What We Do
Meet our team and find essential information about academic accommodations for RISD students with disabilities.
Per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, all qualifying students are entitled to reasonable, disability-related academic and residential accommodations. In Disability Support Services (DSS), we partner with faculty, staff and students to ensure that all aspects of the RISD experience are accessible, equitable and inclusive of individuals with disabilities.
We work with students (undegraduate, graduate and Continuing Education) with documented disabilities (cognitive/learning, psychological, and physical) that substantially limit one or more major life activities both short and long term, as defined by the ADA. Toward fulfilling our mission, we develop, arrange and provide appropriate accommodations that support student engagement with courses, programs, services and facilities. Accommodations are determined by our staff on an individualized, case-by-case basis.
In our role as advocates for equal access across the institution, we provide the necessary support, mentorship and tools for students to meet their educational goals. We aim to foster an accessible and inclusive community where students with disabilities are evaluated on the basis of their ability—not their disability. Recognizing that disability is integral to diversity, we proactively create an inclusive, equitable educational environment for all community members.
Although we accept academic accommodation requests on a rolling basis (there is no submission deadline), they may take up to 2–4 weeks to arrange. We prefer you submit your request for accommodations, with supporting documentation, before or at the start of the semester.
Accommodations are not retroactive. Once you meet and establish accommodations with our office, they will be applicable to your coursework from the time you provide your instructors with your accommodation letter. Refer to our accommodation timeline to ensure you complete your request in as timely a manner as possible.
Please note that accommodations and services provided at the post-secondary level often differ significantly from Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans you may have received at previous points of your education. At the higher-education level, you are responsible for identifying yourself to your institution’s disability office and stating the accommodations you seek.
Upon approval through an interactive process, we work with you and your faculty to ensure that accommodations are effectively and appropriately facilitated in order for you to enjoy equal access to a RISD education.