Requesting a Disability Related
Academic Substitution or Waiver
Section 504 CRF 104.44 states:
A recipient shall make such modifications to its academic requirements as are necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating, on the basis of handicap, against a qualified handicapped applicant or student.Academic requirements that the recipient can demonstrate are essential to the program of instruction being pursued by such student or to any directly related licensing requirement will not be regarded as discriminatory within the meaning of this section.Modifications may include changes in the length of time permitted for the completion of degree requirements, substitution of specific courses required for the completion of degree requirements, and adaptation of the manner in which specific courses are conducted.
Procedures at UWW
UW-Whitewater has a process in place for a student to follow when requesting an academic substitution or waiver.As required by law, determinations of substitutions or waivers as reasonable accommodation are considered on a case-by-case basis.
1.The student must provide documentation verifying the disability to either the Disabled Student Services (DSS) or Project Assist (PA) advisor.Once the documentation is provided, the advisor will work with the student to determine whether the situation warrants a request to the Dean or Department Chair.
2.If further action is warranted, the student will obtain a substitution/waiver form from the Disabled Student Services (DSS) or Project Assist (PA) Office.
3.The student provides a substitution/waiver form to the appropriate Dean or designee for a general education course OR to the appropriate Department Chair for a major or minor course.
4.If the request is for a general education course, the appropriate Dean or designee will determine if the request is granted.If the request is for a major or minor course, the Department Chair will determine if the request is granted.Any questions regarding reasonable accommodation will be referred back to the DSS or PA office.
5.The Dean or designee OR the Department Chair will place the documentation in an appropriate confidential student file with a copy to DSS or PA.
Students who wish to appeal an institutional decision or response relating to their request for academic substitutions or waivers may do so by using the informal portion of the Student Grievance Procedures.If this option is utilized and results are unsatisfactory to the student, the student may appeal that decision through the UW-Whitewater Policy on Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Disability.Both of these are published in the UW-Whitewater Undergraduate Catalog under Legal Issues as well as on the UW-W website.
Institution must consider requests for a substitution on a case by case basis.
Based on federal law the student or institution must consider the following questions:
1.Does student have disability covered by law?
The DSS office determines this based on documentation provided by the student.
2.Is student otherwise qualified?
If the student meets admission requirements, the student is otherwise qualified under the law.
3.Does documentation support that the disability impacts performance area?
If a student is requesting a substitution for an academic requirement due to a disability, it is essential that the documentation provided by the student makes it clear that due to the disability this academic requirement would “have the effect of discriminating” against a qualified student.
4.Is it an essential element of the curriculum?
It is the responsibility of the faculty to make a specific determination as to what constitutes an essential element of the curriculum and therefore exempt from consideration for substitution.
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