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Disability Resources for Students

Foreign Language Culture Course Substitution

Foreign Language Culture Course Substitution is an accommodation approved by DRS on an individual basis through an interactive process between DRS and the student. It must be supported by documented effects of the student’s disability. A foreign language culture course substitution is approved by DRS when a student’s disability, such as deafness, speech impairment, or learning disability, prevents a student from being able to learn a foreign language.

Once a Foreign Language Culture Course Substitution has been approved, students may petition to substitute coursework related to a foreign culture in lieu of the language requirements. The foreign language requirement is not simply waived. Students must still complete the same number of credits required to fulfill the University’s foreign language graduation requirement.

Students should work with their academic advisers to determine what foreign culture courses may be appropriate. Foreign culture courses must be approved by the Arts and Sciences Graduation Committee or the students’ college before the student enrolls in the course. If a student has already completed a foreign culture course and would like it to count toward the foreign language credit requirement they should include the foreign culture course on the proposed list of courses to be substituted for foreign language credits. However, until the foreign culture course has been approved by either the Arts and Sciences Graduation Committee or the student’s college, it will not count toward the foreign language credits. A Foreign Language Culture Course Substitution should be requested as soon as possible since it may take up to 3 quarters for approval.

Graduate students requesting a Foreign Language Culture Course Substitution should work with a DRS Coordinator in order to facilitate conversations with their graduate program around requirements and any appropriate substitutions as needed.

Note – for Tacoma campus: Student (or Academic Advisor) contacts the DRS to schedule meeting to discuss request for Foreign Language accommodation.

Student Responsibilities

  • Work with their academic advisors to determine appropriate course substitutions. Once that is complete, the student needs to submit a Graduation Petition. The Graduation Petition should include two additional pieces of information:
    1. A letter from DRS verifying that a foreign language culture course has been approved as an accommodation.
    2. A proposed list of foreign culture courses to be substituted for foreign language credits.
  • May not take the proposed classes until the Graduation Petition has been approved, in order to ensure that the courses will count towards fulfilling the foreign language requirement.
  • Discuss any concerns regarding this accommodation with assigned DRS Coordinator.

DRS Responsibilities

  • Provide the student with a letter verifying that they have been approved for a foreign language culture course substitution. This letter should be attached to the Graduation Petition along with a list of proposed foreign culture courses.
  • If needed, DRS staff meets with student to review and assist in resolving any difficulties around implementation of the approved accommodation.

Resources

Students approved for foreign language culture course substitution may find the following information about the University of Washington’s policy on foreign language culture course substitution and Graduation Petition helpful.

Undergraduate Foreign Language Requirement: Students with Disabilities

Application for Graduation

Graduating Senior Priority

UW DRS Services Request Timeline

Link to myDRS Student Guide

(Updated 1/2020)