Faculty Information

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) welcomes the opportunity to work with faculty in your effort to be inclusive of all of your students, including those with disabilities. We want to support you by discussing any concerns or questions that you may have.

In particular we support equal opportunity for your students with disabilities.  

Equal opportunity specifically refers to equal access and to equal responsibility.  

 A student with a disability should have equal access to your course and course materials (with or without accommodations approved by SAS); and the student is equally responsible to perform to the standards of your course, using resources (with or without accommodations through SAS) that are available to all students.    

Again, we welcome a conversation with you. Please contact the SAS office (sas@rwu.edu or 401-254-3841) with general questions about disability support and academic accommodations.  The SAS staff may be able to share specific 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 the course syllabus:

Please include this statement, or your own version of the statement, on your syllabus as a way of encouraging students with disabilities to speak with you and with SAS about their particular needs for accommodations in your courses.

  • Students with disabilities are encouraged to speak with me in private, and as early as possible, about your particular needs or accommodations that may promote your success in this course.    It also is very important that you register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS).  SAS is located on the 1st floor of the Main University Library and is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. 

Please note that the Exam Cover Sheet can now be found here. The exam cover sheet is an agreement between faculty and student of the date and time that the exam will take place in SAS. You and your student will complete the form together.  We ask faculty to then deliver the assessment (exam, quiz, etc.) to SAS on the 1st Floor of the Main Library between 8-5 p.m. Monday – Friday.  Please let us know if we can answer any questions or if you need to email your assessment if you are off campus.

We invite faculty to review key SAS procedural guidelines.

Click on “Faculty Facts” below to learn more...

Faculty Facts

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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 in person in the SAS office 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 and their families 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 students with disabilities tell their professors that they are eligible to receive academic accommodations?  

Having met with a member of the Student Accessibility Services staff to discuss accommodations for the current semester’s courses, eligible 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. 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 Student Accessibility Services ).  Instructors are not expected to provide accommodations “on demand” or “after the fact.”

What are common academic accommodations?

The most commonly requested accommodations are: extended time for test taking, testing in a less distracting environment (the SAS Testing Center), notetaking 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. Double time is the most common time extension.  Extended time does not mean unlimited time.  After receiving the Academic Accommodation Authorization form from a student who wishes to use the SAS Testing Center, the Exam Cover Sheet is completed collaboratively by the student/faculty to establish an agreed upon date and time when the student will take the exam in SAS. The faculty member is then responsible for hand delivering the assessment with the Exam Cover Sheet to Student Accessibility Services located on the 1st floor of the University Library in the Jeremy Warnick Center for Student Accessibility, Monday through Friday 8 am - 5 pm. 

Extended Time for Assessments Procedural Guidelines

What is notetaking assistance? What is the faculty role in the notetaking assistance process?

Notetaking 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 notetaker’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 notetaking 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 Notetaking Assistance Request form provided by the student will contain all information to recruit a note taker.   Once a notetaker has been secured, the requesting student and the notetaker then meet and arrange for the transfer of notes.  

What is a classroom relocation request?

Due to a valid, documented disability (for example, mobility or vision concerns), a student registered with SAS may make a request for classroom relocation.  Student Accessibility Services forwards the request to the Registrar's Office, which then arranges for the classroom change.  Please be aware that faculty may be notified of a room change if a student on the classroom roster presents with an accessibility concern. 

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); mental health disabilities (e.g. depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder); chronic health disabilities (e.g. asthma, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome); Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); Blind/LowVision; or Deaf or Hard of Hearing.  Certain severe temporary disabilities lasting 3-6 months can also be supported by SAS.