Course Substitutions and Waivers

The law 1 does not state that the institution must make course substitutions and/or waivers as reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities; rather it says that the institution must consider whether making such a substitution or granting a waiver would be a reasonable accommodation. It is not reasonable if either would result in lowering academic standards or requiring substantial program alteration2. Therefore, while a course substitution or waiver could be a possibility, it is not guaranteed.

Students are encouraged whenever possible to follow the outlined curriculum, and before course substitutions or waivers are granted, an effort will be made to identify accommodations that will allow students to participate in the prescribed outline of courses/curricula.

Students who wish to request a course waiver may print and fill out a Course Substitution/Course Waiver form. Students must also go to the Faculty Senate web page and click on “Academic Affairs Appeal Form” under “Important Documents”, print, and fill out that form. Both forms should be sent to the current chair of the Academic Affairs Committee, accompanied by a statement of support from the Office of Accessibility Services. Please note, the Office of Accessibility Services will not write a letter of support unless that office has supporting documentation for the need for a waiver or substitution of the course type in question.

The final determination will rest with the academic leadership and relevant faculty with input from the coordinator of Accessibility Services. Requests will be reviewed and decisions made on a case-by-case basis.

1 Title II of the ADA, 42 U.S.C§12132 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C.§ 794.

2 Wayne v. Tufts University School of Medicine, 932 F.2d 19, (1st Cir. 1991), appeal after remand, 976 F.2d
791 (1st Cir. 1992) cert. denied, 507 U.S. 1030 (1993).