Loyola University Maryland

Disability Support Services

Students with Disabilities Requesting Foreign Language Modifications

Disability Support Services (DSS) is committed to supporting students with disabilities completing Loyola’s core requirement in foreign language. The diagnosis of a learning or other disability alone is not a reliable predictor of success in acquiring a foreign language. Students with disabilities can use the following resources for support in their foreign language courses:

  • Requesting a peer tutor through The Study.
  • Meeting with the course instructor during office hours.
  • Taking foreign language courses over the summer to attempt to maximize the amount of time available to focus on the course.
  • Meeting with the DSS staff to determine what accommodations may be available to support them.

Even with significant support available, some students with disabilities, based on their individual circumstances and past academic experiences, may feel that their disability prevents them from successfully acquiring a language. These students should follow the procedures for requesting a substitution of the foreign language requirement established by the Council of Academic Deans. These procedures require the following steps:

  • The student must register with Disability Support Services. The registration process requires that the student fill out an online application and submit documentation of their disability. The documentation should provide current information about the student’s abilities in skills needed to learn a language such as reading, spelling, writing, speaking, and listening. The documentation should also provide specific accommodation recommendations related to foreign language.
  • The student must submit a petition that explains why they are requesting a substitution. The petition should include information about the student’s past experiences with foreign language study and how the student feels their disability impacts their ability to learn a foreign language. The student should email the petition to the Director of Disability Services or the Program Director for Student Success Initiatives in the Office of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies.
  • Once the student has submitted their DSS application, documentation, and petition, the information is then forwarded to the Foreign Language Documentation Review Committee.
  • The Foreign Language Documentation Review Committee holds meetings to review requests twice a semester and twice in the summer. Therefore, it may take several weeks for a student to receive a response. Responses are sent to the student via email. Students with disabilities are encouraged to submit their requests as early as possible to plan and register for courses appropriately.