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Northwestern University

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

NOTE: Students who start taking classes at Northwestern after Spring 2023 should refer to the relevant degree requirements pages. The information below pertains to students who started at Northwestern Spring 2023 or prior.

The Council on Language Instruction (CLI) has established a procedure for students who have diagnosed disabilities affecting foreign language acquisition. This process accommodates properly documented disabilities while maximizing the benefits students derive from engaging in the study of a foreign language and culture.

To seek assistance on or substitution of the Weinberg foreign language proficiency requirement based on a diagnosed disability affecting foreign language acquisition, follow the steps below. Start the process early so that you will have sufficient time to make a plan to satisfy the requirement before graduation. Keep in mind that Weinberg College does not waive this requirement.  Students must complete the foreign language proficiency requirement with appropriate accommodations or substitute courses.

  1. Contact Accessible NU and provide documentation of a disability affecting foreign language acquisition. AccessibleNU staff will evaluate the documentation and decide whether an accommodation is appropriate. A summary letter describing the impact of your disability in learning a foreign language will be written up by AccessibleNU staff for use by the Language Proficiency Committee. If AccessibleNU staff approve you for an accommodation, move on to step two.
  2. Complete the Request for Appointment of a Language Proficiency Adviser (LPA). The form is available at AccessibleNU. Sign and submit the form to the Language Proficiency Committee. Please submit the form as soon as you receive AccessibleNU's approval so that the Committee will be able to provide you with assistance in a timely manner.
    Note: Assistance through the Language Proficiency Committee or appointment of a Language Proficiency Adviser may be more limited during the summer. If you are planning to take a foreign language at Northwestern during the summer, it is advised that you submit this request form by early spring.
  3. The Language Proficiency Committee will assign a Language Proficiency Adviser if an accommodation is warranted. The LPA will contact you and will guide you through the petition process. Assignment of an LPA does not imply approval of a substitution for the foreign language requirement. You will need to attempt appropriate foreign language courses with support of your LPA before substitute courses are considered.

Once you are enrolled and classes are in session, contact the LPA at least once every two weeks to discuss your progress. It is your responsibility to keep the LPA informed of your progress. Contact AccessibleNU and the LPA whenever you have questions or concerns. AccessibleNU and the LPA will suggest additional help as needed.

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