Academic Accommodations in Physical Education Courses

Physical exercise should be an important part of every Berkeley student’s life. Therefore, the Physical Education Program at the University of California, Berkeley, exists to provide quality instruction in a variety of physical education courses.

Students with disabilities who need accommodations in order to access physical education courses will be accommodated through the Disabled Students’ Program (https://dsp.berkeley.edu/). Students with disabilities have both rights and responsibilities under the DSP program.

Participation and attendance are key components of physical education courses. The following information serves as a guide to: 1. assist students in successfully participating in a physical education course, and 2. direct faculty members in accommodating students with disabilities. Ultimately, the expectations is that both the students and the faculty member instructing the course are clear on the policies and the expectations so that both have a positive experience.

  1. Students with disabilities who need accommodations to have full access to a physical education course should apply for accommodations and services through the Disabled Students’ Program (DSP) (https://dsp.berkeley.edu/).
  2. The Letter of Accommodation (LOA) is critical. Students must be registered with DSP and request an LOA to be sent to the faculty member to qualify for accommodations. Students should apply for accommodations and then send the LOA to the faculty member as soon as possible. LOAs will be accepted whenever they are submitted, but accommodations do not apply until after the faculty member receives the LOA. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive.
  3. Students should follow up to ensure that the letter was received by the faculty member. Without it, the faculty member is not obligated to give accommodation.
  4. Students need to plan ahead for success. If an LOA comes to the faculty member late, and there are make-up classes required in order to pass, students cannot assume all the work – including showing competency – can be done in the last week or two of classes.
  5. Accommodations for each student are within the LOA. The faculty member is not obligated to fundamentally alter the course syllabus for DSP students; however, if a faculty member has a concern about listed accommodations, he or she should bring the concerns to the DSP specialist who signed the LOA, and not to the student.
  6. If a faculty member needs to verify medical documentation for an absence, the staff at the DSP will review the medical documentation and provide verification. Faculty members should not request medical documentation from DSP students. The faculty member has the right to expect completion of required activities by the student, and the student is expected to meet the course objectives.