3.3.2. Accessibility Programs and Services

Oglethorpe University attempts to ensure that all University goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations are meaningfully accessible to qualified persons with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other pertinent federal, state and local disability anti- discrimination laws.

The academic success center (ASC) (see Sec. 10.2.) coordinates services, and provides information upon request, to students with disabilities. When possible, students with disabilities are asked to contact the accessibility services office prior to their first semester in order to register for assistance and ensure that appropriate accommodations are implemented; of course, it is never too late to register for assistance, and students are welcome to come to the accessibility services office at any time. The office responds to inquiries regarding campus accessibility, maintains a licensing contract for assistive technology, approves reasonable academic and housing accommodations, proctors examinations, and can assist with filing disability-related grievances and complaints. Additional information is available at http://success.oglethorpe.edu/accessibility-services/.

Non-Language Course Substitutions

Requests for variances and/or waivers related to non-language course substitutions or other academic requirements for students with documented disabilities are handled on a case-by-case basis. The assistant director of accessibility services will present the student’s written request and rationale to the academic program committee. The petition should state the specific accommodation requested and a rationale for it. The petition must be presented to the committee no later than its last regular meeting of the semester prior to when the course will be taken.

Most TU students with learning differences can be successful at completing Oglethorpe’s Core math requirement. However, Oglethorpe recognizes that some students with specific mathematics learning disabilities and processing disorders may be unsuccessful in completing the COR 203 Great Ideas of Modern Mathematics or the COR 314 Mathematics and Human Nature requirement even with the use of reasonable accommodations. In an effort to provide equal access to the curriculum, Oglethorpe allows a student with a documented mathematics-based disability and/or processing disorder to petition for a substitution of the Core mathematics requirement. The petition is initiated by completing an application for a faculty-approved course substitution prior to attempting the course to be used as a substitute for COR 203 or COR 314.

To initiate the process, the student must make a specific request and submit required documentation to the assistant director of accessibility services. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate this process. Students seeking a mathematics substitution must take into consideration the following caveats:

  1. The mathematics course substitution policy can only be used to fulfill the COR 203 or COR 314 requirement. This policy does not concern disability related substitutions for any other mathematics courses as related to major, minor, or prerequisite requirements.
  2. Both the chair of the division of mathematics and computer science and the Core director must approve all COR 203 or COR 314 course substitutions in advance.
  3. Oglethorpe is not responsible for delays in graduation that result from substitutions. The student should submit a request early in his or her program of study in order to allow ample time to meet the requirement.
  4. Students are cautioned against attempting coursework without explicit permission to take a course as a substitution.
  5. Courses previously taken may not necessarily fulfill the substitution requirement and as such may not be applied retroactively.

If the petition is approved, the student will receive permission from both the chair of the division of mathematics and computer science and Core director to take an alternate course in lieu of COR 203 or COR 314. Examples of possible substitutions include but are not limited to the following:

PHI 201 Formal Logic
CSC 201 Introduction to Programming
History of Mathematics (via the ARCHE program; see Sec. 10.10.)

Final decision on course approval resides with the chair of the division of mathematics and computer science in consultation with the assistant director of accessibility services.

Language Course Substitutions

Most students with disabilities can succeed at the study of a foreign language. However, Oglethorpe recognizes that students with specific language processing difficulties may be unable to complete the language requirement. A student with a documented language-based disability may petition the University to complete faculty-approved course substitutions to fulfill this requirement.

To initiate the process, the student must make a specific request and submit required documentation to the assistant director of accessibility services. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate this process. If the request is approved, the student will receive permission from the chair of the division of foreign languages to take two four-hour culture-related courses on non-English speaking areas of the world, or language-related courses such as computer programming, in lieu of foreign language courses. Examples of eligible courses include but are not limited to the following:

ART 330 Far Eastern Art History – India, China, Tibet and Japan
CSC 201 Introduction to Programming
GER 290 Special Topics in German Language, Literature and Culture
HIS 219 German History Since 1800
HIS 221 Russian History Since 1861
HIS 240 Latin America to Independence
JPN 251 Identity and Nation in Modern Japanese Literature
POL 231 Asian Politics
SPN/FRE 406 French and Spanish Crossroads in the Caribbean and Africa.
Some short-term study abroad courses that do not require language study may be eligible.

Courses used as language substitutions cannot be counted toward the requirements of the student’s major or minor. Language substitutions can only be applied to the language requirement; they are not granted for upper level language courses required by a major. Students are cautioned against attempting coursework without explicit prior permission to take a course to be used as a language substitution. All courses will be approved at the discretion of the chair of the division of foreign languages. Oglethorpe is not responsible for delays in graduation that result from substitutions. The student should submit a request early in his or her program of study in order to allow ample time to meet the requirement.

Grievance Procedures

While disability services works diligently to provide the most appropriate accommodations possible in a timely manner, students have the right to file a grievance. Oglethorpe University strives to provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging action prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Any student who believes that appropriate accommodations have not been provided or that discrimination has occurred against a student based on disability is permitted to file a grievance with the University as provided by the following grievance procedure. Oglethorpe University is committed to using its best efforts to resolve disputes pertaining to disability services in an informal manner whenever possible. To this end, a student who believes he/she has been aggrieved either by some action or inaction on the part of the University as a whole or by a particular individual is strongly encouraged to raise his/her concern directly with the individual or other appropriate official of the University.

Procedures to File a Complaint

Whenever an individual is dissatisfied with the informal resolution of a grievance or prefers to file a formal complaint the following procedures shall apply.

Initial grievances regarding disability accommodations, accessibility, and inclusion should be first addressed to Ms. Tracy Hall, assistant director of accessibility services, at (404) 364-8869.

  • The grievance must be submitted in writing, contain the name and address of the
    complainant, and describe the allegations.
  • The description must include specific facts to support the allegation(s).
  • The grievance must be filed within thirty (30) days of the alleged incident.

Filing an Appeal

Once the assistant director reviews the grievance and records, and renders a response in writing, it is within the student’s rights to appeal the decision or ask for additional review and consideration. These appeals must be addressed to the assistant provost at (404) 364-8418.

Upon appeal, an investigation, if appropriate, shall be conducted by the assistant provost. During this procedure, the complainant, the persons against whom the allegations have been made, and their respective representatives, if any, will have the opportunity to submit information and documentation regarding the complaint allegations. The investigation will be completed with written results of the investigation issued and a copy forwarded to the complainant within thirty (30) business days of receipt of the complaint. The complainant may appeal the findings of the investigation by completing an online request at http://hub.oglethorpe.edu/registration-records/academic-appeal/.