Accommodating Students with Disabilities

Marywood University declares and reaffirms a policy of equal educational and employment opportunity and non-discrimination in the provision of educational and other services to the public. Marywood University does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, or assault by any member of the Marywood community upon another individual, regardless of whether the action is based on race, sex, color, national or ethnic origin, age, creed, ancestry, religion, disability, or any other legally protected status.

Marywood University recognizes its duties and obligations under Affirmative Action,Act 504, Title IX, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. These are explicit civil and legal applications of the formulation of beliefs already cherished in Marywood’s religious commitment, objectives and practices.

Students Requesting Accommodation

A student who requests accommodation must begin by submitting documentation either to the Admissions Office of the school to which he/she is admitted, at the time of accepting the offer of admission, or to the Director of Student Support Services at the time of requesting accommodation. Appropriate documentation is that supplied by a certified or licensed professional, on the basis of examination conducted within the last four years, including a description of the nature of the disability and how the accommodation is related to the disability and the student’s educational curriculum. If the disability is physical, including hearing or vision impairment, or has any other medical implications, including psychiatric, the student should disclose such information on the University Health Form.

There is no one list of reasonable academic adjustments that service the needs of all students who have disabilities. The following are some basic ways that faculty and the Director of Disability Services may be able to assist:

  1. Offer extended time on examinations, papers, and projects.
  2. Allow a reader or a taped version of an objective exam.
  3. Provide examinations in alternate format (if appropriate to subject matter), e.g., objective instead of essay; oral, tapes, or taped instead of written; computer etc.
  4. Allow students to take examinations in a separate room that is a distraction-free environment.
  5. Accept alternative methods of demonstrating mastery of course objectives, e.g., a project, demonstration, oral presentation, research project, or paper.
  6. Provide alternatives to computer-scored answer sheets.
  7. Allow students to tape when necessary.
  8. Provide a suggested timeline when making long-range assignments.
  9. Provide study partner, note takers, and tutors, as needed.
  10. Change classes to accessible locations.
  11. Provide sign language interpreters.
  12. Provide readers for vision impaired.
  13. Provide the necessary accommodations and appropriate texts if a student has a documented print-disability. This includes not only blindness and visual impairments, but also learning disabilities and other physical impairments that affect reading.

Students with a physical disability will find parking at strategic points throughout the campus.


Associate Director of Student Support Services
Liberal Arts Center – Room 223B
Telephone: 570-348-6211, Ext. 2335

Inquiries concerning Title IX and Act 504:

Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officer
Liberal Arts Center - Room 86E
Telephone 570-348-6211, Ext. 2680

-Approved: Office of Civil Rights, April, 1996

Disability Grievance Procedures

Students are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Support Services at the first sign of any difficulties obtaining their approved academic accommodations from faculty, or if they encounter difficulties related to their disabilities from any Marywood University staff, administrator, or student.

It is the policy of Marywood University not to discriminate on the basis of disability. The University has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of grievances by either students or employees alleging any action prohibited by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. § 794) or the relevant U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regulations implementing the Act (34 C.F.R. Part 104) (together, “Section 504”). Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. The Law and Regulations may be examined in the office of the Section 504 Coordinator, Dr. Patricia E. Dunleavy, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officer, who has been designated to coordinate the efforts of the University to comply with Section 504.

Any person who believes she or he has been subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability may file a grievance under this procedure. It is against the law for the University to retaliate against anyone who files a grievance or cooperates in the investigation of a grievance. The University will make every effort to protect the grievant from retaliatory action. Any individual who retaliates against the grievant will be subject to discipline up to and including discharge from employment and/or termination of student status.


All alleged incidents involving disability discrimination are to be dealt with immediately. When a Marywood University employee or student believes s/he has been the victim of disability discrimination or witnessed disability discrimination, the following procedures should be used:

  1. Grievances must be submitted to the Section 504 Coordinator, or her designee, within 30 calendar days of the date the person filing the grievance becomes aware of the alleged discriminatory action. (Special circumstances warranting later filings will be considered on a case-by-case basis.) A grievant may contact the Vice President for Enrollment Management if he or she feels he or she cannot contact the Section 504 Coordinator, who will designate an appropriate person to fulfill the Section 504 Coordinator’s responsibilities under this policy.
  2. A grievance must be in writing and must contain the name, address and other contact information of the grievant, describe the problem or alleged action alleged to be discriminatory in sufficient detail to inform the Section 504 Coordinator of the nature and date of the alleged violation and permit an adequate investigation to be conducted, include the names of University employees or students involved and state the remedy or relief sought.
  3. The Section 504 Coordinator (or his or her designee) shall conduct an investigation of the grievance. The investigation may be informal, but it will be impartial and thorough; permit the grievant and his or her representative, and in the case of students, his or her parents, to examine relevant records maintained by the University and participate in the process; afford the grievant an opportunity to present witnesses and evidence; afford all other interested persons an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to the grievance remain confidential except to the extent necessary to conduct a review of the facts and to the extent authorized by law.
  4. The University will make appropriate arrangements to ensure that disabled persons are provided other accommodations, if needed, to participate in this grievance process. Such arrangements may include, but are not limited to, providing interpreters for the deaf, providing taped cassettes of material for the blind, or assuring a barrier-free location for the proceedings. The Section 504 Coordinator will be responsible for such arrangements.
  5. The Section 504 Coordinator will issue a written decision on the grievance no later than 30 days after its filing, unless further time is necessary to investigate thoroughly the grievance due to unusual circumstances or the grievant agrees to a continuance. The decision will contain a summary of the grievance and the proceedings to date, a determination as to the validity of the grievance and a description of the resolution, if applicable. A copy will be provided to the grievant.
  6. The person filing the grievance may appeal the decision of the Section 504 Coordinator by writing to the President of the University within 15 days of receiving the Section 504 Coordinator’s decision. In the appeal notice the grievant may, but is not required to, explain his or her objections to the Section 504 Coordinator’s decision. The President of the University or her or his designee will consider those objections, review the record and the Section 504 Coordinator’s decision and conduct further investigation if warranted. The President of the University shall issue a written decision in response to the appeal no later than 30 days after its filing, unless further time is necessary to thoroughly investigate the appeal due to unusual circumstances or the grievant agrees to a continuance. A copy will be provided to the grievant.
  7. The Section 504 Coordinator will maintain the files and records relating to such grievances and decisions.
  8. The availability and use of this grievance procedure does not prevent a person from filing a complaint of discrimination on the basis of disability with the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, or any other federal, state or local government agency charged with investigating such complaints.
  9. These rules will be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons, meet appropriate due process standards and ensure that the University complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act and their implementing regulations.

Questions about this policy or the procedures described above should be directed to the Section 504 Coordinator, Dr. Patricia E. Dunleavy, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources and Affirmative Action Officer.

Approved by the President of the University 2009