Community College of Rhode Island

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About Disability Services for Students

The Disability Services for Students (DSS) office is part of the Opportunity and Outreach Programs unit within the Division of Student Affairs.  DSS Coordinators and support staff are available on each of CCRI’s four main campuses to meet with students and to help provide the necessary and reasonable accommodations that students need to be successful.  In addition, the DSS office serves as an information resource to faculty, providing awareness and guidance for how to best ensure the inclusion of students with disabilities without compromising academic standards.  The DSS office works to dispel negative and limiting stereotypes and promotes a campus environment that is sensitive, accepting and responsive to the needs and contributions of all CCRI students.

Mission Statement

The Disability Services for Students (DSS) office at CCRI recognizes disability as a form of cultural diversity and works to foster an inclusive environment for all students in the higher education community through education, awareness, and accessibility.

The mission is accomplished by:

  • Recommending and coordinating reasonable accommodations in a variety of domains (e.g. exam, course, and program)
  • Encouraging student development through self-advocacy and personal decision making.
  • Supporting a commitment to academic success and student retention.
  • Providing training and information to faculty and administration that uphold the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Standards of Ethical Practice

DSS staff and personnel strive to uphold and advance the aspirational goals outlined in the Association of Higher Education and Disability’s Code of Ethics. A DSS professional’s daily conduct and practice of disability service provision are guided by the following principles:

  • Commitment to facilitating the highest levels of educational excellence and potential quality of life for postsecondary students with disabilities.
  • Striving to achieve and maintain the highest levels of competence and integrity in all areas of assistance to adult students with disabilities. This support is guided by the consistent use of objective, professional judgment in all areas, especially when addressing the confidential nature of the student's disability.
  • Continually participating in professional activities and educational opportunities designed to strengthen the personal, educational, and vocational quality of life for students with disabilities. This includes the on-going development of strategies, skills, research, and knowledge pertinent to the highest quality of disability service delivery whenever and wherever it occurs.
  • Carrying out responsibilities in accordance with AHEAD professional standards and policy guidelines for adult students with disabilities. When certified, licensed, or affiliated with other professionals or organizations, complying with those professional guidelines as well.
  • Actively engaging in, supporting, and clarifying institutional, state, provincial, and federal laws, policies, and procedures applicable to the service delivery to students with disabilities. Compliance implies that professionals will seek to avoid, will not condone, and will not participate in any unethical or illegal acts discussed within these guidelines. Additionally, CCRI DSS staff and personnel will seek to resolve ethical dilemmas through consultation with appropriate professionals.

Student Data Tracking and Collection

The DSS office at CCRI is committed to documenting and assessing the quality and cost effectiveness of its programs and services. DSS will maintain data on categories of disabilities represented by students, track the specific support services and types of accommodations offered on campus, and track student outcomes through annual follow-up surveys and exit questionnaires.

Confidentiality

The Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) regulates disclosure of disability documentation and records maintained by the Disability Services for Students (DSS) office. Under this Federal act, prior written consent by the student is required before DSS may release disability documentation or records. DSS staff and personnel are committed to maintaining the confidentiality of disability documentation.

FERPA allows the release of records without consent to specific parties and under certain conditions, including compliance with a judicial order or in cases of health and safety emergencies. For more detailed information about FERPA, please refer to the following U.S. Department of Education's website at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.

In addition to the potential release of records under certain conditions as outlined in FERPA, the DSS office, with written student consent, may communicate with others at CCRI or in the community, in order to secure delivery of disability services and accommodations. These instances could include such things as:

  • seeking clarification and additional information from a third party (e.g. treating clinician)
  • communicating with professors to establish accommodations

The amount of information that may be released is determined case by case, in the context of the service being coordinated.

Student Records

After ten (10) years of no contact with a registered student, the Disability Services for Students office will archive all information on file to an electronic format that will be stored at CCRI’s DSS office at the Warwick campus location.

A student may request a copy of his/her records, including copies of disability documentation, at any time. The request must be made in writing, with the preferred mode of receipt and applicable address specified in the request.

This page developed and maintained by Disability Services for Students. Send comments and suggestions to .


Last Updated: 2/25/14