Rock Valley College

Chapter 3: Registering with DSS

Students with disabilities seek assistance from the Disability Support Services (DSS) office for a variety of reasons. The most common reason is to put into place accommodations that will reduce barriers that students are encountering or to provide access to the educational environment which is otherwise inaccessible. Through “connecting” with the DSS office, students are able to receive information on the variety of resources that are available specifically for students with disabilities.

Completing the DSS Online Application

To apply for academic accommodations through the DSS office, students should complete a DSS online application. It is especially helpful to have this application completed prior to meeting with the Accommodations Specialist for the informational interview.

Informational Interview

The DSS office encourages you to complete an informational interview through which you will be able to identify the most useful resources specifically for you. Once your application has been submitted and reviewed, a member of the DSS Team will reach out to schedule an informational interview.  If you do not hear from a member of our team, or wish to schedule an interview before completing the application, contact the DSS office at (815) 921-2371.

The DSS staff is committed to working with the campus community to reduce barriers whenever possible. Accommodations are sometimes necessary when barriers cannot be  removed in any other way. During an informational interview students will be able to discuss with a staff member examples of barriers they are encountering as well as accommodations that have been successful in the past. It is often useful for students to bring “documentation” with them to informational interviews, or to present the DSS office with documentation prior to attending the informational interview.

Definition of Disability

The DSS office uses the definition of disability as outlined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the ADA of 1990, and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. During the informational interview 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 together.

Temporary Disabilities

Students who have short term or temporary disabilities are encouraged to contact the DSS office to schedule an information interview. It may be possible for students with temporary disabilities to receive some accommodations, such as testing accommodations or assistance with note taking, for an abbreviated period of time.