Navigating Access Barriers

RIT is dedicated to accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities. If you encounter an access barrier, the Disability Services Office is here to help.




Formal Accommodation Appeal Process

Students working with the RIT Disability Services Office have a right to “provide for prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any action that would be prohibited” according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 

In other words, if a student does not agree with an accommodation that has been approved for them, or has been denied an accommodation that they requested and would like to appeal this decision, they may file an appeal with the Disability Services Office via the process outlined below. Please note that, if students are engaged in the Disability Services Office Accommodation Appeal Process, they remain responsible for meeting academic and other RIT requirements.

  1. The student should begin by raising their concern(s) directly to their assigned Disability Services Office Access Coordinator. Students can request an appointment in person or via Zoom with their assigned Access Coordinator via the MyDSO Portal
  2. If informal discussions with the student’s assigned Disability Services Office Access Coordinator have not resolved the grievance, the student shall submit a written or recorded appeal complaint to the Director of Disability Services (the “DSO Director”) or their designee no later than twenty (20) business days from notification of the accommodation (or its denial) upon which the appeal is based.
    • The appeal complaint must include: 
      • The reason for the grievance; and
      • Any additional information the individual would like to share with DSO regarding the disability-related need for the denied accommodation.
  3. The DSO Director shall meet with the individual within seven (7) business days of the receipt of the appeal complaint. This meeting may be in person or via Zoom.
    • During the discussion with the DSO Director, or their designee, the individual should be prepared to explain why the denied accommodation is needed to address the current impacts of their disability at RIT. 
      • Please note that having received an accommodation from a previous higher education institution or workplace, or in the K-12 educational system is not, in itself, a sufficient justification for approval of that accommodation at RIT. 
      • If the individual is objecting to the approval of an accommodation, they should be prepared to explain the basis for this objection.
    • In undertaking a review of the grievance, the DSO Director may interview, consult with, and/or request a written response to the issues raised in the grievance from any individual they believe to have relevant information.
  4. The DSO Director, or their designee, will make a decision regarding the individual’s grievance within seven (7) business days of meeting with the student. However, should additional time be necessary, the DSO Director will notify the individual in writing.
    • The DSO Director’s decision will be in writing and will be sent to the individual’s RIT email address. 
    • If, through the grievance process, an accommodation is granted, then it is applicable moving forward from the date of formal written notification. Disability Services Office accommodations cannot be applied retroactively.
    • Note that the Department of Access Services (DAS) is directly responsible for decisions regarding interpreting, captioning, or peer-notetaking accommodations for the RIT d/Deaf and hard of hearing population and are outside the purview of the DSO Director and this Appeal Process. Any concerns regarding these services should be directed to the Department of Access Services directly. 
  5. If a student feels their grievance is not resolved at the conclusion of this process, they have the right to submit a complaint at any time to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights or the New York State Division of Human Rights.

If a student requires an accommodation to participate in the Disability Services Office Appeal Process, they may request a reasonable accommodation by contacting the Disability Services Office directly. If ASL interpreting or live captioning is required for access, requests can be made directly by the student via the Department of Access Services (DAS) MyAccess Portal. Note that DAS requires ASL interpreting and captioning requests be made at least 72 hours in advance to ensure coverage.  

Report an Access Barrier

Any member of the RIT community may use the Report an Access Barrier form below to share information about access barriers encountered. The Disability Services Office will review the submissions and pass on necessary information to appropriate campus partners to address any issues. Please note that this form can be completed either anonymously or with personal contact information. If you include contact information, you can expect a follow up from the Disability Services Office.

Report an access barrier

Weather Related Access Barriers

Weather-related access barriers may include ramps or pathways blocked with snow and/or ice. If you encounter a weather-related barrier, please submit a work order to Facilities Management Services (FMS). FMS asks that any urgent maintenance incidents requiring an immediate response be communicated by phone at 585-208-5978.

Submit a work order

Elevator, Lift, or Door-Opener Issues

For issues including non-functioning elevators, lifts, or automatic door openers, please submit a work order to Facilities Management Services (FMS). FMS asks that any urgent maintenance incidents requiring an immediate response be communicated by phone at 585-208-5978.

Submit a work order