Any student who has a documented disability (as outlined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008) is eligible for services through the Disability Support Services (DSS) office. You should be able to discuss what the nature of your disability is, how the disability limits one or more activities of daily living, and how this impact has been addressed previously. If the disability is new, or you have not had disability-related educational services in the past, you and the Accommodations Specialist will review areas of concern and identify potential resources.
To request disability services, you should complete an online application. This will assist staff in understanding more about you, the reason for your appointment, and any challenges you may be experiencing. The information you provide will also help the Accommodations Specialist to prepare for your appointment and to ensure that your needs are addressed as completely as possible.
Once your application is received, a DSS staff member will contact you to schedule an intake appointment. At this time you and the Accommodations Specialist will discuss the nature of your disability, the barriers that are impacting your ability to successfully participate in or complete a program or activity, and possible solutions, such as reasonable accommodations.
For assistance in completing the application, or for general questions and inquiries, please call (815) 921-2371.
At your initial intake appointment, you should be prepared to provide documentation that describes your disability and its likely impact on your educational experiences. Documentation varies depending on the nature of the disability, but generally includes information about what the disability is, how it was diagnosed, who made the diagnosis and when, and the history of how the disability has impacted your educational experience. If no disability exists, or no documentation is available, you are still encouraged to meet with the Accommodations Specialist to discuss options for assessing potential academic barriers, how the barriers relate to your disability, and (if applicable), options for obtaining supporting documentation.
You should be aware that other colleges and universities may have different documentation guidelines and that testing agencies (such as the Regional office of Education and state testing boards) may require different or additional documentation.
The Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) has provided professional guidance regarding disability documentation in higher education. Rock Valley College uses AHEAD's professional guidance as a framework when using documentation to establish disability and support accommodation requests.
During your intake appointment, the Accommodations Specialist will discuss with you any potential barriers that exist as a result of your disability, as well as possible solutions to removing these barriers. If reasonable accommodations are identified, a plan will be drafted which includes those accommodations for which you are eligible. This plan will need to be shared with each of your professors and instructions on how to do so will be explained to you. As a general rule, It is suggested that you discuss your plan and accommodations with faculty during their office hours rather than before or after class. Doing so allows the faculty member adequate time and opportunity to understand your needs as well as discuss with you the accommodations you have requested. Accommodation plans need to be renewed each semester by logging in to the Accommodations Portal and requesting your accommodations for each class for which you are enrolled.
You can find detailed information on accommodations available, as well as policies and procedures for utilizing accommodations on our Accommodations and Services page.
Confidentiality of your information is a priority for the DSS staff. All DSS records are the sole property of this department and are secure and separate from other college files. We do not release information to any persons or agencies not associated with RVC without the student's written consent. DSS may release information pursuant to a subpoena, in circumstances that might pose danger to self or others, situations of suspected child abuse, and where college officials have a need to know. DSS will release necessary information to RVC personnel who are involved in making requested accommodation arrangements.