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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Our Commitment to Equal Opportunity

Students with disabilities are partners in their own academic success.  They respond to the same expectations and assume the same responsibilities as their non-disabled peers, albeit WITH the support of Disability Services for Students and reasonable accommodations.

Persons with disabilities are assured reasonable access to programs, opportunities, and activities at the University of Rhode Island that is equal to the access afforded non-disabled persons.

Inclusion of persons with disability in all aspects of life at the University will benefit the community and improve the quality of life within the University community.

Therefore, accessibility beyond the minimum requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act/Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, is the standard.

Disability is a concern of cultural diversity/equal opportunity, therefore accessibility is a community concern.

Achieving full participation and integration of people with disabilities requires the cooperative efforts and responsibility of all the University’s departments, offices, and personnel.

Colleagues from diverse areas of expertise collaborate to create an accessible environment.

To this end, the University will continue to strive to achieve excellence in its services and to assure that its services are delivered equitably and efficiently to all of its members.

 

Student Rights and responsibilities

Rights:

  • Nondiscrimination. Equal access.
  • Individualized Assessments
  • Right to not disclose specific disability to faculty. (Confidentiality)
  • Effective academic adjustments/aids

Responsibilities:

  • Request “reasonable” modification.
  • Meet eligibility standard for qualified status.
  • Provide necessary information to Disability Services to obtain Accommodation Letter.
  • Present Accommodation Letter to faculty for signatures.
  • Make best effort to demonstrate mastery of course material.

(Source: Educating Students with Disabilities: A Shared

Responsibility – NASPA 1995)

 

Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Rights:

  • Determine content of each course, and how it is taught.
  • Decide how to best instruct students and assess student learning.
  • Consult with knowledgeable professionals on methods to accommodate learning needs of students with disabilities.
  • Receive notice of accommodation needs, with reasonable advance notice.
  • Maintain academic standards of courses.
  • Question and negotiate specific accommodations to ensure that they will not change essential requirements of course.
  • Determine grades appropriate to the level of student’s demonstration of mastery of material, with or without disability accommodations.
  • Respectful treatment by all students.
  • Enforce student handbook policies equally for all students.

Responsibilities:

  • Reasonably accommodate students who provide documentation of a disability through Disability Services.
  • Maintain student confidentiality in all environments.
  • Respect student privacy about the disability; discuss only academic performance needs.
  • Address the accommodation letter from Disability Services in a timely manner.
  • Understand policies and laws regarding students with disabilities.
  • Communicate the availability of support for students with disabilities via a syllabus statement and/or by class announcement.
  • Understand that student conduct issues require appropriate counseling, regardless of the presence of a disability

    (Source: http://www.rosscenter.umb.edu/text/sh5.htm#five)

 

Appeal Procedures

Appeals for Academic Accommodations (such as but not limited to exams, courses, degree programs, degree requirements):

  1. A University member or a student may request a review of an accommodation decision.
  2. The request for review is to be submitted to the Director, Disability Services for Students/ Office of Student Life.
  3. The Director will attempt to facilitate a mutually acceptable accommodation agreement by discussion with the student, the professor, department chair, and the Dean of the respective college as needed.
  4. If no acceptable agreement can be reached, the request for reconsideration will be forwarded to the Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs.
  5. The Vice Provost will review the information received, request additional information if necessary, and make a final decision. The Vice Provost will transmit a decision to the student, the University member and the Director, Disability Services for Students.

Appeals for non-academic Accommodations (such as but not limited to Housing & Residential Life, Dining Services, Campus Life, Transportation, Parking, etc.)

  1. A University member or a student may request a review of an accommodation decision.
  2. The request for review is to be submitted to the Director, Disability Services for Students/ Office of Student Life.
  3. The Director will attempt to facilitate a mutually acceptable accommodation agreement by discussion with the student, the department staff or department director related to the accommodation (for example: requests for certain living or dining arrangements transportation, etc.).
  4. If no acceptable agreement can be reached, the request for reconsideration will be forwarded to the appropriate Assistant Vice President for resolution (i.e. Dean of Students/AVP for Student Affairs and/or Director of Housing/AVP for Student Affairs, and/or Assistant Vice President for Business Services).
  5. The respective Assistant Vice President will review the information received, request additional information if necessary, and make a final determination. The Assistant Vice President will transmit a decision to the student, the University member and the Director, Disability Services for Students.

Bias, Discrimination, Or Harassment

Any student who is disturbed by or who experiences incidents of Bias, Discrimination or Harassment may avail themselves of the following supports and resources for assistance:

 

General Policies

Employment of Consumer Students

The University of Rhode Island Office of Student Life, Disability Services for Students supports the initiatives of federal and state governments, and the private sector in providing employment opportunities to students with disabilities. We encourage our consumer base of students to seek employment within our own office and we will provide for them the reasonable accommodations that may be necessary to provide equal access. Additionally, we make serious efforts to inform and encourage students with disabilities in their pre-graduation job searches. This is done by promoting the professional assistance that is available through URI Office of Career Services and by developing our own listings of appropriate networking channels.

Inconsistencies With Other Institutions of Higher Education

The Americans with Disabilities Act provides the premise upon which equal access to education is based. The document does not attempt to provide specific guidance for equal access. It is the policy of the University of Rhode Island, in discussion with students regarding accommodations, to take into consideration the accommodations provided by the students previous institution. However, the University of Rhode Island retains the right to make decisions based on its own policies, curriculum guidelines, and procedures; the university is not obligated to provide the same or similar accommodations, as did another institution. Accommodations are made case-by-case, in accordance with official documentation, taking into consideration both reasonableness and appropriateness of the request. When accommodations previously provided by another institution conflict with those provided by the University of Rhode Island, the latter will take precedence.

Emergencies and Crisis Management: Non-Traditional Circumstances

Disabilities Services for Students relies heavily on the concept of thorough and adequate documentation that is prepared by a qualified, appropriate, and licensed professional. In addition, the recent date of the documentation and the rationale to support the need for accommodations is key to establishing adequacy of the documentation. However, in emergency and crisis management situations and in non-traditional circumstances the professional staff of Disability Services for Students will use their discretion in allowing flexibility in the standard protocol described in the working policy document. All such decisions made under these conditions are reviewed as soon as possible after the emergency situation subsides.

For critical information about public safety and emergency response resources, please review the Public Safety Website

Students, Faculty and Staff are urged to register with the URI Emergency Notification System indicated on the Public Safety website, and to review other emergency information located there.

 

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