports students in "developing academic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics...[and] provides academic support through academic advising, tutoring, mentoring, academic monitoring, and counseling".(3)

Susan Maxwell, a professor of speech and audiology, advocated for disability rights on campus. She served as Committee Co-Chair with William Guy in 1978. She pushed President Mayo and WCU Administration to improve walkways, building access, and overall accessibility for all students, and to develop supportive services and programs to assist students while completing their degrees.

OEA and WCU continue to work towards equal education for all and the implementation of universal design at the university. To learn more about OEA and their mission and resources, please visit their office in Lawrence Hall, Room 223 and their website URL: .

1. West Chester University of Pennsylvania, "Office of Educational Accessibility Mission and Vision" webpage, accessed on January 16, 2024. URL:

2. Provost at WCU, "OSSD Name Change Announcement" email, Received by WCU Community, June 29, 2023.

3. West Chester University of Pennsylvania, "Academic Success Program" webpage, accessed on January 16, 2024. URL:


Collections have been arranged into series by topic. Within the series, materials are in alphabetical and chronological order.
West Chester University Office of Educational Accessibility (OEA) Collection
Jenna (Bossert) Falkenberg; Grace Citro
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the West Chester University Archives Repository