The Lawrence University Policy Applying to Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability

"No otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by reason of his handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." ­ (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973).

The commitment of Lawrence University to provide a quality liberal education carries with it a commitment to a learning environment that provides all students with an equal opportunity for academic success.

Lawrence, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, recognizes that qualified students who have diagnosed disabilities, including specific learning disabilities, are entitled to an equal opportunity to benefit from the educational program of the university and that reasonable academic accommodations may be necessary to provide that opportunity to disabled students.

Requesting an Academic Accommodation

Students who have a disability covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are entitled to reasonable and appropriate academic accommodations.

Academic accommodations are adjustments or other necessary forms of assistance provided for students who are at an academic disadvantage due to a temporary or permanent disability. Accommodations are not intended to give students with disabilities an advantage but rather to provide them with an equal opportunity to succeed.

The academic accommodation procedures at Lawrence are based on the university's educational philosophy emphasizing student responsibility and independence. Consequently, all requests must be initiated by the student. No automatic notification of instructors occurs without a student request. No student with a disability is required to tell instructors about the disability or to request accommodations.

To be eligible for academic accommodations based upon a diagnosed physical, psychological, or learning disability, a student must provide the Center for Academic Success with an evaluation report from an appropriate professional, such as a medical doctor, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist, or in some cases a qualified learning specialist.  The report is kept in a confidential file in the Center for Academic Success, and the information is not shared with anyone, including the student’s advisor or instructors, without permission from the student.

The student seeking accommodations should make an appointment to discuss the report with the Dean of Academic Success to determine what accommodations are appropriate and how they may be implemented, as well as to clarify the procedures for the request.

All requests for academic accommodations must be made by submitting an Accommodation Request Form (link).  A separate request must be done for each course, each term, for which a student requires accommodations.  Since students are expected to discuss all matters pertaining to academic decisions with their advisors, as part of the accommodation request process, the student must meet with his or her academic advisor. In addition to the student’s signature, the request form must have the advisor’s signature as well in order to ensure that the student has had the opportunity to discuss with the advisor the nature of particular courses and their possible impact on a disability.

Once the student as completed the request form and submitted it to the Center for Academic Success, the dean will determine if the accommodations requested are consistent with the student’s evaluation, and if so, will authorize the accommodations.  The administrative assistance will send an Instructor Notification Form to each course instructor.  The student should submit a request at least three weeks before the accommodations become necessary. No instructor is expected to provide accommodations without the official notification form or without reasonable advance notice in order to comply with the terms of the accommodation.

Academic accommodations are granted in a spirit which recognizes that they provide an equal opportunity and not an unfair advantage for students to learn.  But they are not a guarantee of academic success.  All college students experience the challenges of successfully completing their courses.  To do so, they must carefully manage their time and devote a substantial amount to their studies.  The amount may vary depending on several factors, including the requirements of particular courses and the prior academic background of the students.  Students may also benefit from using support services such as tutoring.  Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities provide equal opportunities to address the challenges of college course work; they do not eliminate those challenges.  They provide an equal opportunity for students to develop and demonstrate their abilities.

To inquire about accommodations, please contact the Center for Academic Success, which can provide all appropriate information and advice.

Grievance Procedure

If a student wishes to question a decision regarding an accommodation, the student should initiate a meeting with the Dean of Academic Success to discuss the concern.  In most cases, such issues have been resolved with alternatives and adjustments, often with helpful suggestions by the course instructor.

However, if a student wishes to appeal a decision regarding the need for an academic accommodation, or regarding its implementation or appropriateness, the student should first consult with the Dean of Academic Success and then may file a petition in writing with the Faculty Subcommittee on Administration. If the student were to appeal the Subcommittee’s determination, the student would address the particulars of that decision in writing to the Provost of the university.

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