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 Welcome Meeting. During this meeting, an individualized “accommodation list” is crafted which identifies specific accommodations for the student. The student bears responsibility for requesting accommodations needed and communicating the accommodation 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.

For time-sensitive accommodations (ex., sign language interpreting, live captioning, E-text), or in new, complex, or sensitive circumstances, it may be necessary for DSS staff to consult with other appropriate college personnel regarding implementing accommodations.

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.