Office for Students with Disabilities
The Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) at Waseda University works with faculties, departments, graduate schools and other sections of the University to ensure that students who are experiencing difficulties with their studies for reasons of disability are able to access the same opportunities in the same learning environment as other students based on the concept of reasonable accommodation as needed. This will take the form of a support plan prepared in accordance with the principles set out in Basic Principles for Supporting Students with Disabilities at Waseda University.
Academic support for students with disabilities
The Office for Students with Disabilities comprises the Support Department for Students with Physical Disabilities and the Support Department for Students with Developmental Disorders.
Support Department for Students with Physical Disabilities
Hearing impairment, Visual impairment, Mobility impairment, Other forms of disability (e.g. aphasia, internal impediment) , Short-term illness or injury
Support Department for Students with Developmental Disorders
Training for supporters
Our training programs equip support staff with the skills to provide support and assistance to students with disabilities.
Support for faculty
We provide teaching staff with useful tips and strategies on inclusive teaching styles to accommodate students with disabilities, along with ancillary services such as audio transcription of lectures and classes.
Provision of various information
Students can register with the OSD to receive regular notifications of information sessions on topics such as employment opportunities and scholarship applications targeted for students with disabilities.
Activities for raising awareness
We conduct training and awareness programs designed to promote understanding and acceptance of disability. These take a variety of forms including in-house training programs, lecture presentations, workshops with students with disabilities and assistants, surveys of on-campus barriers to disability, and sign language courses.
Providing reasonable accommodation
①Initial inquiry (from both new and current students)
②Registration (supporting documents required)
③Meeting (student, representatives from faculty/department/graduate school and the OSD)
④Providing reasonable accommodation
Note: Please submit supporting documents required no later than the deadline (if any).
Note: The process of developing a support plan before providing reasonable accommodation can take up to two months from submission of documentation.
If you require support for a specific university event or function other than normal classes and examinations, please contact us at least one month in advance in principle.
Note: To apply for special consideration in relation to the entrance examination, contact the Waseda University Admissions Center by email, phone or fax.
Waseda University Admissions Center Email: [email protected] / Tel: 03-3203-4331 / Fax: 03-3203-4323
What is hearing impairment?
The term “hearing impairment” covers both complete deafness and mild to moderate hearing loss (also known as hard of hearing). Thus, a person with hearing impairment may hear nothing at all or may enjoy a reasonable level of hearing with the help of a hearing aid.
Hearing impairments are divided into three categories—conduction deafness, sensorineural deafness and mixed deafness—depending on the nature and severity of the hearing loss.
Support services for hearing impaired students
Hearing impaired students may require course content to be delivered in alternative formats such as text or sign language. Waseda University offers the following forms of support for hearing impaired students.
PC on-screen captioning (including remote-captioning system)
Two Supproters take turns to caption presentations and class discussions between students in real time. The resulting written record is provided directly to the hearing impaired student. Where the supporters are not present in class, this is called remote captioning.
A supporter takes notes of the main points covered during class. This service is often used by students with mild or moderate hearing loss to augment their own notes, or to supplement PC on-screen captioning in more complex subjects such as foreign languages and sciences.
Sign language interpreting
Sign language interpreting is particularly useful in discussion-based settings such as workshops and seminars.
Transcription of audible course materials
This service covers transcription of audio materials used in class and subtitling of on-demand content.
What is visual impairment?
Visual impairment is broadly classified into blindness (also known as total blindness) and low vision. Blindness refers to total or substantial loss of vision, meaning little or no access to visual information. Low vision refers to poor eyesight, though with some degree of visual acuity. There may be additional complications, such as poor vision in the center region only (or conversely at the peripheries only) or sensitivity to bright light.
Support services for vision impaired students
Vision impaired students may require course content to be delivered in alternative formats such as spoken word or Braille. Waseda University offers the following forms of support for vision impaired students.
Translation of text into braille
Textbooks, content summaries and other class materials are converted to Braille format.
Textbooks, content summaries and other class materials are converted to text data format.
Assistance is provided for getting around the campus—for example, finding an unfamiliar classroom.
A supporter reads out textbooks and other materials used in class.
Assistance with taking notes
A supprter takes notes on visual material presented during class for vision impaired students.
What is mobility impairment?
Mobility impairment refers to any form of disability in relation to the limbs and/or torso. Such disabilities can vary widely, from limitations associated with a single arm or leg to a full-body afflictions; depending on the cause or degree of disabilities; and from a disability with minimal impact on day-to-day life to one that requires a cane or wheelchair or round-the-clock care. Also the type, location or severity of a disability can change over time.
Support services for mobility impaired students
Different forms of mobility impairment pose different challenges for students. An upper limb disability can prevent writing and carrying objects, while a lower limb disability can hinder movement or limit participation in extra-curricular activities. Waseda University offers the following forms of support for mobility impaired students.
Assignment of classrooms
Classes may be reallocated to lower-level floors or close to an elevator where possible to maximize ease of access.
Mobility support on campus
Mobility support on campus is provided to students who need helping using a wheelchair, for instance.
Assistance with taking notes
A supporter takes notes of material covered in class for mobility impaired students. These may be provided in handwritten form or as text data.
What are developmental disorders?
A developmental disorder is an impairment of brain functioning that has been present since birth or infancy and that has led to delays or distortions in the growth and development process. Developmental disorders may involve altered perception or thought processes or behaviors or actions that manifest as difficulties in a variety of different areas such as social interaction, academic study, performing everyday tasks or functioning in society. There are several distinct types of developmental disorders, and some people may be affected by more than one type. Hypersensitivity and limited fine motor skills in specific areas are commonly seen. The main forms of developmental disorder are listed below.
①Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Includes autism, Asperger’s syndrome and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD)
Description: Different perception of the world and others, Difficulties with socialization and communication, Tendency towards fixation and lack of flexibility
②Attention-Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD)
Description: Short attention span—poor concentration, Hyperactive—unable to settle down, Impulsive—prone to sudden action
③SLD (Specific Learning Disorder)
Description:Reduced functioning in a specific area such as speaking, listening, reading, writing, reasoning and deduction or mathematical processes
Support services for students with developmental disorders
Waseda University offers a range of support services for students with developmental disorders. Support services are tailored to individual needs, given that Developmental disorders can vary considerably. Examples are presented below. Note that requests for support services are occasionally modified in order to accommodate course content and/or delivery requirements.
On course registration
The Student Support Coordinator can provide advice and assistance to students who are unable to develop a course plan or enroll in their preferred subjects.
In a lecture type class
Students who have difficulty listening and taking notes at the same time can request permission to make a recording of the lecturer and/or bring a computer to lectures.
In group work
Where a student experiences extreme anxiety about working in groups to the extent that they feel unable to attend classes, OSD can assist by asking the instructor who decides grouping or giving approval for special strategies to accommodate the student.
Debilitating or enervating conditions such as chronic respiratory illness, kidney disorder, neurological disorder and malignant neoplasm may not be immediately obvious to the casual observer. The same is true of certain impacts of acquired brain injury such as aphasia and memory disorder. Meanwhile, the symptoms themselves may vary depending on the environment and situation. This can lead to inadvertent misunderstandings or even mistrust.
At the other end of the scale, an obvious injury such as a broken hand or foot can temporarily affect ordinary tasks such as taking notes and moving from one classroom to another. OSD is here to help any student experiencing difficulty with their studies due to a temporary or ongoing condition. Feel free to get in touch.
Assistive devices and campus accessibility
Assistive devices available for loan from OSD
iPad and Android tablets
Hearing aid system (Phonak Roger transmitter), Electronic memo pad (Boogie Board), etc.
White cane, Desktop reading machine (text magnifier), Portable audio and Braille PDA, etc.
Wheelchair (non-powered), Portable voice synthesizer, etc.
Accessibility on campus
DECPAC wheelchair ramps
The Waseda, Toyama, Nishi-Waseda, Higashi-Fushimi and Tokorozawa campuses and OSD each have a wheelchair ramp.
CARRYDUN emergency evacuation cart for stairs
Available at Waseda, Toyama, Nishi-Waseda and Tokorozawa campuses.
Accessibility maps for Waseda, Toyama, Nishi-Waseda and Tokorozawa campuses are available under the Waseda University website > Office for Promotion of Equality and Diversity > Publications > Accessibility maps, or search “Waseda University Accessibility Map.”