Mission of Student Accessibility Services
SAS is dedicated to providing students with disabilities, and other accessibility
needs, equitable opportunities to fully experience all RCC programs and services.
This work is directly related to our nondiscriminatory policy. SAS works with all
faculty and staff to support them in their work with ensuring services and programs
are accessible by providing one on one support, training, workshops and consulting.
This department is as much of a resource to faculty as it is students. This work is
rooted in our obligations to ensure that RCC follows all laws and requirements related
to ADA, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Our partnership and support to
faculty further our mission to serving a diverse community of students and providing
each person with the opportunity to use their education at RCC to open new doors.
Students are recognized as experts in their experience and are engaged in this work
as such. Each student is valued for their voice, leadership, and potential for greatness.
SAS recognizes each student as a responsible partner in accessing and utilizing all
the services available to them through SAS.
Students Registered with SAS
Students are required to formally disclose to SAS the condition in which they are
requesting accommodations and are guided through the formal process. Accommodations
are processed and approved by SAS.
In order to be registered with SAS and receive accommodations, students must submit
appropriate documentation from a licensed provider. This information remains confidential
and SAS will not disclose any disability-related information to faculty. On the accommodation
letter, the accommodations determined by SAS will be listed. Please review an example
of an accommodation letter listed below.
Teaching Students with Disabilities:
Discussing Disability and Accommodations
- Offer assistance, do not assume
- Lead with appreciation and not an apology (thank you for sharing vs. I am sorry to
hear about this, at least….)
- Ask a student how you can help them, do not assume you know how to
- Questions about a person’s disability and difference can be invasive and uncomfortable
- Give autonomy to each person to identify their own experience: resist using words
such as suffer, inflicted, crippled by, challenged, limited or limitation.
- Asking questions: hold back from asking what happened or what it is like to live with
or have said disability (these experiences are very personal to many people).
- When disability as a topic comes up in class, support the discussion and with any
sensitive topic, ask for people to be respectful.
- Follow up with a student about accommodations privately in email, office, or at the
end of class.
- If people want to share something with you, they will take the initiative
- Grabbing someone’s assistive device (cane, walker, wheelchair, etc.) is not appropriate
and can potentially harm someone
- Unless someone requests you speak in a louder or different manner, be sure to engage
with that person as you have any other friend or family member (avoid infantilization)
- Deaf/HH individuals with interpreters should have all conversation directed towards
them and not their interpreter (don’t refer to them in the third person, maintain
facing contact and speak directly)
- Service animals are working and should not be contacted or touched without permission
of the handler
- Please do not ask a student with a service animal if it is a service animal and contact
SAS to assist with verifying this with the specific student.
- Some people may have difficulty following social ques and direct, polite feedback
can be helpful
- Some students live with medical conditions that warm or cold rooms can trigger symptoms
(request for certain placement can be due to this)
Definition of Universal Design: Ideally, classes should be designed to accommodate all learners, whether or not
they have a disability. A universally designed curriculum should have multiple means
of engagement, multiple ways to present content, and multiple ways for students to
demonstrate their knowledge.
Elements of Universal Design:
- Utilize strategies that reach visual, auditory and task oriented learners.
- Utilize individual work, small group work and larger class discussions.
- Utilize an accommodation as an opportunity for class engagement and participation;
notes or a note taker can be flipped to require each student to be a note taker and
provide notes to the class.
- Reach out to SAS for suggestions on providing accommodations and meeting the needs
of all students.
What Universal Design Could Look Like in the Classroom
- Multiple means of representation: videos, lecture, photographs/visual aids, manual
- Multiple means of action or expression: exams, papers, projects, group presentations,
online discussions, etc.
- Multiple means of engagement: relating content to personal or professional goals,
life experiences/relevance, collaboration with other classes, etc.
And Lastly…SAS is Your Partner
- SAS is a support to you and students
- We are here to work with you in providing accommodations, meeting students’ needs,
and ensuring access is equitable
- We are here to ensure both faculty and students are being served appropriately
- Upholding academic integrity and standards is essential to our work
- Accommodations ensure students with disabilities have just as much opportunity to
succeed or fail as their peers without accommodations
Learn More about Student Accessibility Services