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.
A faculty member is legally required under federal law (Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504), to provide a reasonable accommodation so long as the reasonable accommodation does not lower or substantially modify the course or program's fundamental standards. To determine whether an accommodation fundamentally alters the nature of a course and requires review, faculty should refer to the Guide for Determining Fundamental Alteration of Essential Standards. A Faculty member that is concerned that an accommodation substantially lowers or modifies a program’s standards should contact Disability Support Services to initiate a review process.
It’s important to realize that failure to provide a reasonable accommodation to a student with a disability is a violation of law, putting in jeopardy, among other things, an institution’s receipt of federal financial assistance. Thus, it is important to consult with DSS in any situation where the appropriateness of an accommodation is not clear.
The Disability Support Services office coordinates accommodations for students who require them for their courses. However, it is the responsibility of each faculty member to ensure that his or her course materials- and learning management systems- are accessible. Faculty who use Eagle as their learning management system and require technical assistance with making accommodations for a student with a disability (ex., extended time for exams, enlarged font, etc.) should contact John Fillicaro for support at (815) 921-4625.
Detailed information including specific policies and procedures regarding accommodations and services available at the college can be found below.
It is the policy of Rock Valley College to provide equal opportunity to its admissions, employment and educational programs and activities consistent with federal and state law. Discrimination is prohibited on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, sex, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, order of protection status, sexual orientation, including but not limited to gender-related identity discrimination, veteran status, or unfavorable military discharge, use of lawful products while not at work, genetic information, or other legally protected categories.