It is an individual’s responsibility to inform the University of the need for academic accommodation for a qualifying disability. Requests for accommodations should be supported by appropriate documentation and sent for review at the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC). Requests for reasonable variation in degree requirements should also be submitted to the SDAC, in writing, and will be subject to review by the student’s dean.
If the student’s disability precludes attainment of licensure or certification in the desired degree program that information will need to be noted in the request. Please submit all accommodation requests in a timely manner.
SDAC clinical staff will review documentation to determine eligibility and assist the student in implementing appropriate accommodations in the classroom. Students with such accommodations are encouraged to inform their instructors at the beginning of each semester.
Assistance in Preparing Requests and Obtaining Services
SDAC personnel are available to counsel students in preparing their requests and to assist in obtaining other necessary support services. Deaf and hard of hearing students may dial (434) 243-5189 for telephone accessibility. Any questions should be referred to the student’s dean’s office or to the Director of the SDAC:
You can also stop by the SDAC:
Elson Student Health Center
400 Brandon Avenue
P.O. Box 800760
Charlottesville VA 22908-0760
Should you have (or have been previously diagnosed as having) any learning, physical or emotional impairment which may require accommodation at the University of Virginia, please notify the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC; the contact information is just above).
Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to, impaired vision, hearing, mobility or a specific learning disability such as dyslexia, dysgraphia or expressive dysphasia.
Response to this notice will allow U.Va. to prepare for your arrival and aid in meeting your educational needs. Information submitted will be treated confidentially and shared only with those who need to know. In order to receive accommodations or exemption from policies stated here and in the Undergraduate Record, students with any diagnosed impairments must have notified the University in a timely manner.
[*Section 504, REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973, Code of Federal Regulations: Title 34, Part 104 (34 CFR 104), Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs and Activities Receiving or Benefiting from Federal Financial Assistance.]
Foreign Language Disability Accommodation
Upon the recommendation of the Student Disability Access Center (SDAC), the College of Arts and Sciences provides appropriate accommodations for students diagnosed with a specific foreign language learning disability. In order to meet the needs of these students, the College faculty passed the following legislation at its February 1984 meeting:
Students who are diagnosed by approved services, either before or after their admission to the University, as having specific learning disabilities may petition the Dean of the College to receive such accommodation within the structure of required courses in foreign language as in the view of the department concerned is feasible and appropriate. If an accommodation proves unworkable, the Dean of the College, on the department’s recommendation, may authorize the substitution of other courses dealing (in English) with the culture or literature of a non-English speaking people or with the history or description of language. For every semester of required foreign language not taken the student will be required to pass an authorized substitute course.
Therefore a student experiencing exceptional difficulty in a foreign language class should:
Consult immediately with the appropriate Foreign Language Coordinator or foreign language's office
Contact the Student Disability Access Center in person at the Elson Student Health Center or via telephone at (434) 243-5180.
Present either a prior diagnosis or discuss testing to be undertaken. The Center will determine if previous diagnoses were made according to acceptable standards and within three years of admission to the University.
In the absence of this, the SDAC staff will counsel the student regarding undergoing neuropsychological testing in order to establish a diagnosis. The SDAC will refer the student to approved testing agencies both within the University and the community. The student bears the cost of such testing.
After receiving a diagnosis of a learning disability deemed acceptable by the SDAC and documenting unsuccessful efforts to learn a foreign language at an accredited educational institution, confer with your Association Dean regarding a modification of the foreign language requirement. Your petition will be reviewed by the College's Disability Accommodations Committee.
If testing confirms a learning disability, the SDAC will suggest accommodations in the foreign language classroom (e.g., extended time in class tests, de-emphasized oral or aural components, extra tutorial assistance).
Take the accommodation request to both your instructor and the language coordinator.The two will inform you of your given accommodations. The coordinator will notify the student's Association Dean in writing of these accommodations. Ideally, accommodations should be in place prior to enrolling in the course.
Continue in a course with accommodations
The coordinator reviews your progress after six weeks.
- If you are able to succeed, continue taking courses with accommodations until the foreign language sequence is completed
- If the department finds that accommodations prove unworkable despite your maximum effort, the coordinator may recommend in writing to your Association Dean that the foreign language requirement be modified
Modify the requirement:
- Upon receipt of the coordinator's recommendation and a diagnosis from SDAC, your Association Dean may authorize the modification of the requirement to you in writing.
- Grades earned in foreign language classes will continue to appear on the transcript.
- For the semester in which the requirement is modified, a failing grade will be converted to NC (no credit). Also, if a student is diagnosed with a foreign language learning disability, a failing grade received in the semester when the student was referred to SDAC for testing, or the student with a prior diagnosis identified him/herself to the SDAC, will be converted to NC.
Upon modification, the student will be required to take the appropriate number of substitute courses* to fulfill the Foreign Language Requirement. Only the student's Association Dean can approve substitute classes. As specified in the faculty legislation, these substitute courses should:
- Form a cohesive cluster focused on one language area, either continuing the work begun in the language class or choosing a new area
- Deal, in English, with the culture or literature of a non-English speaking people, or with the history or description of language
- Be drawn primarily from:
- Literature in English translation courses (course mnemonic ending with "TR": e.g., CHTR, FRTR, GETR, ITTR, JPTR, PETR, RUTR, etc.),
- Some class in Classics (CLAS),
- Anthropology, History, Religion or other department courses that deal exclusively with a specific non-English speaking country or culture, or
- Linguistics (LING or LNGS, with the exception of Black English)
Attain your Association Dean's prior approval for each substitute course PRIOR to enrolling in the course. Substitute courses may not be applied toward majors or minors or towards any other area or competency requirements, except the Second Writing Requirement. All substitute courses must be taken for a grade.
[Approved December 10, 1997]
*Substitute courses must be three or more credits; performance classes cannot be counted.