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Roger Williams University students who are enrolled in the School of Continuing Studies (SCS) and who would like to disclose a disability should contact the SCS Coordinator of Student Support and Experience, Mary H. Cooney, at 401.254.4805 or mcooney@rwu.edu. Prospective SCS students may use this page to learn more about Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at RWU and specifically at the School of Continuing Studies.

If you are a current or future SCS student, please use the form listed under the request accommodations section below.

Students

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. 

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 each semester.  Please contact the SCS Coordinator of Student Support and Experience for more information.

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 listed below.  Once students submit their request, 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.  Extended time for testing is provided for School of Continuing Studies’ students by the Coordinator of Student Support and Experience. 

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.

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Faculty

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) supports faculty by providing information that will aid in the delivery of academic accommodations that are designed to provide equal access to students with learning differences and/or physical or medical disabilities as per the guidelines established by ADA/Section 504.

Faculty may contact the SAS office (palmonte@rwu.edu or 401-254-3841) with general questions about disability support and the delivery of academic accommodations.  The SAS office can verify disability-related information with a faculty member with a student’s written consent in order to facilitate the accommodation process.  Additionally, the following statement is provided to the faculty each semester for inclusion on course syllabuses:

Students who wish to receive academic accommodations for this course must first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) in order to begin the accommodation process. The SAS office will provide registered students with the specific information they will need to share with each instructor. To begin this process, SCS students should first contact the SCS Coordinator of Student Support and Experience.

SCS students must obtain an Exam Cover Sheets from the SCS Coordinator of Student Support and Experience and coordinate with faculty to arrange for EACH exam.  Student and faculty must each fill out their portion of the SCS Exam Cover Sheet.  The student should return the Exam Cover Sheet to the SCS Coordinator of Student Support and Experience at least 72 hours before the requested time for testing to ensure that proctoring will be available at that time.  Extended time testing for SCS students takes place at the Providence campus, in room 201.

We invite faculty to review key SAS policies and procedures.

Students with documented disabilities who are registered with Student Accessibility Services make up nearly 10% of the Roger Williams University student population. This fact sheet is designed to help faculty understand the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities as well as the policies and procedures that have been established for this group at the University.  

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

Roger Williams 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 Student Accessibility Services office was created more than a decade ago.

How does Student Accessibility Services provide equal access?

Student Accessibility Services ensures that students with disabilities have physical and academic access to the educational experience here at RWU 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 each semester.

How does Student Accessibility Services learn of students with disabilities?

SAS learns of students with disabilities in a variety of ways.  Most students send documentation of the disability as the student begins his/her academic career at RWU. Other students come to SAS without having been diagnosed.  SAS provides these students with resources for obtaining diagnostic evaluations that may warrant the provision of accommodations.  Members of the campus community (Counseling, Health Services, faculty members) also refer students to SAS based on their interactions. 

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

After contacting the SCS Coordinator of Student Support and Experience regarding accommodations for the current semester’s courses, students may electronically request an Academic Accommodation Authorization. This authorization will be sent to the student's RWU email.  Faculty should expect to receive a copy of the Authorization form by hand delivery or email from the student. 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. Instructors are not expected to provide accommodations “on demand” or “after the fact.”

How should a faculty member approach the topic of students with disabilities at the start of a course?

Students’ disability information is confidential and should never be discussed or referred to in front of classmates or other individuals.  To preserve students’ rights to privacy and to indicate a willingness to provide accommodations, instructors may want to consider the following:

  • Include a statement on each course syllabus such as:
    “If you are a student with a disability for which you wish to receive academic accommodations, you must first register with Student Accessibility Services.  SCS students may contact the SCS Coordinator of Student Support and Experience, to be referred to Student Accessibility Services. After receiving an Academic Accommodation Authorization form, an instructor may invite the student to an office hour to discuss any special circumstances related to a disability.

What are common academic accommodations?

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

What is extended time for testing? What is the faculty role in the extended time process?

Extended time for testing is an accommodation that grants the student the right to spend additional processing time on an exam. Time-and-a-half is a common guideline or starting point, but each student’s allotted time is determined on a case-by-case basis.  Extended time does not mean unlimited time.  After receiving the Academic Accommodation Authorization form from a student who wishes to use the SCS Testing Center, the Exam Cover Sheet is completely collaboratively by the student/faculty to establish an agreed upon date and time with the student will take the exam in the SCS Testing Center.  Extended time testing needs to be requested at least 72 hours before the exam date and cleared with the SCS Coordinator of Student Support and Experience. The test must be accompanied by a completed Exam Cover Sheet which supplies the Coordinator of Student Support and Experience with such information as: materials students can/cannot use while testing, special instructions, latest date test can be taken, where to deliver test, etc.  The SCS Testing Center is open Monday-Thursday from 12noon-8pm and Friday from 9am-5pm, and is located in Room 201 at 150 Washington Street, Providence.

What is note-taking assistance? What is the faculty role in the note-taking assistance process?

Note-taking assistance is a common accommodation provided for students who have auditory processing or fine motor skills deficits, attention issues, seizure disorders, or similar disabilities.  Students with disabilities are expected to attend class and take their own notes.  The note-taker’s notes are intended to supplement the notes already taken by the student with a disability.  A student enrolled in the course who has demonstrated a strong ability to take clear and thorough notes provides the note-taking service.  Whenever possible, a note taker is selected by SAS from an existing pool of qualified students who have provided this service in the past. 

Faculty members may also be asked to identify strong students in the course and/or make a general announcement.  A Note-taking Assistance Request form provided by the student will contain all information to recruit a note taker.   Once a note-taker has been secured, the requesting student and the note-taker then meet and arrange for the transfer of notes.  

Can I review a student’s documentation/file before agreeing to accommodations such as extended time for a test?

Only the SAS staff has access to the files containing students’ documentation.  From time to time, SAS will confer with faculty who are concerned about a student.  SAS can supply only general information to the faculty member along with strategies to meet the learning needs of the student in the classroom and explanations of the accommodations to be provided.

What types of disabilities do RWU students disclose to Student Accessibility Services?

RWU students disclose a variety of disabilities including, but not limited to:  physical disabilities (e.g. Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy); learning disabilities (e.g. dyslexia, language disorders, dyscalculia); psychiatric disabilities (e.g. depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder); chronic health disabilities (e.g. asthma, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome); Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Blindness/Visually Impaired; Deafness or Hard of Hearing

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FAQs

1.What types of services are available through Student Accessibility Services (SAS)?

See Service Model  

2.Do I have to disclose my disability (learning, medical, physical, psychiatric) or AD/HD to the University?

No. Disclosure is not required. However, academic accommodations or adjustments cannot be provided until disclosure and submission of appropriate documentation occurs.

3.Are documents pertaining to a learning disability or AD/HD required as part of the admission process?

No. Students are not required to submit their disability-related documentation with their application for admission. All students with disabilities must meet the same admissions criteria as their non-disabled peers.

4.When should I submit my documentation and to whom does it go?

Upon acceptance to the University, students with disabilities (learning, medical, physical, psychiatric) and/or AD/HD who anticipate utilizing academic accommodations, adjustments or auxiliary aids must submit their documentation to the Learning Specialist, c/o Center for Academic Development, 2nd floor Library, Roger Williams University, One Old Ferry Road, Bristol, RI, 02809.

5.How will I access the academic accommodations specified in my documentation? 

SCS students should first contact the SCS Coordinator of Student Support and Experience. Students will meet with SAS staff to discuss their needs and the accommodations available.  Students must request their accommodations (see below). For those accommodations that require additional paperwork (Learning Ally Membership, Note-taking, and Priority Registration), students are responsible to visit Student Accessibility Services to fill out the required paperwork.  Any personalized accommodations must be communicated to SAS prior to the start of the semester to allow for planning. Students will notify their faculty of their accommodations at the start of the semester by providing them with the Academic Accommodation Authorization form that will be emailed to the students.  Students may print and hand deliver the Authorization form or forward to a professor's email.  Professors are not required to provide accommodations without the SAS Authorization Form.

6.Will my instructors know that I have a learning disability or AD/HD?

No. A student's status as a person with a documented disability is confidential information that is not shared with any University personnel or outside source without the student's knowledge and permission. A student's status as a person with a documented disability is not indicated on class rosters or in advising dockets.  Faculty are informed that academic accommodations or adjustments must be provided through the Academic Accommodation Authorization form; however, the specifics of the disability are not included on this form.

7.What accommodations can be provided to a student with a documented learning disability or AD/HD?

There is no "laundry list" of accommodations that are provided to students with documented learning disabilities or AD/HD. The Learning Specialist evaluates each student's needs based upon the documentation that is submitted. Please note that documentation alone does not guarantee that academic accommodations or adjustments will be deemed reasonable and/or appropriate.

8.What documentation is required in order to receive academic accommodations or adjustments?

See Documentation of Disabilities

9.Where can I learn more about college life for students with disabilities?

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education Know Your Rights and Responsibilities (From the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education).
http://www.ed.gov/print/about/offices/list/ocr/transition.html

Collegiate Consortium of Disability Advocates Useful information on laws, transitioning from high school to college, accommodations, rights and responsibilities.
http://www.ccdanet.org/ecp/college/highschoolcollegedifs

Tips for Students with Disabilities to Increase College Success Article from the University of Washington.
http://www.washington.edu/doit/Brochures/Academics/survival.html

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Request Accommodations

Student Accessibility Services – How to Request Your Academic Accommodations

Please submit requests for processing only between August 15 - May 15.

  1. You are about to REQUEST accommodations from Student Accessibility Services.
  2. You must use Internet Explorer for this process.
  3. IMPORTANT: Your REQUEST form must be saved as a document to your computer/desktop in the following way:
    • Save PDF to your computer (for example, on your desktop). Your request form PDF must be saved in this format: First name, last name, semester.  Example:  johnsmithFall2013
  4. Your fully completed and saved REQUEST form must then be emailed to: sas@rwu.edu
  5. You must use ONLY your RWU email address to submit your form.
  6. SAS will not accept request forms from a non-RWU email address.  Only registered SAS students are permitted to submit requests.
  7. SAS will process the REQUEST forms in the order received. Please allow up to 48 hours for an electronic return to your RWU email address only.
  8. No paper request forms will be accepted in SAS

Click here to complete an online REQUEST FOR ACADEMIC ACCOMMODATIONS (extended time for assessments, use of the SAS Testing Center, etc.).

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Contact

SCS Students may contact Mary H. Cooney, Coordinator of Student Support and Experience at mcooney@rwu.edu or 401.254.4805.

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