Information for Matriculated Students
Welcome to SAS (Student Accessibility Services)! Matriculated students who have significant medical conditions or disabilities may experience barriers in academic environments (e.g. courses and programs) or in the physical environments (e.g. residence halls, academic buildings, parking). You have come to the right place!
We work carefully to support academic success, and to reduce environmental barriers for our students.
Did you know? Approximately 14% of the Roger Williams University student population is registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and has identified themselves to us as a student with a disability or significant medical condition.
The Student Accessibility Services program (SAS) is a specialized unit of the Center for Student Academic Success (CSAS)
We work with eligible students who:
- have current disabilities or current significant medical conditions and,
- demonstrate eligibility for SAS supports, accommodations, and services,
- may be experiencing certain environmental barriers in their courses, residence halls, or other RWU programs and services, and/or
- may have an interest in exploring diversity, inclusion, and social justice efforts at RWU.
Equal Opportunity and Equal Access
SAS works with all units of Roger Williams University to help ensure that the academic and the physical environments are accessible to students. In other words, we work with faculty, residential life, facilities services, and other units to recommend accommodations or supports that will help ensure that our eligible students have equal access to programs and services, as compared to their peers.
- We meet with our students to help problem solving,
- we support your ability to self advocate, and
- we work to help you navigate a complex college environment,
- we encourage you to explore the diversity and inclusion conversations at RWU, and
- We care about your success, and we will work with you to help you achieve it!
Qualify yourself to use the services and supports of SAS
Students provide the SAS office with documentation of a current disability or a current significant medical condition that may interact with certain environmental barriers, thus affecting your student experience.
The staff in SAS evaluate your documentation and work with you to update it, or provide additional information so that we may qualify you for services. Please see the Documentation Guidelines for the types of documents and providers that we look for in qualifying you as an eligible SAS student.
Confidentiality of Records
A student's disability or medical status is completely confidential. The information you provide stays within our office records and is not shared publicly in grade rosters, diplomas, with professors, or on the operating Student Record System. No one other than SAS professional staff, will have access to your private medical or disability information. We will not share your information with faculty or administrators, and only SAS staff members have direct access to the SAS records. When you request accommodations, the faculty or administrators who will provide you with accommodations ONLY know that you are eligible for the recommended accommodations. They will not have access to the reasons for the accommodations. When we track SAS student graduation and retention statistics, the administrators who help us do that, again, do not have access to your private information.
All student records are subject to FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. SAS abides by this federal standard.
Communicate with your Professors and Community Directors about your accommodation needs.
We are happy to meet with you to coach you on how to approach your professors and other administrators on campus. It is important to let professors know that you will be requesting accommodations through SAS, and we can help you develop conversation points. Also most professors have a welcome message on their syllabus that invites you to speak with them about your accommodations or other needs. Almost all professors want their students to be successful and want their students to be able to learn through their strengths. We are all on the same team, so please come talk to us.
Also, when you need academic or residential accommodations there is a specific process for SAS to send requests to housing, and letters to your professors, that outline the specific accommodations that you will need.
Privacy and talking with professors or administrators in your courses and living environments.
Professors or administrators (outside the SAS office) should never ask you specific questions about your disability or medical condition. That is confidential.
But professors and administrators may ask you specifics about what you need to be successful in class or in the residence halls, etc. You may choose to share information if you are comfortable but you are not required to share private information.
SAS students are responsible to meet the standards of their courses (with or without accommodations) and professors may want to approach you to discuss your performance in their class; they can discuss your accommodations and whether you have what you need. But, your private information is private.
SAS students are also accountable the behavior codes as established at the University, including academic honesty, and proper student conduct. However, your disability or medical condition is a private and separate matter.
Common accommodations and their purpose.
The most commonly requested accommodations are: extended time for test-taking, testing in a less distracting environment, note-taking assistance and alternate texts. We also work with Residence Life and other units of the university to recommend accommodations designed to help reduce barriers in the learning and living environments of RWU. Accommodations are not intended to guarantee success; rather they are intended to reduce barriers and support equal access. This means, for example, that students are assessed on their performance, and not on the impact of the particular environmental barriers they may experience.
You can use your RWU log-in credentials to complete your intake with SAS.
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.
Please gather your medical information and verification of disability before you enter the intake form. 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 a PDF copy of your documentation on that 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also bring a paper copy of your information to the office and we can scan it for you.
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. We are happy to speak with you!
To request accommodations, use the button "Self Registration"