The Office of Disability, Access, and Inclusion (DAI) collaborates with partners across campus to provide equal access for students. Disability is a vital component of diversity on our campus, and we honor the rights of our students by actively and respectfully addressing disability related barriers in living and learning environments at URI.
We welcome collaboration and partnership with faculty and staff to improve accessible practices, promote the use of Universal Design for Learning, and cultivate an authentically inclusive campus community.
Each institution of higher education interprets and follows the ADAAA a little differently. It can make navigating the accommodations eligibility and implementation processes challenging for new and adjunct faculty members alike. DAI’s practices are deliberately designed, evaluated, and evolving beyond basic compliance, to dismantle the rubber stamp mentality that often accompanies disability-related work. We take our role to educate and empower students and their faculty, seriously.
We partner with our students when appropriate, to connect them with the various resources available on campus for skill building and affirming support. DAI respects our students’ right to as much independence as possible when utilizing accommodations, especially through the use of cutting-edge assistive technology. During the eligibility process, we gather and assess as complete a picture as possible of the individual student’s strengths, skills, diagnostic profile and functional needs through a comprehensive, collaborative three-step accommodations eligibility process. It includes self-disclosure, primary and secondary documentation review, as well as collaborative discussion and determination. Students and faculty may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401-874-2098 with your questions, or visit DAI’s weekday WebEx drop-in hours from 2-4PM. DAI leadership provides special Faculty WebEx Drop-in Hours, for the first month of the Fall and Spring semesters on Wednesdays from 8-10AM, and Fridays from 10-12PM
Reasonable accommodations from DAI are well-supported, medically necessary, and approved for the purpose of legally and ethically upholding the student’s right to equal access. Accommodations can be initiated and approved at any time, are in place from the time a letter or form is disclosed to a staff or faculty member, and their use must be requested by the student in advance, as accommodations are not retroactive by law. Accommodations that are not contained within an official form or letter from DAI are not legally protected at URI. It is important for faculty to note that it is legally inadvisable for students to be forced into a position of indirectly disclosing a disability due to inaccessible course policies, such as no computer access in the classroom. If you wish to discuss how to design your course more accessibly, please let us know, and we would be happy to meet with you.
Stay tuned! DAI will soon be launching Disability, Access, and Inclusion Modules on Brightspace. Each self-paced module is specially designed for new and experienced faculty members who wish to keep current on a topic whose practices, language, and understanding are perpetually evolving.
Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
Please review the information below to learn about the rights and responsibilities of faculty and how this role intersects with providing accommodations to students.. The accommodations that DAI approves contain no expectation of altering fundamental course objectives or requirements. We issue separate letters for each course, because the approved accommodations may vary class to class, and are carefully considered to ensure equal access for the individual student in the context of that course. Student rights and responsibilities can be found here.
- 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.
- Reasonably accommodate students who provide documentation of a disability through Disability Access, and Inclusion.
- Maintain student confidentiality in all environments and at all times (this includes indirect disclosure due to inaccessible course policies). We recommend communication via email.
- Respect student privacy about their disability; discuss only academic performance needs. Asking a student or DAI staff to disclose their disability or diagnosis is prohibited by law.
- Address disclosure of the accommodation letter from Disability Access, and Inclusion in a timely manner via email or in a private meeting.
- Understand the federal and institutional policies and laws regarding students with disabilities.
- Communicate the availability of support for students with disabilities via an inclusive syllabus statement as well as a class announcement.
- Understand that student conduct issues require appropriate counseling, regardless of the presence of a disability
Course and Program Accommodations
Program accommodations include: Priority Registration, Foreign Language Course Substitutions, Reduced-Course-with-Full-time-status, and Accessible Classroom Changes
Submitted documentation must substantiate the need for program accommodations. DAI’s Accommodation Committee determines eligibility on a case-by-case basis. Students should contact DAI for further information.
Helpful Resources for Faculty
- View our policies on foreign language course exemption requirements for students.
- View the Recording Lecture Confidentiality Agreement
- View the Lecture Slides Confidentiality Agreement
- View the URI Alternate Attendance Agreement Plan
- View guidelines set by the Office for the Advancement of Teaching & Learning
- Setting Accommodations in Brightspace
- Review this comprehensive, regularly updated list of ableist terms to avoid.
If you have a concern about a student for whom you have an accommodation letter, please contact them first if appropriate, then their case manager via e-mail.