Students with disabilities should contact Learning Support Services (LSS) once they have been accepted as a student at Villanova University. In order to obtain reasonable academic accommodations, a student must register with LSS by submitting current documentation. Your documentation is confidential and will be kept in LSS. Students should make an appointment to review details of services and make plans for the upcoming semester.
Documentation needed to determine reasonable accommodations chiefly depends upon the nature of the disability. Documentation for a learning disability should include a comprehensive evaluation that includes a diagnostic interview, assessment of aptitude, academic achievement and information processing, reporting of standard scores and percentiles, and a clinical summary. The report should include specific recommendations for accommodations and an explanation as to why they are necessary. Please check out the Documentation Guidelines section of our website for specifics.
A qualified evaluator should perform testing. For example, clinical or educational psychologists, school psychologists, psychiatrists, and other professionals that are trained in the assessment of specific disabilities in adolescents and adults would be qualified evaluators. It is not considered appropriate for professionals to evaluate family members.
The University provides services to students with disabilities. Assistance is provided, but much of the responsibility for follow through is up to the student. Students who anticipate needing a great deal of structure and support should seriously consider a college with a comprehensive program.
Reasonable academic accommodations are individual and based on the nature of the disability and the academic environment. Some of the more common accommodations are extended time for tests, recording lectures, notetakers, scribe for testing, preferential classroom seating, and use of recorded books. Reasonable accommodations in a postsecondary environment may differ from those available to the student in secondary school. Depending on the nature of the disability and the accommodations requested, the amount of advance notice provided may impact the University's ability to provide accommodations.
Foreign language is a requirement for Arts & Sciences only. The University policy is not to provide waivers, however students with a significant language disability may petition the Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Students for possible modification of the requirement. Documentation of a language based disability will need to be on file in LSS.
Students who have struggled with language learning will often find their greatest chance of success when taking a language in isolation, such as in the summer term. If a student has not been recently taking a language in high school, it may be appropriate to postpone fulfilling the requirement during the first year.
The Mathematics requirement varies with the college and major of the student. Many students will have only 1 course to take, and therefore have more flexibility in the type of course to fulfill the requirement. In some majors there are very specific courses required, and almost all of these courses are essential requirements for the particular program and therefore modifications are very rare.
There are several tutoring resources available to all Villanova students; some are free of charge. LSS staff can provide a list of tutoring resources available on campus.
Inspiration - This is software that allows you to map your ideas. Great if you are a visual learner.
Dragon Naturally Speaking - This software allows you to dictate instead of typing on a keyboard. It does take several hours to train the software to recognize your voice.
Books on tape are available through a national non-profit organization, Learning Ally (formerly Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic), which lends recorded academic and professional books to people with disabilities. Information about individual memberships is available by calling 800-221-4792, or on their website.
If you are dissatisfied with the academic accommodations recommended by the Learning Support Services (LSS) Office, you should discuss your concerns with the Director for LSS. If you are not able to resolve a problem at this level, you should request an appointment with the Office of the Provost (610.519.4521).
The University would like to address any problem situations internally; however, you may file formal charges with outside government agencies at any time, if you desire. The United States Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Education is the agency responsible for addressing complaints related to discrimination on the basis of disability. Complaints must be filed within 180 days of the date of the alleged discrimination. Since OCR's policies and procedures may change over time, you should contact the regional office directly and immediately if you wish to file a complaint of discrimination on the basis of disability. You may contact OCR at: 1-800-421-3481.