Students who have a documented disability (as outlined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008) and require academic accommodations, should contact the Disability Support Services (DSS) office to initiate the process for determining eligibility for academic aids, services, or accommodations.
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 appointment, 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.
If your disability is new, or you have not had disability-related educational services in the past, the Accommodations Specialist will review with you any areas of concern you may have, and identify potential resources or solutions.
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 and scope 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. 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 for a confidential opportunity to discuss your needs as well as to clarify any questions or concerns that either you or the instructor may have. Accommodations need to be requested each semester. You may do this 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 at the College, as well as policies and procedures for utilizing accommodations on our Accommodations and Services page.