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 can receive information on the variety of resources that are available specifically for students with disabilities.

1. Complete the DSS Online Application

To apply for academic accommodations through the DSS office, students should complete a DSS online application. Be sure to upload your documentation in STEP 2 (See Chapter 3 for more information about documentation). It is particularly helpful to complete the application and provide documentation prior to meeting with the Accommodations Specialist for the Welcome Meeting.

If you are unsure whether you should complete an application, or if you have general questions about registering with the DSS office, please contact us via phone: 815-921-2371 or Email:

2. Attend a Welcome Meeting

Once your application has been submitted and reviewed, a member of the DSS Team will reach out to schedule a meeting.  If you do not hear from a member of our team 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 the Welcome Meeting 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. Together the student and Accommodations Specialist will determine what (if any) accommodations are necessary to reduce these barriers and provide equal access to a course or program.

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 Welcome Meeting 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/or your academic performance, 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 a meeting. 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.