Disability Services for Students

302 Memorial Union Univeristy of Rhode Island Kingston, RI 02881

dss@etal.uri.edu – 401-874-2098

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About Disability Services

Disability Services for Students is part of the Office of Student Life in the Division of Student Affairs. We are a team of seven full-time and part-time administrative and undergraduate student staff, all committed to equal opportunity for people with disabilities in the URI Community. In addition we hire approximately 150 student notetakers and scribes each year to support student needs in the classroom.

Office Hours

We are located in the Office of Student Life in Memorial Union room 302 Memorial Union

Our mailing address is: 50 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI 02881.

The office is open from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
We are closed on most Federal and State Holidays.

We work by individual appointment; please call us at 401-874-2098 (TT: via 711) or email us at dss@etal.uri.edu to make an appointment with your counselor.

DSS Vision and Mission 


The URI community encourages contributions to the learning environment from members of all its cultures, including students with disabilities.


Disability Services for Students recognizes disability as cultural diversity and fosters an inclusive environment for all in the university community through education, awareness, and accessibility.

We accomplish this mission by:

  • Recommending and coordinating reasonable accommodations in a variety of domains (exam, course, program, housing, transportation, technology)
  • Encouraging student development through self-advocacy and personal decision making
  • Supporting a commitment to academic success and student retention
  • Providing training and information to faculty and administration that uphold inclusion of persons with disabilities


Your privacy is of utmost importance to us.

All employees of Disability Services have signed a statement of confidentiality that requires them not to discuss or disclose any information from the office or its clients.

We review the concept of confidentiality regularly.

No information about our students is communicated without express written permission of the student.

Each semester in which accommodations are requested, students sign a release form that allows us to create accommodation letters and to discuss limited information with professors, health providers, advisors and parents. We will only discuss the information that is necessary to secure the requested accommodations or to support academic success.

Use of e-Campus: Because we use e-Campus for certain accommodations (like priority registration), your academic advisors and some administrators may know that you are registered with DSS. However, detailed personal & medical information provided to DSS remains confidential and separate from University records.

As a way of supporting your academic success and persistence to graduation, we do work closely with academic advisors, counseling center, health services, housing, and other university units.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of your academic career.

About our Students 

About our office and the students we serve:
Our office currently consists of our Director, three fulltime Coordinators, a part-time Counslor, and several undergraduate student staff working to coordinate accommodations and support services. We work with approximately 1342 identified students with a wide range of disabilities. Although the number of identified students in a given year varies slightly, below is a typical distribution of students listed with our office:

Type of Disability

Number of Occurences

% of total Disabilities




Mental Health



Learning Disability



Chronic Health Condition






Physical / Mobility Related



Autism Spectrum / Asperger Syndrome



Head Injury












Student Performance, Graduation and Retention

When we look at student grades, students with disabilities do as well, or better than, their non-disabled peers. Similar proportions of students with disabilities are on the Dean’s List (GPA 3.3 or above), and also similar proportions of students with disabilities are on Probation (GPA below 2.0). There are proportionally fewer dismissals of students with disabilities.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, students with disabilities appear to have a lower graduation rate than their non-disabled peers. This is a nation-wide statistic that is also the case at URI. We are committed to increasing the retention and graduation rates of our students.

Although there has been significant improvement through the work of our U.S. Department of Education Grant, “Changing the Culture”, we still are striving for greater retention and graduation rates of our students with disabilities.


(Source: Association of Higher Education and Disability — AHEAD)

We agree that these principles are the Code of Ethics for postsecondary disability service providers at the University of Rhode Island. As professionals, we are responsible for upholding, supporting, and advancing these ideas whenever possible. Members of AHEAD agree to monitor themselves and their peers in accordance with the spirit and provisions of this code, as delineated by the following principles:

  1. Postsecondary disability service providers are committed to facilitating the highest levels of educational excellence and potential quality of life for postsecondary students with disabilities.
  2. Postsecondary disability service providers strive to achieve and maintain the highest levels of competence and integrity in all areas of assistance to adult students with disabilities. This support is guided by the consistent use of objective, professional judgment in all areas, especially when addressing the confidential nature of the student’s disability.
  3. Postsecondary disability service providers continually participate in professional activities and educational opportunities designed to strengthen the personal, educational, and vocational quality of life for students with disabilities. This includes the on-going development of strategies, skills, research, and knowledge pertinent to the highest quality of disability service delivery whenever and wherever it occurs.
  4. Postsecondary disability service providers carry out their responsibilities in accordance with AHEAD professional standards and policy guidelines for adult students with disabilities. When certified, licensed, or affiliated with other professionals or organizations, they comply with those professional guidelines aswell.
  5. Postsecondary service providers are actively engaged in supporting and clarifying institutional, state, provincial, and federal laws, policies, and procedures applicable to the service delivery to students with disabilities. Compliance implies that professionals will not condone or participate in any unethical or illegal acts discussed within these guidelines.



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