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FAQs For Faculty


What is a Disability? 

 According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), "a person with a disability is someone who: 

  • has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, 
  • has a history or record of such an impairment  
  • is perceived by others as having such an impairment  

What is the procedure for students with disabilities to obtain accommodations at Community College of Rhode Island? 

  • Students are required to self-disclose their disability. They should go to the “New Students Getting Started” tab and complete the Application for Accommodations and upload their Documentation of their disability.  Geting Started-DAS 
  • Once the application and documentation has been submitted, they will be contacted by a DAS Coordinator to schedule an intake meeting and develop an accommodation plan. 

What do I need to know about Accommodation letters? 

  • Beginning Fall 2023, accommodation letters will be available through Accommodate.  Professors will receive an email to alert them that there is a student with an accommodation and be directed to view the letter in Accommodate. If a professor received this alert this means that the student has requested information be provided.  Accommodate Instructions for Faculty  
  • Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their accommodations with each professor and accommodations that require a specific plan to be developed will be indicated on the letter. 
  • Testing and classroom accommodations become effective on the date that the accommodations letter is made available to the professor and are only valid through the end of the semester.  
  • Accommodations are not retroactive. 

What does The Office of Disability Services recommend I include in my Syllabi? 

  • Faculty are encouraged to add a statement to their syllabi regarding CCRI’s commitment to assure reasonable access to academic programs, opportunities, and activities for students with documented disabilities.  
  • Sample Syllabus2 Statement  
  • A similar announcement to the class at the beginning of the semester is suggested.  

What do I need to know about Testing Accommodations?  

  • Typical testing accommodations include extended time and/or a separate location for testing.    
  • If a faculty allows more than the necessary amount of time to complete an exam for the entire class that does not mean the accommodation has been addressed, the student should still receive their extended time.   
  • As faculty, you can make arrangements with the student to implement these accommodations directly (e.g., during office hours or a classroom nearby)  
  • There is also a DAS Testing lab on each campus.  Student must self-schedule an appointment and professors will receive a request from the DAS lab via email to provide the test and any additional information (e.g., notes, calculators) DAS Test Request Form  
  • In specialized cases, the Office of Disability Services will provide other testing accommodations, such as scribes, readers, assistive technology, or sign-language interpreters.  

What do I need to know about online Testing Accommodations?  

  • Faculty must provide the full amount of the student’s approved extended time for testing.   
  • It is discriminatory to expect students to come to campus and be proctored for their tests if the rest of the class will be completing exams off campus.   
  • It is best practice to add the extended time for online tests/exams/quizzes when the accommodation letter is received unless the student indicates otherwise. You may also contact the student to discuss the process.   

Will providing a student with accommodations give him or her advantage over other students? 

  • No. Providing accommodations simply levels the playing field so that the student with the disability has an opportunity that is equal to the other students to learn and demonstrate mastery of course material.  

Will providing accommodations mean that I will have to restructure my course and lessen the requirements of the course? 

  • Accommodations should never change course standards or the essential functions of the course.   
  • All students, including students with disabilities, must meet the requirements of a course - with or without accommodations.   
  • Accommodations are adjustments that help ensure that students are not excluded from the course because of a disability.  

What should I do if a student tells me they have a disability or they had a “504” or “IEP”?  

  • The student should be referred to the Disability Services office.  They should contact [email protected] 

Do I have the right to deny a student an accommodation if I feel that it is not necessary in my course? 

  • No, a faculty cannot deny an accommodation.  Reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified students with disabilities are mandated by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  
  •  If a faculty member would like DAS to consider a modification to an accommodation, the faculty member may make a written request to DAS that 1) specifies how the accommodation fundamentally alters the program, and 2) provides recommendations for an alternative format or accommodation that will enable the student to acquire the same information provided to other students, in a timely manner.  
  • If you have questions/concerns about how to best support this student in class or questions related to academic accommodations, please contact [email protected]  

I have a student with a disability who is failing my course. Is there something that I should be doing differently to help this student succeed?  

  • All students, including those who have disabilities, can fail courses. However, as you would with any student, it is appropriate to address the issue with the student and encourage them to utilize college services (e.g., Tutoring Center, Writing Center).  
  • It is possible the accommodations may need to be amended so you could also advise that they contact the Office of Disability Services as well.   
  • It may be exceedingly difficult for students to self-disclose their disability to the Office of Disability Services, as they are apprehensive of perceived stigma. To maintain a student’s confidentiality, any conversations, or questions about a student’s use of disability services and/or accommodations should always be private between the instructor and student.   

When should I refer a student to Disability Services? 

  • Faculty members are encouraged to refer students to Disability Services if the student has disclosed that they have a disability.  The best way to get started is to recommend that they contact Disability Services via email at [email protected]  
  • A student who is an English Language Learner is not considered to be a student with a disability based solely on being a non-native English speaker. However, if they are a student who has been officially diagnosed with a disability CCRI Disability Documentation Guidelines ,then they would then qualify to receive accommodations through Disability Services.