NOTICE : Parking validation stickers for RIC community available at Campus Police office. Click for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What Is a Disability?
  2. Do I have to disclose my disability to Rhode Island College?
  3. Does Rhode Island College have different admissions criteria for students with disabilities?
  4. What is the procedure for students with disabilities to obtain accommodations at Rhode Island College?
  5. When should a student with a disability register with the Disability Services Center?
  6. Are there any fees associated with registering as a student with a disability?
  7. If I am already registered with the Disability Services Center, how do I get Accommodation Letters for my professors at the beginning of each semester?
  8. What kind of documentation is required by the Disability Services Center?
  9. Will my disability information be confidential?
  10. I sent my Disability Verification Documentation with my application to Rhode Island College. Do I still have to bring it with me to my Disability Services registration appointment?
  11. Does Rhode Island College provide testing to determine learning disabilities?
  12. What kind of accommodations can a student with a disability receive at Rhode Island College?
  13. Will accommodations allow me to alter or waive an essential part of any course program or degree?
  14. Will I be required to meet all of the technical standards or requirements set forth by my major or school?
  15. My documentation says I am eligible for Reduced Course Load status.  Do I have to request this each semester?
  16. Is it possible that my request for a reduced course load will not be permitted?
  17. How will Reduced Course Load status benefit me?
  18. Does Reduced Course Load status affect my Financial Aid?
  19. I am a student-athlete.  Can I request Reduced Course Load status and still play my sport(s)?
  20. How can I request Special Furniture in my classrooms?
  21. How can I request a Sign Language Interpreter or Computer Aided Real-time Transcription (CART)?
  22. Do the residence halls accommodate students with disabilities?
  23. Does Rhode Island College provide handicapped accessible parking permits to students with physical disabilities?
  24. Does Rhode Island College provide on-campus transportation for students with disabilities?
  25. Are students with temporary health conditions provided accommodations?
  26. Does Rhode Island College provide assistance to students with disabilities who require accommodations on nationally certified exams?
  27. Does Rhode Island College offer any assistive technologies to students with disabilities?
  28. How Do I Request E-Text and/or Audio Books?
  29. What are my responsibilities as a student with a disability who is receiving accommodations?
  30. How do I get my Accommodation letters for my professors each semester?
  31. What type of additional support or assistance will I receive at RIC?
  32. Is tutoring available when necessary?
  33. Are courses in study skills, math skills or writing skills offered?
  34. What should I do if my accommodation needs are not being met?
  35. What should I do if I have an academic dispute with my professor?
  36. What should I do if I have experienced discrimination because of my disability?

GENERAL INFORMATION

What Is a Disability?

The term "disability" means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

Major Life Activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. 

A Major Life Activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
(Americans with Disabilities Act)

Do I have to disclose my disability to Rhode Island College?

No. Disclosure is not required.  However, reasonable accommodations cannot be provided until disclosure and registration with the Disability Services Center.

Back to top

REGISTRATION

Does Rhode Island College have different admissions criteria for students with disabilities?

No.  While Rhode Island College takes all of your information into consideration, legally, we can only make admission decisions with the set of guidelines established for all students. For specific admission requirements, please visit www.ric.edu/admission.

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

Once accepted to the College, students with disabilities who want to request reasonable accommodations MUST contact and make an appointment with the Disability Services Center. The process of registering as a student with a disability includes three elements in order to be considered complete:
  • Students are required to make an appointment to meet with the Disability Services Center, Craig Lee, Room 127, 456-8061.
  • A Release of Information form must be signed by the student allowing the Disability Services Center to verify registration and eligibility for accommodations.
  • Documentation of the disability must be provided from a qualified licensed professional. Please see the Disability Verification Documentation section of this website for specific documentation requirements organized by type of disability.

When should a student with a disability register with the Disability Services Center?

Students needing accessible Housing should register with the Disability Services Center upon acceptance to the College.

Students who need Physical Accessibility accommodations and/or use of Sign Language Interpreters should register with the Disability Services Center as soon as possible but no less than two weeks before the beginning of the semester.

Students seeking Program, Testing, or Classroom accommodations should register with the Disability Services Center as soon as possible after enrolling in classes for the upcoming semester or at least within the first two weeks of the semester.

Are there any fees associated with registering as a student with a disability?

No.

If I am already registered with the Disability Services Center, how do I get Accommodation Letters for my professors at the beginning of each semester?

As long as your accommodation needs have not changed and your Disability Verification Documentation is up-to-date, you may call, stop in, or email us at the beginning of each semester to request your Accommodation Letters for your professors.   Our staff will record your name and phone number, your letters will be prepared within the next few days, and our staff will call you when they are ready for you to come in and sign.

If your accommodation needs have changed and/or your Disability Verification Documentation is outdated, you must contact the Disability Services Center to discuss this.  Please call 456-8061.

Back to top

DOCUMENTATION

What kind of documentation is required by the Disability Services Center?

In order to receive reasonable accommodations at the college, students with disabilities must provide documentation which contains a comprehensive assessment including clearly identified recommendations for accommodations.  Please see the Disability Verification Documentation (http://www.ric.edu/disabilityservices/dVform.php) section of this website for specific documentation requirements organized by type of disability.

Will my disability information be confidential?

Yes.  All documentation is generally treated as confidential medical information and is therefore governed by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

I sent my Disability Verification Documentation with my application to Rhode Island College. Do I still have to bring it with me to my Disability Services registration appointment?

Yes. The Admissions Office of Rhode Island College does NOT forward to the Disability Services Center, Disability Verification Documentation that a student submits with his or her application to the College. Therefore, even if you sent your documentation to another office or department at Rhode Island College (including Admissions), you must still submit this information to the Disability Services Center.

Does Rhode Island College provide testing to determine learning disabilities?

No.  Rhode Island College does not provide testing for disability verification. The Disability Services Center at Rhode Island College does not endorse or recommend evaluators, but provides a listing of evaluators for the convenience of the students. The list is not comprehensive or exhaustive, and the student is, of course, responsible for payment of all charges incurred.

Back to top

ACCOMMODATIONS

What kind of accommodations can a student with a disability receive at Rhode Island College?

Accommodations are based directly on current documentation of the disability and the need for the requested accommodation.  For examples of the more common accommodations offered, please see the Accommodations (http://www.ric.edu/disabilityservices/accommodations.php) section of this website.

Will accommodations allow me to alter or waive an essential part of any course program or degree?

No. 

Will I be required to meet all of the technical standards or requirements set forth by my major or school?

Yes. 

My documentation says I am eligible for Reduced Course Load status.  Do I have to request this each semester?

Yes.  This accommodation must be requested EACH semester it is needed.  Reduced Course Load status is NOT automatically applied each semester.  All requests for Reduced Course Load status must be submitted to the Disability Services Center PRIOR TO THE END OF THE ADD/DROP PERIOD OF THE SEMESTER. 

Is it possible that my request for a reduced course load will not be permitted?

Yes. If a particular program of study requires that courses be taken concurrently and a less than full-time enrollment results in a fundamental alteration of the curriculum, a reduced course load may not be permitted.

How will Reduced Course Load status benefit me?

Students who are approved for a reduced course load with full-time status are entitled to many of the rights, privileges, benefits, and responsibilities of a full-time student for various programs and services including:
•           verification of full-time registration status for health insurance purposes,
•           on-campus housing, and
•           academic honors (i.e. Dean's list).

Does Reduced Course Load status affect my Financial Aid?

Yes.  For financial aid and billing purposes, the reduced course load will result in an ADJUSTMENT to tuition, fees, and financial aid based on the actual number of credit hours for which the student is registered.  Specific information regarding a student’s financial aid should be obtained from the RIC Financial Aid Office, (401) 456 - 8033.

I am a student-athlete.  Can I request Reduced Course Load status and still play my sport(s)?

Maybe.  Under NCAA rules, student-athletes are required to be full-time and matriculating.  Any deviation from this policy must be appealed to the RIC Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Intramurals, and Recreation.

How can I request Special Furniture in my classrooms?

Students needing physical accessibility accommodations should request accommodations as soon as possible, but no less than two weeks before the beginning of the semester.

How can I request a Sign Language Interpreter or Computer Aided Real-time Transcription (CART)?

Students are required to notify the Disability Services Center at least two weeks before the beginning of the semester whenever a Sign-Language Interpreter or CART is needed.  If an interpreter cannot be found, the student may need to drop the course, or the Disability Services Center may offer the use of CART (Computer Aided Real-time Transcription) as an accommodation.  Please see RIC’s Sign Language Interpreter Policy for more information.  Copies of this Policy are available from the Disability Services Center by request.

Do the residence halls accommodate students with disabilities?

Yes. Students needing accessible housing should register in the Disability Services Center upon acceptance to the college. Upon registration, the Disability Services Center will verify to the Office of Residential Life and Housing the student's need for accessible housing. However, it is the student’s responsibility to submit his or her housing deposit and complete all paperwork required in accordance with the Office of Residential Life and Housing’s deadlines.
(For more information, please visit www.ric.edu/residential-life.)

Does Rhode Island College provide handicapped accessible parking permits to students with physical disabilities?

No.  Rhode Island College does not provide special parking permits to disabled students. In order to utilize the numerous handicapped accessible parking spaces on campus, the student must display a State-issued Motor Vehicle Handicapped Parking Placard appropriately in, or on, their vehicle.  
(For more information, please visit Outside Linkwww.dmv.ri.gov/.)

Does Rhode Island College provide on-campus transportation for students with disabilities?

No. 

Are students with temporary health conditions provided accommodations?

Yes. Although individuals with temporary impairments do not qualify for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Disability Services Center nevertheless attempts to assist students who need short-term accommodations.

Does Rhode Island College provide assistance to students with disabilities who require accommodations on nationally certified exams?

Yes. Any student registered with the Disability Services Center that requires assistance in requesting accommodations on nationally certified exams, should make an appointment with the Disability Services Staff. The student should bring to this appointment all completed application materials needed to register for and request accommodations during the exam. The Disability Services Center will review the student’s Disability Verification Documentation to confirm that it is complete and up-to-date. Once this has been verified, the Disability Services Center will complete the Rhode Island College portion of the exam application package and notify the student that their materials are ready for pick-up. It is then the student’s responsibility to submit the proper materials to the examiner.

Does Rhode Island College offer any assistive technologies to students with disabilities?

Yes.  Students with documented disabilities may use the Assistive Technology (AT) Lab in Adams Library.  Prior to gaining access to the lab, students must be trained on the proper use of the lab equipment.  Eligible students should contact the Disability Services Center to schedule the necessary training.  (Please see the Software and Equipment (http://www.ric.edu/disabilityservices/sAequipment.php) Section of this website for more information.)

Students with documented print disabilities, such as blindness, visual impairment, learning disability, and certain mobility impairments, may request their course materials in audio, electronic or other alternative format. Please see "How do I request E-text and/or Audio Books?" below or contact the Disability Services Center for more information.

The Disability Services Center offers Digital Voice Recorders, MP3 Players, and FM Assistive Listening Devices for loan to eligible students.  Quantities are limited, therefore equipment is loaned on a first come, first served basis.  Equipment must be returned to the Disability Services Center at the conclusion of the borrowing period (which shall be no longer than one semester).  While the student is borrowing the equipment, he/she assumes all risk for damage to or loss of the equipment and its components. 

How Do I Request E-Text or Audio Books?

The first step in requesting e-text and/or audio books from the Disability Services Center is to download and sign an Adobe PDFAgreement on Use of Alternatively Formatted Course Materials. This agreement asks students to NOT share, copy or reproduce the e-text and/or audio book materials.

Next, an E-text and Audio Book Request Form must be completed for each book requested by the student. This form, which may be completed electronically and emailed to the Disability Services Center (dsc@ric.edu), must be submitted with the proof of purchase (receipt) for each book requested. The requested electronic text will not be provided to the student without proof of purchase of a print version of the book.

The Disability Services Center will attempt to obtain an electronic or audio version of the text from the book's publisher, Bookshare.org, Learning Ally, and/or other relevant sources. Because this process can take more than 2 weeks, it is recommended that students make these requests to the Disability Service Center as early as possible.

If the book is not available from the sources mentioned above, the student may request that RIC convert (via digital scanning) the text to an electronic format for him/her. This requires that the student allow RIC to remove and replace the book's binding with the understanding that RIC assumes no responsibility for damage to the book that may occur during this process.

What are my responsibilities as a student with a disability who is receiving accommodations?

The effectiveness of accommodations requires you to put forth an independent effort to accept certain ongoing responsibilities for planning, managing, monitoring, and communicating your accommodation needs.  In other words, to make the most of your accommodations and your experiences at the college, we encourage you to advocate for yourself and your needs as a student with a disability.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Providing your professors with your Request for Reasonable Accommodation Form letters at the beginning of the semester,
  • Discussing your accommodation needs with your professor both at the beginning of the semester and as appropriate throughout the semester,
  • Seeking support and assistance from the Disability Services Center and other relevant on-campus resources, as needed,
  • Responding in a timely manner to the Disability Services Center’s requests for additional information,
  • Complying with the RIC Policies and Procedures Manual for Students with Disabilities, and
  • Most importantly, understanding that receiving reasonable accommodations is NOT a guarantee of academic success.

How do I get my Accommodation letters for my professors each semester?

Please see the answer to the following question in the Registration section above:  If I am already registered with the Disability Services Center, how do I get Accommodation Letters for my professors at the beginning of each semester?  (view above)

Back to top

ASSISTANCE AND SUPPORT

What type of additional support or assistance will I receive at RIC?

Additional support and assistance may also be obtained from the following on-campus resources:

  • The Office of Academic Support and Information Services (OASIS) provides all students with academic support and advising services.

  • Health Services provides confidential and holistic primary health care to enhance the academic potential of all Rhode Island College students.

  • The Counseling Center offers individual counseling and short-term psychotherapy to all students for personal, career, and educational problems. A variety of group workshops and programs, vocational interest and personality testing, substance abuse evaluation, crisis intervention, self-help literature and audiotapes, and a stress management laboratory are also offered.

Is tutoring available when necessary?

Yes.  The Office of Academic Support and Information Services (OASIS) provides all students with academic support.  One-on-one tutorial help in reading comprehension, note taking, time management, test taking, study skills, and organization is available.  Tutorial services are also offered to students who need to concentrate on specific areas of their studies, such as accounting, biology, chemistry, mathematics, psychology, and other selected areas. 

Services are provided by full and part-time staff, graduate assistants, and peer tutors.  Please call OASIS at 456-8083 for more information or to request assistance.

Are courses in study skills, math skills or writing skills offered?

Yes.  Introductory courses in Writing and Rhetoric (WRTG 100), Basic Mathematics Competency (MATH 010), The College Experience (COLL 101), and College Learning Strategies (COLL 125) are offered each semester.  Please refer to the College Catalog for more information about these courses.

Assistance with study skills, in the form of workshops and/or one-on-one tutoring, is offered by OASIS, as described above. 

Are there any fees associated with the academic support and advising services offered by OASIS?

No.

Back to top

STUDENT CONCERNS

What should I do if my accommodation needs are not being met?

Students with disabilities who have experienced a problem receiving reasonable accommodations at the College should first attempt to resolve the problem with the faculty or staff member providing the accommodation.  If problems persist, the Disability Services Center should be contacted for assistance with negotiating and implementing reasonable accommodations.

What should I do if I have an academic dispute with my professor?

Students who have disputes with either an academic unit or the classroom or grading conduct of faculty members should first discuss the problem with the faculty member involved.  If this does not lead to a resolution, the student may file a grievance in accordance with the College’s Academic Grievance Procedures.  (Please see Section 3.11 of the Rhode Island College Handbook of Polices, Practices, and Regulations at Adobe PDFwww.ric.edu/academics/pdf/College_handbook_Chapter_3.pdf for more information.)

What should I do if I have experienced discrimination because of my disability?

Students who feel that they have experienced discrimination based on their disability may institute a complaint in accordance with the Rhode Island College Complaint Resolution Policy.  Students are encouraged to seek an informal resolution to their complaints by reporting the issue to the Dean of Students and/or the Director of Affirmative Action.  If the informal complaint resolution process does not result in a solution that is satisfactory to the student, the student may utilize the formal complaint procedure.  (Please visit www.ric.edu/administration/complaintRes.php for more information.)

This page contains content in PDF format. You must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader to view this content, click here to download it for free.

Page last updated: December 7, 2011