Policies & Procedures
Haverford College is committed to providing a liberal arts education in the broadest sense. This education, based on a rich academic curriculum at its core, is distinguished by a commitment to excellence and a concern for individual growth.
The College's rigorous academic program is flexible in its form and content so as to meet the needs of individual students. It is a program, however, which assumes that students will use their capacities fully.
Students with disabilities who meet the College's standards for admission matriculate each year. They perform well academically and lead fulfilling lives in the Haverford community.
Our size plays a role in how we work with students with disabilities. Because of our small numbers, we do not have the extensive programs and administrative structures that many large universities have established to serve students with disabilities. At the same time, these numbers allow us to pay attention to each student's unique needs, working closely with that student on an individual basis.
Through our policies and procedures for students with disabilities, we seek to provide them equal access to the resources of the college. We seek to foster the achievement of the skills and knowledge that are central to an education in a residential liberal arts college.
We try to be respectful of all dimensions of disability. As part of the process, we encourage the development of intellectual and personal growth which are critical to the successful passage into adulthood.
It is the responsibility of the student or of a student’s representative to inform the College of a disability for which accommodation is required. A student can inform the College of this at any time. Students need NOT inform the College of a disability at the time of seeking admission (unless accommodation is necessary to complete the admission process), but some students choose to do so as a way of offering a “picture” to the Admission Office of their special sensibilities, important personal attributes, and of the interesting challenges they have faced. Other students inform the College of a disability and need for accommodation(s) once they have been accepted and decide to matriculate. Prior to admission to the College, information about a student’s disability should be sent to the Admission Office, and this information will be shared on a “need to know” basis. Following acceptance to the College, information about student’s disability and relevant documentation should be sent to the Coordinator of Disabilities Services. The College also realizes that some students only come to realize that they might have a disability after they matriculate. Although the College does not generally provide evaluation or testing to establish the need for accommodation, a student may request an outside referral for evaluation or testing through our Health Services (for a physical or sensory disability) or Counseling and Psychological Services (for a learning or psychological disability). Students who request disability accommodation(s) should describe their disability, their past use of accommodation(s), and the likely impact of their disability on their educational experiences. Types of helpful documentation supportive of such requests include medical records, psycho-educational testing, and school records. If such records are not available, students are welcome to meet with the Coordinator of Disabilities Services to discuss other ways to demonstrate a connection between their condition and any anticipated academic barriers. In general, documentation is valuable to the College for understanding how courses, systems and facilities might present barriers, and it is key to planning strategies (including reasonable accommodations) which will facilitate access.
In the course of the Coordinator’s conversation with a student and in the review of the student’s documentation, the Coordinator might seek the consultation of the Director of Health Services or of other specialists. In some situations the Coordinator also might seek additional assessment. However, once the Coordinator and the student agree about what accommodations are supported by the documentation as reasonable and appropriate, the Coordinator will make a recommendation for accommodation to an advisory group of the Committee on Student Standing and Performance (CSSP) in situations involving academic issues and to the student's dean for all other matters. With the approval of the accommodation(s) by the CSSP advisory group, a student will receive an ADA Letter of Accommodation which indicates the agreed upon academic accommodation(s) and which the student can show to professors as needed.
- Not directly involving academic requirements:
The student's dean will work with the Coordinator of Disabilities Services and with the student to administer reasonable accommodations which do not directly involve academic requirements, but which relate to a student's access to the classroom and to residential and extracurricular facilities and activities.
Accommodations may include but are not necessarily limited to an accessible classroom, the provision of note-takers or interpreters, technological supports in the classroom or residence, and wheelchair-accessible transportation between Haverford and its cooperating institutions.
- Involving academic requirements:
The Haverford curriculum emphasizes breadth of education through a system of degree requirements. These requirements are listed in the current College Catalog. Each degree candidate is expected to satisfy such requirements as proficiency in a foreign language, a course in quantitative skills, and another in "freshmen writing". The College does not waive degree requirements. Instead, we offer reasonable accommodations and support to students with disabilities.
The student's dean will work collaboratively with the student and with the student's professors around the administration of accommodations to the academic program. Accommodations may include but are not necessarily limited to adjustment of course load, substitution of courses, extended time for the completion of tests, and special arrangement for the administration of examinations.
Grievances can be made orally and in writing to the Dean of the College. An appeal of the Dean of the College's review and decision can be made to the President of the College, who will provide a final decision.
The Office of Disabilities Services is committed to ensuring that all information regarding a student's disability is maintained as confidential as required/permitted by law. Any information gathered is used for the benefit of the student. No one, except staff of the Office of Disabilities Services, has immediate access to student files maintained by the Office of Disabilities Services, unless otherwise provided by law. Any information regarding disability gained from an appropriate inquiry or submitted to the Office of Disabilities Services shall be considered confidential and shall be shared with others within Haverford College community on a need-for-knowledge basis only, or as the Release of Information allows. Disability-related documents should be centralized in the Office of Disabilities Services. Faculty/Staff does not have a general need to know diagnostic or other information regarding a student's disability -- only what accommodation(s) is/are appropriate to meet the student's disability-related needs. Faculty may ask students about the disability and the need for accommodation. This request may only be made for educational and accommodation-related purposes. The student may choose to have specific information provided to faculty/staff. Information in Office of Disabilities Services files will not be released, except in accordance with relevant federal and state laws, court order or subpoena, or a written authorization for release.