A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a service, program, course, activity, job, or facility that reduces or eliminates barriers that students with disabilities may encounter.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 are all federal laws that protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination on the basis of disability, and ensure equal participation in an institution’s programs and activities. The provision of academic adjustments, or accommodations, is one way in which students obtain equal participation.
Determining what accommodations are appropriate and necessary for a particular student is a collaborative process that generally happens during the informational interview. At this time, an "accommodation plan" is crafted which lists those accommodations that are necessary for the student.
Reasonable accommodations are determined by examining:
1. The barriers resulting from the student’s involvement with the campus environment (courses, programs, services, etc.);
2. The possible accommodation(s) that may eliminate the barrier;
3. Whether or not the student has access to a service, program, course, activity, job or facility without the accommodation(s); and
4. Whether or not the essential elements of a service, program, course, activity, job or facility are compromised with the accommodation.
Once eligibility for reasonable accommodations has been established, students must request his/her accommodations every semester through the Accommodations Portal. There is no obligation to provide accommodations that have not been requested by the student. Also through the Accommodations Portal, students can customize his/her accommodation plan by course, request new accommodations, request a note taker, check for loaner equipment or assistive technologies, obtain alternative format files, and much more. For additional information, or for assistance with utilizing the Accommodations Portal, contact the Disability Support Services office at (815) 921-2371 or RVC-DisabilityServices@rockvalleycollege.edu.
Some accommodations and services take more time and resources to coordinate. For this reason, it is important to plan ahead in anticipation of any needs you may have. Proactively discussing your needs with the DSS staff and your instructors (where appropriate) will go a long way towards ensuring timely implementation of accommodations. The following detailed information, including specific policies and procedures, provides guidance for utilizing accommodations and services available through DSS.