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

DSS Vision and Mission 

Disability Services for Students. Disability Services for Students works with students and all units of URI to create inclusive and sustainable learning and working environments. We facilitate access, discourse, and involvement through innovative services, programs, leadership, and collaboration.

By complying with the ADAAA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, we promote academic success, self-advocacy, and equal opportunity through education, awareness, and understanding that disability is a matter of cultural diversity.

Additional duties of the office include:

  • recommend and coordinate reasonable accommodations (exam, course, program, housing, transportation),
  • encourage student development through self-advocacy and personal decision making,
  • support student commitment to academic success and retention,
  • provide information to faculty and administrators regarding disability awareness and inclusion.

We are happy to discuss specific concerns in person, by phone, or by email. Our office is located at 302 Memorial Union, Kingston, RI 02881. Contact us: 401.874.2098 (TTY via R.I. Relay at 711) OR dss@etal.uri.edu.

Disability Services for Students, Dean of Students Office,
Division of Student Affairs.

302 Memorial Union, 50 Lower College Road, Kingston, RI 02881

Disability Services for Students is part of the Dean of Students Office in the Division of Student Affairs.  We have four full time professional staff and a doctoral-level Graduate Assistant; each of us is committed to equal opportunity for all members of  the URI Community. In addition, we hire approximately 150 students to help us coordinate accommodations systems or to provide class notes to support eligible students.

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.

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.

As of 2015, graduation and retention statistics for students with disabilities are nearly identical (just 1-2% lower) as compared to the larger URI student body.  This is despite the nation-wide statistics that demonstrate significantly lower graduation rates for students with disabilities. We are committed to sustaining and increasing the retention and graduation rates of students with disabilities at URI.


(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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