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Student Facts: An Overview

Nearly 10% of the Roger Williams University student population is comprised of students with documented disabilities, who are also registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS). This fact sheet is designed to help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a student with a disability, as well as the policies and procedures that have been established for this group at the University.

Is the application process any different for a student with a disability?

There is no separate application process for students with disabilities to enter the University or to become registered with Student Accessibility Services.  SAS students apply to the University using the same process as all other students.  Because SAS at Roger Williams University is a service and not a comprehensive program, there are no additional fees associated with utilizing any aspect of Student Accessibility Services.  Click here for more information about the application process.

What is Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at Roger Williams University?

The University is mandated by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to provide equal access to facilities, educational and co-curricular programs, campus activities and employment opportunities to qualified individuals with disabilities. To provide said access, the SAS office was created more than a decade ago.

How does SAS provide equal access?

SAS ensures that students with disabilities have physical and academic access to the educational experience here at the University by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations. SAS believes that the most successful students are self-advocates who identify their own needs, take personal initiative in problem-solving and decision-making, and effectively use all available resources to fully participate in the educational experience.

How do students qualify to use the services of SAS?

Services are available to all students with documented disabilities that substantially limit a major life activity, such as learning, hearing, seeing, reading, walking, and speaking. It is the student’s responsibility to provide current documentation from an appropriate professional (physician, psychologist, etc.). Students must request academic accommodations in person in the SAS office each semester.

Are SAS students "flagged" for the RWU population?

The students who are registered with SAS are not flagged anywhere in the RWU community (i.e. class rosters, Datatel, etc.). Disability-related information is confidential and is not shared outside the SAS office without a student’s permission.

How will students with disabilities tell their professors that they are eligible to receive academic accommodations?

Eligible students will request accommodations through the online request.  By clicking the link on the side of the screen that states "Request for Accommodations," students can begin the process by following the steps from this portion of the site.  Once students submit their request in this manner, authorization for accommodations will be sent back in an email to the student's RWU email address. It is the student’s responsibility to deliver the authorization form to the faculty member in a timely manner and to make arrangements for accommodations (this might include reminding a professor to deliver a test to SAS). Instructors are not expected to provide accommodations "on demand" or "after the fact."

What are common accommodations?

The most commonly requested accommodations are: extended time for test-taking, testing in a less distracting environment, note-taking assistance and alternate texts. Accommodations are not intended to guarantee success. They are intended to "level the playing field," so that students have equal access.  This means that they are assessed on their learning and not on the impact of their disability in the educational environment.