Undergraduate Disability Accommodation Policy


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 Office of the Dean of the College.


This policy applies to all undergraduate students.


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 Office of the Dean of the College, Lee-Jackson House, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia 24450, (540) 458-8746, and submit the documents required for consideration of disability accommodations during the first month of the fall or winter academic terms. Requests submitted after the first month of either of those academic terms, 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. The student will need to complete a "Request for Accommodation of Disability" form, obtain a copy of the most recent medical or cognitive testing documentation, and schedule an interview with the designated Associate Dean of the College ("Associate Dean").

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 prior to arriving on campus by submitting the required paperwork described above. Pre-matriculation consideration of such requests is done for the convenience of incoming students. Summer requests will be addressed in a reasonable time frame. Note: Any decision made by the Associate Dean about granted accommodations for incoming students will be provisional until matriculation. None of the deadlines contained in this Undergraduate Disability Accommodation Policy apply to such provisional decisions and there will be no reconsiderations or appeals until the student arrives on campus and enrolls as a student. The deadlines for reconsideration and appeal will run from the first date of the academic term.

Decision and Reconsideration/Appeal Procedures

Upon receipt of all required information and documentation from the student and his/her diagnosing/evaluating professional, the Associate Dean 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 Associate Dean 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 Associate Dean, or who seeks clarification of the decision, may, within three (3) business days of the decision, request an informal meeting with the Associate Dean for clarification and discussion. If, after that meeting and within three (3) business days of that meeting, the student still disagrees with the decision, he/she may request formal reconsideration of any aspect of the decision by submitting to the Associate Dean a detailed explanation of the reasons for disagreement with the decision. The Associate Dean will reconsider the matter based on the student's statement and the record of the accommodation request. Following the reconsideration, the Associate Dean 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 or designee within five (5) business days of the written reconsideration notification from the Associate Dean, stating in detail the basis for the appeal and furnishing all documentation in support of the appeal. The Provost or designee will then review the appeal, the decision of the Associate Dean, and all supporting documentation, may meet with the student and the Associate Dean, and may obtain any additional information he/she deems relevant. The Provost or designee 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 designee is final.

Foreign Language Course Substitution Requests

Washington and Lee University requires all students to complete one foreign language course, with accommodations, before consideration of a foreign language course substitution. 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

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.