The Office of Disability Services
Course Substitutions and Waivers
There are disabilities that interfere with processing, recognizing, and recalling symbols and have their greatest effect on learning mathematics and other languages. These disabilities are recognized in the ADA. There have been cases in which the accommodation of last resort has been to waive or, more often, substitute a foreign language or mathematics requirement. The decision to make this waiver should be based on these considerations:
- The student qualifies for the accommodation: meaning, the student has provided the school with current documentation from a qualified psychologist that identifies the nature of the disability.
- We have considered all other options to accommodate the student, have offered those options to the student, and have found that those options would not make up for the disability (options include things such as: extended time, the use of computers, tape recorders, video, etc.)
- We have considered the need for the knowledge and skills these courses provide in the field in which the student is receiving a degree, and we have decided that waiving or substituting the course in this particular program does not put the student at a disadvantage in the field.
- We have made clear to the student the consequences of waiving or substituting the course, especially as it may effect admission to graduate school, job placement or career opportunities.
In the case of waiving or substituting courses, the documentation must be clear and current; the recommendation must be specific and stem from findings in the evaluation. In a case where a student has been "regarded" as having the learning disability but does not have the documentation, it is necessary to get a good faith agreement from the student to provide the documentation in a reasonable time frame. Since a traditional student here could go three years before needing to take a language course, it is reasonable for us to ask the student to provide the documentation before the decision to waive a course is made. If the documentation recommends waiving a math or language requirement, the college still retains the option to require a course substitution.
Procedure for requesting a course waiver or substitution
- A student who intends to request a course waiver or substitution should contact the Disabilities Services Coordinator
- The Disabilities Services Coordinator will make the request to the appropriate Dean, who has the authority to waive or substitute required courses.
- The waiver or substitution, if granted, will be filed through the Registrar's Office and the student and student's academic advisor will be informed.