Physical Education (PE) and Swim Test
Student Disability Services (SDS) works with students whose disabilities affect their ability to fully participate in PE courses or the swim test. We do this by developing an accommodation plan in consultation with Physical Education staff. Cornell encourages all students to complete the PE and swim test requirements within their first year on campus and highly recommends that you contact us as early as possible if you anticipate the need for accommodations in order to afford adequate time to develop a reasonable accommodation plan.
Requesting Swim Test Accommodations
- Complete the online Disability Self-Disclosure and Request for Access Accommodations Form.
- Meet with a SDS Counselor to explain access issues with meeting the swim test requirement. The SDS Counselor will provide guidance on the necessary disability documentation to support the accommodation request.
- You and your SDS Counselor meet with PE staff to discuss access concerns with taking the swim test and possible modifications or accommodations that can be implemented based on your disability. Potential accommodations include: an individual swim assessment, individual or small group swim lessons, a modified version of the swim test based on your effort and ability, or credit given for taking a substitution PE course.
- Submit the required disability documentation needed to support an accommodation request for the swim test requirement. There must be a direct connection between the disability and the requested accommodation.
- If accommodations do not prove an effective means for meeting the swim test requirement, you will be advised of the petition process for requesting a swim test substitution.
Requesting PE Accommodations or Considerations
Cornell offers over 100 PE courses ranging from low to high physical exertion levels that appeal to a wide variety of interests, skill levels, and physical abilities. Many students are able to identify and enroll in courses that will be conducive to their individual interests and needs. If you are concerned about finding a PE course due to your disability, you should:
- Complete the online Disability Self-Disclosure and Request for Access Accommodations Form and identifying the disability-related concern associated with the taking PE courses. Appropriate medical documentation should be submitted as well.
- Meet with a SDS counselor to discuss access concerns regarding PE courses.
- Meet with a SDS counselor and PE staff to identify and enroll in courses that appear conducive to your disability needs. If necessary and appropriate, SDS and PE instructors will also work to modify course activities and/or implement needed accommodations so you can fully participate in the course. Potential accommodations might include: rest breaks during class, modifying certain aspects of the course activities, or providing adapted course equipment.