General Procedures

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) has changed its operation to incorporate the RWU-SAS ClockWork management system which is designed to automate the processes for requesting accommodations, letters of accommodation to faculty, faculty review of accommodations, test booking, residence life and housing accommodations, peer notetaker registration, and record maintenance.   The new management system has greatly increased efficiency, allowing staff to focus more on student success, equal opportunity, and faculty/administrator  consultation.

Matriculated RWU students, who are already established with SAS, are asked to request accommodations EACH semester through the "Student Registration" button on the RWU-SAS Portal.  You will need your RWU sign-in credentials to access the system.

You will be established with SAS services after you have:

  • gone through the initial, one-time-only, intake process (see expandable section below),
  • provided your valid documentation of disability or medical need,
  • had your initial intake meeting with SAS staff, and
  • have been added to the RWU-SAS ClockWork management system.  

Faculty are able to view accommodations and accommodation letters through the faculty portal which will be indicated in the emails that announce that a student has requested accommodations in their courses.

We hope everyone will find the RWU-SAS ClockWork accommodation management system intuitive and easy to use.  The system is designed to guide students (and their faculty) through the process.  But, if you experience any difficulty, do not hesitate to contact us.  

    If you have any questions about our services, or about how to use the RWU-SAS Clockwork system, please call us at 401-254-3841, or email us at sas@rwu.edu.  We are happy to make an appointment to speak with you.  

    Please request your accommodations each and every semester.   Go to the Student Portal and choose the Self Registration Button.

    The Intake process is for students who already have their RWU log-in credentials (e.g. newly admitted students will have paid their deposits to get these credentials).  The intake process:

    • lets us know that you wish to use our services and supports
    • provides you the opportunity to upload your medical documentation or verification of disability
    • gives you the opportunity to confidentially provide us with your detailed personal statement 
    • provides us with some insight about how to help you be successful in your journey to an RWU graduation.

    Before you enter the intake form, please gather your medical information and verification of disability.  You can view our Documentation Guidelines for types of documentation we will need, and for the types of providers who can prepare quality documentation for the condition or disability you identify.  On that page, you will find Elements of Quality Documentation, Preferred Providers of Documentation, and a Form for Verification of Disability

    When you have your documentation ready for up-load, please go to the RWU-SAS Portal and complete your Intake questionnaire.  You will be able to upload up to three PDF documents that serve as your disability/medical documentation for establishing yourself with SAS.  One of the documents can the the Verification of Disability fillable form.   

    If you do not yet have all your documentation, you can still fill out the Intake form.  Later, you can scan and email a PDF copy of your documentation to sas@rwu.edu.   

    On a case-by-case basis, we sometimes are able to provide PROVISIONAL supports for a limited time while you are gathering your documentation.   Please contact us by phone or in person with any questions or concerns you may have.

    The office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides accommodations to ensure accessibility of textbooks required by courses and programs for eligible students.

    SAS will assist students who are approved for electronic text accommodations to locate the best point of access for your textbooks/book needs.

    If you are approved as eligible for alternate format books you will be able to request them each semester through the RWU-SAS portal.

     

    Priority registration (permission to register for classes early before the regularly assigned time) is an academic accommodation that may be granted to SAS students with permanent disabilities or conditions, and who are active with the office.   

    Active SAS students with permanent disabilities/medical conditions must request Priority Registration each semester within the first three weeks of the semester.   

    You may be eligible for priority registration even if you have not requested any other academic accommodations, but you must speak with an SAS advisor in order to be granted access to this accommodation.

    If you request any academic accommodations and/or letters of accommodation for the current semester, and your request is within the required timeline, the SAS staff will automatically include Priority Registration as one of your accommodations.   Please REMIND your SAS counselor about Priority Registration when you make your requests each semester.

    Students with Temporary Disabilities are generally NOT eligible for Priority Registration. Please speak with an SAS advisor if you believe you should be exempt from this requirement. 

    Please talk to your SAS counselor by email (sas@rwu.edu) or by phone (401-254-3841) to make your request.

    Remember an early request is essential; next semester's registration happens earlier than you may think.  Think ahead.....call ahead!!

    Student Accessibility Services will assist or provide accommodations to eligible students who have significant temporary conditions or injuries that cause the student to experience barriers in the classroom or residential environments.

    Students with temporary conditions follow the same procedures to establish eligibility for accommodations as do students with permanent conditions.   Please go to the New Student section of this page to complete the intake process.  An SAS staff member will then contact you to discuss your eligibility.

    If you have any questions regarding your temporary condition and how Student Accessibility Services can assist, please visit call 401-254-3841 or email sas@rwu.edu.

     

    Definition:   A service dog (or rarely a service miniature horse) is an adult, highly trained, working animal that is individually trained to perform specific disability-related tasks for the benefit of the student with a disability.   This dog (or miniature horse) is not a pet and generally will be wearing a vest or harness indicating that it is working.

    Notifying Student Accessibility Services (SAS):  Although students with service dogs are not required to contact Student Accessibility Services to identify the presence of the service dog, we do encourage you to complete an intake and identify yourself to Student Accessibility Services.   We have a system whereby we can provide advance notification to your faculty that you will be accompanied by your service dog.  In this way the communication will be smoother for you and your animal.  Also you may be asked by the university to provide a Rhode Island animal license, and/or current veterinary evidence of health and vaccinations.   SAS will hold this information in our confidential record system so that you are not inconvenienced by repeated requests.  This is particularly important if you will be living on campus.   Please call us at 401-254-3841 to discuss how we may support you and your service dog.

    Where the Service Dog is Allowed:  The dog will accompany you, the student, to class and to other activities where students are allowed to go.   

    In rare situations the dog may be excluded where there is risk of harm or disruption, or from certain sterile environments such as laboratories or medical environments.   Please contact SAS for more information.

    Student Responsibility and Animal Behavior: At all times, the student is fully responsible for the animal's behavior.  The dog must be controlled by tether at all times.   (If a tether is not possible because of disability, the animal will be controlled by voice or other method).  At no time is the dog to be allowed to roam free in public unless it is actively performing a task.

    The student will be accountable to the Dean of Students if the service dog becomes aggressive to other RWU community members.  Additionally,  the dog must not be disruptive to academic, residential, or co-curricular activities.   The Dean of Students and SAS will work with the student in maintaining control of their animal; but in circumstances where the service dog cannot be controlled, it may have to be removed/trespassed from campus.    NOTE:  If a service dog is removed from campus for the reasons indicated, SAS will work with the student to provide reasonable academic accommodations and/or residential life accommodations in lieu of the service dog.
     

    OTHER TYPES OF ANIMALS:

    Note about Puppies: Roger Williams University does not recognize puppies or puppies-in-training as legitimate Service Dogs.  The federal law, Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, and the US Department of Justice also do not recognize puppies as service dogs.   However, in Rhode Island, there are legislative indicators that when a puppy is legitimately being trained as a service dog, it is to be treated with the same exemptions given to fully trained service dogs.      

    Students, who are training their own puppies to become their service dogs, MUST be in contact with SAS:

    • to provide evidence that the puppy is engaged in a legitimate training program, teaching the puppy to perform specific tasks related to the student's particular disability.  
    • to provide identifying and health information (picture of the dog, breed information, veterinary records including current vaccinations, emergency contact for alternate handler, etc) 

    The puppy must be at least six months old.

    The puppy must be fully and completely house trained.  

    The puppy must at all times, in public, be on-leash, be treated as a working animal and, again, may not be disruptive, or aggressive.  
     


    Note about Therapy Dogs:  Therapy dogs undergo training with their handlers to provide emotional support to people in a variety of group settings (ex. schools, hospitals, nursing homes) or in the therapy session.    Therapy dogs and their handlers are generally under the supervision of a mental health system or mental health provider while they are on duty.  

    Therapy dogs are not service dogs as defined by ADAAA 2008 and are not allowed to accompany their owners to class or other locations on campus except when on duty under the supervision of a mental health provider.  

    If an eligible RWU student owns a therapy dog, and that student qualifies for the ESA residential accommodation, the student may use the therapy dog as their emotional support animal, (as defined in the section ESA-Emotional Support Animal).  However, the therapy dog is considered a residential accommodation only and must remain in the student's residence at all times, as per the ESA guidelines.

     

     

     

    Definition:  An ESA or Emotional Support Animal is a Residential Life accommodation.  ESAs are comforting pets, albeit necessary supports, that must live and stay in the student's residence at all times.  An ESA is not trained to perform tasks and is not interchangeable with service animals.  The ESA  may be provided as a residential accommodation when a student demonstrates:

    • evidence from your mental health provider that the animal is essential to the your equal use and enjoyment of the on-campus residence.
    • a significant relationship to the animal, (secondary to essential need evidence given by your provider).
    • the animal is appropriate to the RWU residential environment (generally small mammals-under 30 pounds- such as dogs, cats, small rabbits, or other small caged pets).

    How to Request an ESA Accommodation:  Students request the ESA Residential accommodation in the same way that all other accommodations are requested.  Please see the pertinent expandable sections related to your situation: either New Students and the Intake process or Current SAS Students-Requesting Accommodations.

    • the student must first be established as a SAS current student having completed the Intake Process,
    • the student has provided documentation of disability, in particular about the essential nature and the need for the ESA.
    • renew the request for the ESA at least once per year.
       

    Excluded Animals: RWU  maintains the right to exclude certain animals from the ESA accommodations for purposes of community safety, and or sustainability.  The following EXCLUSIONS may apply: 

    • Animals that are inherently dangerous or predatory (such as certain snakes, pythons, birds, certain reptiles, etc.),
    • large animals (over 30 pounds),
    • wildlife or endangered species (such as but not limited to ferrets, etc.)

    These or other animals will generally be excluded, but exclusion determinations will be made by RWU on a case-by-case basis.
     

    Student Responsibility and ESA Animal Behavior: At all times, the student is fully responsible for the animal's behavior.  The ESA must be controlled by tether or cage at all times.   At no time is the ESA to be allowed to roam free in the residential environment.

    The student will be accountable to the Dean of Students if the ESA becomes aggressive to other RWU community members.  Additionally,  the ESA must not be disruptive to residential, or co-curricular activities.   The Dean of Students and SAS will work with the student in maintaining control of their animal; but in circumstances where the ESA cannot be controlled, it may have to be removed/trespassed from campus.    

    The ESA must be fully house trained or litter trained.  
     

    Residential Life Policies:  The student must at all times follow the policies of Residential Life regarding their ESA, such as but not limited to:

    • providing current veterinary evidence of health/vaccinations,
    • providing identifying information (picture, breed, size, etc)
    • keeping the animal clean/odor free,
    • keeping the animal contained in the student's residence,
    • disposing of bagged waste in legitimate containers as directed (e.g. never in toilet systems or on campus grounds)
    • communicating about the animal with Residential Life staff as needed, and etc.
       

    OTHER ANIMALS:
    Note about Therapy Dogs:  Therapy dogs undergo training with their handlers to provide emotional support to people in a variety of group settings (ex. schools, hospitals, nursing homes) or in the therapy session.    Therapy dogs and their handlers are generally under the supervision of a mental health system or mental health provider while they are on duty.  

    Therapy dogs are not service dogs as defined by ADAAA 2008 and are not allowed to accompany their owners to class or other locations on campus except when on duty under the supervision of a mental health provider.  

    If an eligible RWU student owns a therapy dog, and that student qualifies for this ESA residential accommodation, the student may use the therapy dog as their emotional support animal, (as defined in this section).  However, the therapy dog is considered a residential accommodation only and must remain in the student's residence at all times, as per the ESA guidelines.

    Policies:  Roger Williams University requires students to live on campus for their first two years of matriculation.  Similarly, first year students are not allowed to have their cars on campus.  These are academic,  evidenced-based policies that encourage students to form social groups, increase student engagement on campus, and increase interactions with faculty, all of which lead to greater academic success. Students who live in close proximity to the RWU-Bristol campus may be exempt from this requirements.  

     

    Parking:  Students with disabilities or significant medical conditions, may, on a case-by-case basis, through Student Accessibility Services (SAS), become eligible for certain parking accommodations.  

    Please initiate your request for parking accommodations to Student Accessibility Services (SAS). 

    • If you are new to SAS, e.g. not yet established with us, please complete the Intake Process for Students New to SAS (see previous expandable section on this General Procedures page). 
    • If you are already established with SAS please make this new request as you would request any other accommodation by going to the Student Registration section of the RWU-SAS Student Portal    You may also need to schedule a meeting from an SAS Advisor who will then evaluate your request.
       

    Two-Year Residency Requirement:  As is described in the Residential Life accommodation section, students for reasons of disability or significant medical conditions, may, on a case-by-case basis be eligible for accommodations or exceptions to the residency requirement.  

    Please initiate your request for residency accommodations to Student Accessibility Services (SAS). 

    • If you are new to SAS, e.g. not yet established with us, please complete the Intake Process for Students New to SAS (see previous expandable section on this General Procedures page). 
    • If you are already established with SAS please make this new request as you would request any other accommodation by going to the Student Registration section of the RWU-SAS Student Portal    You may also need to schedule a meeting from an SAS Advisor who will then evaluate your request.

     

    Transportation:  RWU- Bristol provides a shuttle service around campus, as staffing allows. The Public Safety Office, unless there is a conflicting emergency, also provides a courtesy transport service for students.   If you are a Bristol-campus student with a physical/mobility disability or severe medical condition and you believe you will need additional support getting to and from classes, SAS will evaluate your situation, your documentation, and work with you to support your campus navigation.  Depending on your documentation, these supports may include, but not be limited to, housing assignments, course scheduling, course relocation, and/or communication with the relevant campus services.   Please contact the SAS office at 401-254-3841or sas@rwu.edu to request an appointment (in person, by telephone, or virtually) with a SAS Advisor.

     

    If you have a documented disability or a significant medical condition, the Department of Residence Life and Housing works closely with the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) office to approve requests for reasonable housing accommodations and, in rare situations, certain dietary restrictions.  

    First: Residence Life and Housing.  Please familiarize yourself with the information available to you on the website Department of Residence Life and Housing (DRLH).  There you will find information about residence halls, learning communities and other valuable information.   

    For newly admitted first-year and transfer students, you have many tasks on your “to do” list that can be found here:  New Student Task List.  This will include directing you to the Roger Central portal to access and complete an application for housing, and roommate matching requests (if applicable). 
    There is also an option on the application to note if there are any medical or accommodation needs.  If the answer is “Yes”… see the "second" process below.

    Second: Student Accessibility Services.  Please also contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) office to request reasonable and accessible accommodations for your housing.

    • First year incoming and transfer students requesting reasonable housing accommodations must first complete the SAS Intake Process.  (All students making first-time accommodation requests, whether academic or residential life, go through the one-time-only SAS Intake Process to become established with SAS.) The complete instructions for the SAS Intake process are in the "Students New to SAS" section on this General Procedures Page.  You will complete an intake form, upload your medical or disability documentation, and receive a confirmation email.  A SAS staff member will later contact you for an Intake Meeting.
    • Returning students who wish to renew or change previously approved housing accommodations, please see the "Current SAS Students: Self Register" section on this General Procedures Page.

    For Housing, please be sure to get into practice of meeting task deadlines, and make sure you put in your application for on-campus housing as instructed to do so.  The Housing Self-Service process provides help text along the way while completing the process, and specific questions can also be directed to RWUhousing@rwu.edu 

    Remember, in addition to completing the application for Housing, students must also submit requests  for accessible housing and any related documentation to the Student Accessibility Services Office via the SAS Intake Process (for new students) or the SAS Self-Registration Process (for returning students).  

    After you have applied for housing and you have worked with SAS about the accommodations you need, SAS will notify the Housing office about your approved accommodations, and your housing will be assigned accordingly.    

    All accommodations must be requested with reasonable ADVANCE NOTICE.   You should have your accommodation requests into the SAS Office at least one month BEFORE Housing Assignments are made.

    Housing deadline dates are listed by semester on the Residence Life and Housing website and here below:

    • Returning Students (Readmit/Return from Abroad in Spring) - November 15th 
    • Returning Students (Participating in Housing Selection) - February 7th
    • Incoming Students (1st Year/Transfer Students for Fall) - May 1st - July 1st
    • Incoming Students (1st Year/Transfer for Spring) - November 15th - January 3rd
    •  

    For Dietary Restrictions Accommodations:  

    The Dining Experience at Roger Williams University, operated by Cafe Bon Appetit, responds to a large range of dietary preferences and needs, including vegetarian, vegan, cultural/religious diets, as well as food sensitivities, allergies and medical needs.   In almost all situations (medical, cultural, or life style) Cafe Bon Appetit can meet your needs.   They are ready to serve you and this page gives a review of how to work with Cafe Bon Appetit related to managing allergens and special dietary needs

    In some situations or with some medical conditions additional supports or adjustments may be necessary, and this is where Student Accessibility Services (SAS) can help.  If you have a disability or significant medical condition and Cafe Bon Appetit cannot meet your needs please contact us, and we will help you become established with SAS through the New Student Intake Process (second blue bar on this General Procedures page).  You will be asked to complete the intake form describing your situation and needs, you will be able to upload your medical documentation, receive confirmation of your intake and have a SAS staff member contact you for an Intake Appointment.  

    You may also contact us directly by phone at 401-254-3841 or by e-mail at sas@rwu.edu

    Thank you, and we hope you enjoy your RWU experience.