Medical Disqualifier Question


10-Year Member
5-Year Member
Jun 30, 2007
Hello - I have just joined and this is my first post to this forum.

I did a bit of searching, but didn't see anything about waivers for students who have had IEPs. My child has had an IEP since elementary school which has automatically been renewed each year. Has not used the accommodations for a few years, but we let it renew just in case. I now see that this could be a problem. If we discontinue the IEP now before he enters his senior year, will this be ample time for him to get a waiver?

Thanks for any information!!
Welcome to the board Meredith.

I'm going to go ahead and move this thread to the DODMERB forum as it is a great question that really pertains to all of the academies. In the DODMERB forum we have an excellent resource in our favorite retired corpsman. He should be able to give you some insight into your question.

What is the IEP (individual education plan) for? Both my kids had IEPs for gifted and they didn't need waivers. If it is for ADD/ADHD then that is a whole another subject. People with ADD on meds can't be waivered. There so many reasons (speech, LD, reading reading delayed)to have an IEP that you need to give more info for clear answer.
His IEP was for differentiation both for gifted programs as well as for a learning disability. This was put in place at the end of 3rd grade and has automatically renewed each year.
There are two different issues here - one being of accomadations and the other being medicatons.

RetNavyHM can comment on the medication part which is a DoDMERB issue and will be on the medical history.

As far as accomations the Academies require SAT's/ACT's to be taken without any accomadations. Nor are academic accomadations offered to any students there.
Two different issues? There are no medications used. I'm confused about your responses.

Perhaps I have the policy regarding IEPs confused. I am under the impression that because my son has had and IEP and eligible for accommodations, that he will be disqualified and will need a waiver.

My question is: If we discontinue the IEP now before senior year begins, is this ample time to show that his academic strengths are not reliant upon accommodations?
There isn't anywhere on an academy form that says check this box for IEP. The only issue is if there was a medical condition that caused the need for an IEP. That would be the need for the waiver.

The main thing will be taking ACT/SAT without any accomadations, there is no waiver for that.
Meredith -
This is most likely a classic case of people giving broad advice based on their own narrow experience.....

If someone has an IEP and is - e.g also on Ritalin - they may assume the IEP is what disqualified then when in fact it was the Ritalin that was disqualifying.

When your son goes for his medical exam - there are a lot of questions pertaining to his medical history. The reason for his IEP may or may not be a part of that medical history.

If his learning disability is such that he needs special learning accomadations then the academies cannot accomadate that. That issue would come under the admissions office and should be addressed with an admissions officer.

When your son takes the SAT's - he must take it without any special accomadations, such as - extra time, large type, test being read to etc.... or the Academies will not consider his score.
OK, sorry about the delay in responding, let me clear the air here.

If your son has a current IEP for a learning disability, or if he has used any accomodations in the year prior to his physical examination he will be found disqualified by DoDMERB. This is not to say he could not recieve a waiver from whatever program he is applying for. DoDMERB is black and white, if he had the IEP in the past year, no matter that he didn't use any of the accomodations, DoDMERB has to disqualify. The waiver authorities have all the grey area in the world to work with, so they will be able to delve deeper into the IEP and whether or not your son used any accomadations. This is where the letter from your son to the waiver authorities will assist them in making a waiver determination.

Let me clear up some mis-information that was placed in this thread as well. ADD/ADHD with current medication use is a disqualification. Waivers can, and have been granted for it in the past (not very many, only 3 that I can remember), so to say a waiver will never be granted is incorrect.

Using an accomodation on the SAT/ACT (extended time) is an administrative issue that DoDMERB does not get into, that is handled by the admissions office. Most likely an applicant who used an accomodation on his/her SAT/ACT has a learning disability that was disclosed elsewhere on the physical exam, but DoDMERB does not look at the SAT/ACT's.
Thanks Doc, I knew you would clear things up. USNA, for one, in the admissions gouge, specifically states that non-standard un-timed SATs/ACTs are not acceptable.
Thanks everyone for your responses! I'm still a bit muddy on this, so can I ask a few more questions for clarification?

My son has taken the SAT while his IEP is in effect. He didn't use the accommodations but since his IEP is in force, I suppose his score will be unacceptable and so what he needs to do is rescind his IEP and register to re-take the SAT, correct?

Once his IEP is rescinded (he hasn't been using accommodations for some time) and he performs well in his senior year classes, will that be sufficient to show that he doesn't require accommodations and to be eligible to receive a waiver?

Thanks for your help!
With the SAT, if he took the normal timed exam, and used no accommodations when he took the test it should be acceptable, I'm sure USNA69 will correct me if I'm wrong on this.

As for what to expect from DoDMERB, you son will more than likely be found medically disqualified due to the fact he had an IEP in effect in the year prior to his physical examination. Not much you can do about that, but from the waiver standpoint I think he would have a good chance at getting a waiver especially since he has not used any accommodations. Once DoDMERB finds your son disqualified I would have your son write a letter explaining the circumstances behind the IEP, and explaining what accommodations were used, and are currently being used, if any. I would also try to get a letter from the schools IEP coordinator and some of his teachers also explaining what accommodations were used, if any.

If, as you state here, he hasn't used any accommodations in the past couple of years, he has maintained his GPA and has no other issues, then I really don't see any reason as to why his waiver could be denied.