Students with Disabilities

Villanova University strives to provide an environment for personal and intellectual growth of all its students, and also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In order to meet these commitments, Villanova offers educational opportunities and reasonable academic accommodations for the needs of qualified students with disabilities. The standards for academic credit should not be modified for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities have fulfilled the same entrance requirements, have the same range of backgrounds and experiences as other students at Villanova, and should be fully capable of meeting Villanova's standards. The University's goal is to provide access and reasonable accommodations in helping the students achieve those expectations.

Physical Disabilities

Services for students with physical disabilities are coordinated through the Office of Disability Services. Additional information is available at Office of Disability Services.  If you have any questions, contact stephen.mcwilliams@villanova.edu or call 610-519-4095 or gregory.hannah@villanova.edu or call 610-519-3209 for any access issues.

Services for students with learning disabilities, other neurologically based disorders, and those disabled by chronic illnesses that impact learning are provided by various offices and coordinated by Learning Support Services (LSS). Many students with these disabilities do not ask for accommodations at all. Other disabled students choose to self-identify and ask for appropriate accommodations. If students do want accommodations, they must complete a registration process with LSS. This process involves providing current documentation and meeting with the LSS Coordinator to discuss appropriate accommodations. Guidelines for acceptable documentation are available on the LSS webpage. Each term the student must fill out a Request for Accommodation form and then LSS can provide a letter detailing the appropriate accommodations. The student is responsible to deliver these letters to their professors. LSS asks students to meet with their professors at the beginning of each semester to discuss all accommodations. Students who have not registered with LSS will sometimes approach professors to ask for accommodations. These students should be referred to LSS, so that appropriate accommodations can be worked out in conjunction with LSS. Instructors should not make special accommodations for students who have not registered with LSS. 

All faculty members should announce on the first day of class the desire to speak confidentially with any student with special needs as soon as possible, and course syllabi should include a statement about students with disabilities. A sample statement might read:

It is the policy of Villanova to make reasonable academic accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities. If you are a person with a disability please contact me after class or during office hours and make arrangements to register with the Learning Support Office by contacting 610-519-5176 or at Learning.support.services@villanova.edu as soon as possible. Registration is needed in order to receive accommodations.

The following are some basic guidelines for students with disabilities. Please refer to the faculty pages on the LSS webpage or by calling 610-519-5176.

  • Support from faculty is critical to ensuring that students with disabilities receive accommodations necessary to reach their potential. It is important to remember that accommodations are not advantages, but are a means of providing each student with full access to Villanova's programs.
  • Standards for academic credit should not be modified for students with disabilities. They may need accommodations in testing, but the content should not be changed.
  • It is not necessary to rewrite a course to accommodate students with disabilities; simply modifying the presentation of materials may make it fully accessible.  Many modifications will benefit all students.
  • If one student with a particular type of disability had difficulty with a specific task, do not assume that the next student with the same type of disability will experience similar problems.
  • Some textbooks are also available in other formats -- such as large print versions, e-books, or media with closed captioning -- that may be more accessible for students with disabilities. Faculty are encouraged to select texts that are available in alternate formats.  E-text can be helpful to most students, and not just those with disabilities.
  • Students with disabilities are frequently sensitive about their disabilities, so faculty members should make every effort to treat these issues sensitively and confidentially.

Please visit the LSS webpage or contact the LSS office with any questions or concerns at 610-519-5176.

Modified 4/9/13

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Office of the Vice President
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Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Phone: 610.519.4521
Fax: 610.519.6200

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