A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Learning-Related Disabilities

Houghton is a diverse academic community where many are affected by learning-related disabilities. By better understanding common disabilities and what services are offered, those in our community are better able to perform, and aid others to perform to the best of their abilities. Houghton offers a number of support services to aid students with learning-related disabilities who qualify.

Notification of Disabling Condition 

To secure learning-support services at Houghton College a student must notify the appropriate institutional representative of the disability. (Newly admitted students are encouraged to contact the college in the semester prior to matriculation.) The student must provide the required documentation and request the specific accommodations needed. The college must be given a reasonable opportunity to evaluate the request and offer necessary adjustments; Houghton College retains the ultimate authority for determining appropriate, effective accommodations. If any academic adjustment or auxiliary aid is not working out well, the student is responsible for notifying the appropriate Houghton College representative. 

Houghton College Representatives 

Students needing academic adjustments or learning-support services at Houghton College must contact the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA), 222 Chamberlain Center, Houghton College, Houghton NY 14744 (585-567-9262). 

Students needing facility adjustments must also notify the  the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA), Houghton College, Houghton NY 14744 (585-567-9239).  

Documentation Requirements 

To receive learning-support services, a student must have been evaluated by an appropriately-trained* professional and formally diagnosed as having a learning, mobility, sensory, health, or psychological disability. Evaluations generally should be no more than three years old.   

Evaluations for learning disabled students must delineate the nature of the student's learning problem and describe any factors that entitle the student to learning-disability support services. Each evaluation must include an assessment of broad cognitive functioning (using the WAIS-III test), specific cognitive processing (discussing visual spatial abilities, auditory and visual memory, fine-motor ability, executive functions, and selective attention), oral language ability, and achievement levels. All scores must be reported and interpreted. The evaluation must also explain how the student's ability to perform routine school tasks is affected by the learning disability and list modifications that would be necessary at Houghton College. Any assessment of intelligence or diagnosis of learning disability must be performed by an appropriately trained licensed psychologist or relevant Ph.D. specialist; evaluations from other qualified specialists may be submitted as part of any diagnosis.  

Modifications, Waivers, Substitutions 

Course modifications are considered based on the needs of the individual student. Only those modifications which are substantiated by a student's evaluation and approved by the director will be allowed. Modifications may be denied in cases where they cause an undue burden to the institution or where they fundamentally alter the nature of a program. Required courses will not be waived. Substitutions cannot be made for most required courses. Course substitution for the second semester of a foreign language may be considered if such need is substantiated by the student's evaluation, and  the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA) Director and the Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages agree. 

* "Appropriately trained" means academically educated at the graduate level to understand the disability being diagnosed, administer and interpret the tests used for assessing that disability, and recommend appropriate interventions. REVISED 1/98.