Rock Valley College

Chapter 5: Determining Reasonable Accommodations

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.

Determining what accommodations are appropriate and necessary for a particular student is a collaborative process that generally happens during the informational interview. During this meeting, an individualized “accommodation plan” is crafted which lists specific accommodations for the student. The student bears responsibility for requesting the plan each semester and communicating the plan details with each faculty member with which they have classes that semester.

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.

Occasionally, or in new, complex, or sensitive circumstances, it may be necessary for DSS staff to consult with other appropriate college personnel regarding accommodations.

Accommodation Request Analysis

In reviewing accommodation requests, the following analysis is used:

  • Does the student have a documented disability?
  • Is the student “otherwise qualified?”
  • Is the request reasonable? (The following four requirements must ALL be satisfied for the request to be considered reasonable.)

1. The accommodation does not fundamentally alter the nature of the program or activity.
2. The accommodation does not lower academic standards.
3. The accommodation does not present an undue financial or administrative burden on the  institution.
4. The accommodation does not pose a threat to personal or public safety.