Disability Services Office
Inclusive environments and successful accommodation facilitation rely on partnership among the Disability Services Office, students, faculty, and staff.
The Disability Services Office employs an interactive, student-centered process to determine and approve reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, taking into account the student’s particular access needs, educational/medical history, and various forms of documentation.
Every semester, students have the responsibility to log into the MyDSO Student portal to select which of their approved accommodations they wish to use in each of their classes. Note that a student may (or may not) select all of their eligible accommodations in each class; and that a student could request additional accommodations at any point in the semester. Only accommodations that have been requested and communicated to faculty via the MyDSO Faculty Portal should be provided.
Once a student requests their academic/classroom accommodation(s) in MyDSO, faculty will receive a formal Accommodation Notification Letter via email from our office. Letters can also be viewed in the MyDSO Faculty Portal.
If a student requests an accommodation, but you have not received a formal Accommodation Notification Letter, the student should be referred to our office. Accommodations should not be provided unless this formal communication has been received. If you believe an accommodation presents a fundamental alteration in your course(s), please contact the Disability Services Office directly.
View and acknowledge accommodation information from students who have requested DSO-approved accommodations in their classes. Each Accommodation Notification Letter must be electronically acknowledged by faculty in the MyDSO Faculty Portal.
How to Acknowledge Accommodation Notification Letter
The MyDSO Faculty Portal allows instructors centralized access to accommodation information for your students. In the MyDSO Faculty Portal, instructors have the ability to:
- Electronically acknowledge Accommodation Notification Letters
- Review Faculty Notification Letters
- Generate a list of students who have requested accommodations for each course
- Generate a list of students who have scheduled upcoming exams with the Test Center
- Securely upload tests and related files for Test Center staff
- Provide course-wide proctoring information at the start of the term
Referring Students to the Disability Services Office
Students, faculty, and staff with disabilities are an integral part of the RIT campus community, and accommodations are a civil right meant to ensure their equitable access. While it is ultimately the choice and responsibility of an individual student to self-identify as someone with a disability and register with our office, we value the role our partners across campus play in making sure students are aware of the resources we offer. RIT Students can request and receive new or changed accommodations or be referred to our office at any time.
Students should be referred to the Disability Services Office if:
- An accommodation has been requested, but the student is not registered with the Disability Services Office and/or has not formally requested any accommodations via MyDSO.
- A student tries to provide you with documentation of a disability. RIT faculty and staff should not accept or read students’ disability documentation. Students should be referred directly to our office to register and formally request accommodations.
- A student tells you they think they may have a disability, but have never been diagnosed.
- You believe a student already working with our office would benefit from additional or different accommodations or supports.
- You are concerned about a student who is struggling.
The Disability Services Office is one of many resources available to RIT students. Certainly, not all students who are struggling have disabilities, nor is it appropriate to equate academic struggles with disability. If you suspect accommodations may benefit a student, it is appropriate to make a referral.
How to Connect Students with the Disability Services Office
Conversations about disability and accommodations should always take place in a private environment where students’ confidentiality can be protected. When referring students to the Disability Services Office, we recommend having an inquiring and supportive conversation where Disability Services is positioned as a resource for students with all kinds of disabilities to receive support as they navigate RIT. It can be helpful to remind students that accommodations are meant to mitigate barriers in the environment, and are a civil right. We recommend starting the conversation with questions such as:
- Did you know RIT has a Disability Services Office?
- Have you considered having a conversation with the Disability Services Office?
- Do you know how to contact Disability Services?
Note: Disability Services will not provide specific updates about a student’s status after a referral is made. Information pertaining to a student’s disability status or rationale for specific accommodation decisions will not be shared. In addition, we cannot force a student to use the accommodations we approve for them. Any disability-related information a student chooses to share with faculty or staff should be used specifically for the purposes of facilitating accommodations.
Accommodated Testing and the Test Center
The Disability Services Office provides a proctored Test Center for extended test time or other testing related accommodations due to logistics or a student’s disability related needs.
Learn more about testing accommodations and the Test Center
The Disability Services Office recognizes students’ right to confidentiality regarding disability-related information. Maintaining confidentiality is crucial to fulfill our legal obligations and to create an environment where students feel respected, protected, and able to practice self-determination. Ultimately, RIT students have the right to choose whether or not to disclose their disability and pursue accommodations. Even if a student is registered with the Disability Services Office and is receiving accommodations, they are under no obligation to share details about their disability with anyone outside of our office. In addition, students are under no obligation to register with our office or use their accommodations unless they choose to do so.
Learn more about Confidentiality
Request a Workshop or Training
The Disability Services Office welcomes members of the RIT community to reach out if they would find a training or workshop beneficial. If you are interested in learning more about disability and accessibility, the accommodations process, navigating college with a disability, effectively supporting students with accommodations, and many other topics related to inclusion and access, we are here to help.
Request a Workshop or Training session
- Calculator Descriptions
- RIT Guidelines for Captioning Audio-Visual Media
- RIT and Online Accessibility
- RIT Innovative Learning Institute (ILI)
- RIT Service or Assistance Animal Policy
- Student/Instructor Agreement: Assignment Due Dates Extended - When Needed and Appropriate
- Student/Instructor Agreement: Flexibility in Class Attendance Requirements