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Undergraduate Disability Accommodation Policy

Introduction

Policy Statement

Washington and Lee University is committed to providing equal access to educational opportunities to qualified students with physical or mental disabilities, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The University intends that these procedures will facilitate an interactive process of dialogue and timely exchange of information between the student and the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee.

Applicability

This policy applies to all undergraduate students.

Policy

Requesting Accommodation

Students requesting accommodation will need to provide appropriate documentation of: (1) a disability, which is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; and (2) a need for accommodation, by virtue of the specific functional limitations of the disability, to have equal access to educational opportunities. It is the responsibility of a student with a physical or mental disability who may require any type of accommodation to make the accommodation request in a timely manner. In order to ensure sufficient time for the eligibility and accommodation decision process and to make arrangements for appropriate accommodations, a matriculated student should contact the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources, Elrod Commons 212, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia 24450, (540) 458-4055, and submit the documents required for consideration of any disability accommodations other than housing accommodations during the first month of the academic term. Requests for disability accommodations (other than housing accommodations) submitted after the first month of either fall or winter term or during spring term, or requests submitted with incomplete documentation (including insufficient testing data), could result in a delay of consideration and action on the request until the the following academic term.

Requests for housing disability accommodations for matriculated students should be made by March 1 for a housing accommodation for the next academic year. If the need for the accommodation arises after March 1 and/or while a student is residing in University housing, the student should make the request and submit the required documentation as soon as possible; however, W&L cannot guarantee that it will be able to process the request and make arrangements to meet the student's accommodation needs, if approved, for the term for which the request is received.

To request a disability accommodation, the student will need to complete a "Request for Accommodation of Disability" form, obtain a copy of the most recent medical or neurodevelopmental testing documentation as required by the applicable guidelines (i.e., General Guidelines for Documentation of Disabilities or Guidelines for Documentation of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, and schedule an interview with the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee.

Summer Consideration of Requests for First-Year and Transfer Students

Incoming students who have not yet matriculated at Washington and Lee University (first-year students and/or transfer students) may initiate the request process for disability accommodations other than housing accommodations prior to arriving on campus by submitting the required paperwork described above.

Requests for housing disability accommodations for incoming students who have not yet matriculated should be made by May 31 for a housing accommodation for the upcoming academic year.  If the need for the housing accommodation arises after May 31 but prior to matriculation, the incoming student should make the request and submit the required documentation as soon as possible; however, W&L cannot guarantee that it will be able to process the request and make arrangements to meet the student's accommodation needs, if approved, for the term for which the request is received. 

Pre-matriculation consideration of all disability accommodation requests is done for the convenience of incoming students. Requests for disability accommodations made during the summer and/or prior to matriculation will be addressed in a reasonable time frame. Note: Decisions made by the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee regarding disability accommodations for incoming students will be provisional until matriculation and will become effective as of the first day of the academic term in which the student matriculates. There will be no reconsiderations or appeals of any grant or denial of a disability accommodation request until the student arrives on campus and enrolls as a student. The deadlines for reconsideration and appeal of disability accommodation decisions for incoming students will run from the first day of the academic term in which the student matriculates.

Decision and Reconsideration/Appeal Procedures

Upon receipt of all required information and documentation from the student and his/her diagnosing/evaluating professional, the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee will make a determination on eligibility and accommodation, in consultation with other educational, medical, or psychological professionals, as he/she deems necessary for appropriate evaluation of disability/accommodation, on a case-by-case basis. As soon as possible, generally within two business weeks of receiving all required documentation on a request, the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee will issue a written response, either outlining offered accommodations or explaining why the student was found ineligible. A student who disagrees with the decision of the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee, or who seeks clarification of the decision, may, within three (3) business days of the decision, request an informal meeting with the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee for clarification and discussion. If, after that meeting, the student still disagrees with the decision, he/she may request formal reconsideration of any aspect of the decision within three (3) business days of the informal meeting by submitting to the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee a detailed explanation of the reasons for disagreement with the decision. The Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee will reconsider the matter based on the student's statement and the record of the accommodation request. Following the reconsideration, the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee will notify the student in writing of any change in his/her decision, generally within five (5) business days of receiving the formal request for reconsideration. Thereafter, if the student still disagrees with the decision, he/she may appeal the decision, in writing, to the Provost of the University (for all disability accommodations other than housing) or the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students (for housing accommodations) within five (5) business days of the written reconsideration notification from the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee, stating in detail the basis for the appeal and furnishing all documentation in support of the appeal. The Provost or Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students (or their respective designees) will then review the appeal, the decision of the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee, and all supporting documentation, may meet with the student and the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee, and may obtain any additional information he/she deems relevant. The Provost or Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students (or their respective designees) will render a decision to the student as soon as possible, generally within two (2) business weeks of receiving the appeal. The decision of the Provost or the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students (or their respective designees) is final.

Foreign Language Course Substitution Requests

Washington and Lee University requires all students to demonstrate good faith effort in completing one foreign language course, with accommodations, before consideration of a foreign language course substitution. The determination of whether the student has demonstrated a good faith effort will be made by the faculty member in consultation with the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources or designee.

An incoming student who believes that completion of a foreign language course presents a significant academic obstacle due to a disability is strongly encouraged to submit a request for accommodations the summer before matriculation or as soon as possible after arriving on campus. The regular disability accommodations request process is required with the addition of specific testing measures designed to document language learning aptitude. If a student is found eligible, accommodations specific to foreign language learning will be granted and should be implemented prior to enrolling in a language course.

Revision History

August 14, 2017 -- Removed Associate Dean of the College as designated administrator for handling undergraduate requests for accommodation; updated time frames for requests to include dates for submission of housing requests; updated appeal procedures to make appeals of housing-related accommodation decisions go to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students.

August 10, 2016 -- Changed designated administrators for handling undergraduate requests for accommodation [Title IX Coordinator and Director of Disability Resources for first-year students with Associate Dean of the College handling all other undergraduate students]; clarified requirement of good faith effort in completion of a foreign language course with accommodations before requesting a foreign language course substitution.

July 26, 2013 -- Changed time frame for requests to be within first month of fall and winter terms; provided a process for pre-matriculation consideration of requests for new students; clarified informal discussions following decision from formal reconsideration and appeals requests; added summary of foreign language course substitution policy; changed title of designated Dean to Associate Dean of the College from Assistant Dean.

July 18, 2012 -- Removed Baker Hall location for Dean's Office.

August 9, 2011 -- Updated location of Dean's Office.

June 10, 2010 -- Updated title of point of contact in the Dean of the College's office from Associate Dean for Student Support to Assistant Dean of the College.