Community College of Rhode Island

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Please Note:

Academic success is more likely if ALL accommodations and services are in place within the first two weeks of the semester. . . Please Plan Ahead!

Academic Calendar

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Obtain Academic Accommodations

The process of implementing reasonable accommodations is a shared responsibility that requires ongoing communication and teamwork between the student, DSS and the faculty. In order to receive accommodations, students should follow the following process:

  • Self-Identify with DSS and submit appropriate documentation of disability
  • Request Reasonable Accommodations for each class or situation
  • Actively participate in the process of receiving and using accommodations once granted

Self-Identify With DSS and Submit Documentation of Disability

The process for obtaining disability-related support services begins as soon as a student meets with a DSS Coordinator. DSS Coordinators are available for appointments throughout the year, even when classes are not in session.

During the appointment, the student should disclose their disability and discuss their specific needs. The DSS Coordinator will help the student identify the various support services they may need and will review the policies and procedures necessary to obtain the accommodations and related support services that the student is requesting.

If the documentation of disability supports the need for accommodations, the DSS Coordinator will generate an individualized Request for Accommodations letter for each course in which the student needs accommodations (see sample request for accommodations letters in the back of this handbook). The Request for Accommodations letter will contain recommendations for reasonable accommodations to minimize the impact of a disability. The letter will not identify the nature of the student’s disability.

Request Reasonable Accommodations

After meeting with the DSS Coordinator, the student should contact her/his professor(s), provide him or her with the Request for Accommodation(s) letter, and discuss the accommodations needed in each class and how the accommodation(s) will be implemented. The student and professor should each sign and date the Request for Accommodations letter and the student should then return the original, signed letter to the DSS office. The accommodation is now in place.

The professor may keep a copy of the Request for Accommodations letter for his/her records.

NOTE: DSS will not send accommodation request letters directly to professors. Students are responsible for presenting the request letter to their professors.

The student should remind the professor in a timely manner of the accommodation(s) that require their active participation. For example, when a test is announced, the student should remind the professor of the accommodation(s) needed and agreed upon.

If the instructor does not believe that the proposed accommodation is appropriate, the student and instructor should discuss the issue(s). If the problem cannot be resolved between the student and the instructor, either one or both should contact DSS for assistance.

Let DSS know immediately of any problems or concerns!

Normally students who need physical accessibility accommodations and/or use of sign language interpreters should request accommodations as soon as possible but no less than four weeks before the beginning of the semester. Students seeking testing or other classroom accommodations should register with DSS as soon as possible and at least within the first two weeks of the semester. Students must meet with the DSS Coordinator each semester that accommodations will be requested.

What Should Students Do If They Do Not Receive The Accommodations They Request?

CCRI faculty and staff are interested in ensuring the academic success of all students, including students with disabilities. Occasionally, because of overwork, oversight, or lack of information, a faculty member may appear uncooperative in arranging accommodations. When this happens, usually polite persistence brings a favorable outcome. It is best to talk to professors outside of class, preferably during their office hours. Students should make sure that professors receive Request for Accommodation letters as early in the semester as possible. DSS staff can assist in this process if needed, but again it is the student’s responsibility to discuss accommodations with their professors.

At any point during the semester…

A DSS Coordinator is available to meet with students to discuss study skills, time management, and other concerns or issues that may arise. Regular meetings are available for students who could benefit from extra support.

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Last Updated: 9/19/12