Disability Support Services

Accessibility Support

Disability Support Services (DSS) envisions a college community that is universally accessible to all members of the campus community; provides an equal opportunity to students with disabilities; and recognizes all individuals for their talents, abilities, and contributions.

New students should review the Accommodations Process to get started. Students who are already registered with Disability Support Services can manage their accommodations via the Accommodations Portal.

Accommodations Process Accommodations Portal

Community resources may be found on the Accessibility at RVC page.


Contact Us

  • Disability Support Services
  • (815) 921-2371
  • RVC Main Campus
    Student Center, Ground Floor
  • Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


RVC Raise Program: The Raising Aspirations through an Inclusive Student Experience (RAISE) program is an inclusive and supportive post-secondary program for young adults who have intellectual disabilities and who desire to participate in a comprehensive college experience. Learn more about RAISE.

Requesting Accommodations

Manage Requests

Students who are already registered with Disability Support Services can manage their accommodations via the online portal.

Accommodations Portal

Custom Requests

You may request Audio Descriptions for Media, Post-Production Captioning, Real-Time Captioning, & Sign Language Interpreting.

Submit a Custom Request

Getting Started

New students should review the process to learn how to request accommodations temporarily or for an academic year.

Accommodations Process

About Student Accommodations

Overview of Student Accommodations

There may be some accommodations that you are not currently approved to use. In order to use an accommodation, students must first be approved by the Accommodations Specialist. Please contact the DSS office if you require an accommodation for which you do not have eligibility. 

At any time, if your needs or circumstances change, you can communicate with the Accommodations Specialist to explore adjustments to your approved accommodations. 

  • We view all materials pertaining to a student's disability as confidential. All disability-related information for students at Rock Valley College is housed in Disability Support Services. Only staff persons working at Disability Support Services have access to these files. Registration with DSS will not appear on student transcripts.
  • The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) do not allow faculty or others access to disability-related information (e.g. diagnosis, medications).
  • We will not share a student’s diagnostic or medical information with College faculty or staff without the student’s consent. The Accommodations Specialist will confirm registration and approved accommodations on a need-to-know basis.
  • We will not disclose any student’s medical or registration information to an employer or other outside organization without the student’s permission.
  • We will retain all disability documentation for seven years after students leave the college.

  1. Review your syllabi at the beginning of the semester. Look at the requirements of each of your classes and consider your disability-related needs. Some accommodations may not be necessary for every class.
  2. Contact DSS if you require any NON-STANDARD accommodations (refer to our Accommodations Process page). You and your instructors will receive your letters via email once classes are in session. Remember, accommodations are not retroactive, so be sure to contact DSS as early in the semester as possible.
  3. Contact your instructors. In this conversation, you do not need to disclose the specific nature of your disability.
  4. Follow applicable procedures for your accommodations, as described on our Accommodations Process page.
  5. Keep in touch. Communicate with your instructors throughout the semester. If you have any questions or run into any issues in this process, contact DSS.

  • A Faculty Notification Letter provides your instructors with an introduction to your approved accommodations and how the accommodation process works. It does NOT indicate your disability.
  • After evaluating course requirements/design, you can customize your letters to only include the accommodations relevant to each class.
  • Letters will be automatically generated by DSS for all standard accommodations. Non-standard accommodations must be requested from DSS each semester before those accommodations will be included on letters to instructors.

The DSS Accommodations Portal is the online system that allows students to access and manage their accommodations and communications with the DSS office. Through the portal, students can:

  • Submit their Disability Services initial online application
  • Review accommodations they are eligible for
  • Check out equipment and assistive technology
  • Check their mailbox for messages from DSS staff

Accommodations Portal

Students log in to the portal by using the same Username (Student ID Number) and Password they use to access all other college systems. It is very important to become familiar with the portal and understand how to use it, as this is how certain accommodations will be coordinated, and where you will receive important communications regarding them. If you need assistance or would like training on using the portal please contact our team.

There are two types of accommodations: Standard and Non-Standard. It is important to understand which type you are eligible for as the process for requesting is different for each.


Types of Accommodations

Exam Accommodations

Exam accommodations apply to timed quizzes, midterms, and finals. More specifically, exam accommodations apply to any timed written assessment that is designed to be completed in a single sitting and is graded for accuracy. Exam accommodations typically do not apply to lab work, homework/projects, or untimed "take-home style" exams which students can complete over multiple days. If you see a need for your exam accommodations to apply to anything on this list, please contact DSS to discuss.

The most common exam accommodation is extended time (either 1.5x or 2.0x), although students may be eligible for other accommodations such as:

  • Alternative format (ex. large print, Braille, electronic)
  • Student aide services (ex. reader, scribe, lab assistant)
  • Specialized environment (ex. reduced-distraction room, soft lighting, white noise machine)
  • Adaptive equipment and assistive technology

If your exams are designed to be administered in-person, typically, students opt to take their exams in the RVC Testing Center, where accommodations are proctored by the Testing Center. However, student situations vary and specific details regarding how and when your exam accommodations will be coordinated will be included on your Faculty Notification Letter.

A scheduled appointment is required for students taking their exam or quiz in the Testing Center with any of the following accommodations:

  • Student aide services (reader, scribe, or lab assistant)
  • Specialized environment, including a reduced-distraction room
  • Adaptive equipment and/or assistive technology
  • Alternative format exam

If your exam is designed to be taken at home utilizing Canvas or other virtual assessment method, you should communicate with your instructors about logistics (i.e. applying extended time in Canvas). If you have concerns with this setup, please contact DSS.

  1. At the start of the term, confirm with your instructor your need for extended time. Instructors are responsible for setting up extended time in Canvas by adjusting the time limit, availability windows, and/or due dates.
  2. We strongly recommend that you confirm that your time allotted, availability window, and due date are correct before starting a Canvas exam or quiz.
  3. If the exam or quiz settings are incorrect, please reach out to your instructor. If you are having difficulty contacting your instructor, please contact DSS.

Students should reference the Testing Center Guidelines for important information on coordinating exam accommodations in the Testing Center.

If you're testing at the Testing Center, review the Testing Center Guidelines to learn how to prepare for the day of your exam. Other things to note:

  • While Testing Center staff will meet your accommodation requests, they cannot guarantee a specific testing location for you as space is dependent upon availability.
  • Students are responsible for notifying instructor(s) of their intention to use the Testing Center for exam/quiz accommodations.
  • Exams/quizzes are normally administered in the Testing Center during the regularly scheduled class periods when other students are taking exams.
  • A photo ID is required for all exams completed in the Testing Center.

  • Students who require one of the services listed below must schedule an appointment. Contact the Testing Center at least three days prior of the preferred exam/quiz date. Students should be prepared to indicate the exam/quiz date, time, course name and instructor name.
    • Audio test format
    • Reduced-distraction work area
    • Headphones (available upon request)
    • Large print
    • Assistive technology/adaptive equipment
    • Scribe
    • CCTV
    • Other services
  • Students should confirm their appointment and verify the exam or quiz is in the Testing Center 1-2 days prior to their appointment.
  • Students should notify the Testing Center if they have any concerns regarding accommodations before they start their exam or quiz.
  • Students requiring extended time only for exam/quiz completion do not need an appointment.

By using exam accommodations, you are expected to:

  • Show up on time for your exams. If you arrive late for an exam, you must either use the remaining time or contact the instructor for authorization to reschedule. There is no guarantee that the instructor will permit a makeup exam.
  • Confirm application of all of your needed accommodations prior to beginning the exam. Inform a Testing Center staff member if you have any problems with or did not receive you needed accommodations. 
  • Cancel your exam request through the Testing Center if, for any reason, you have decided not to take your exam at their facility.

  • All testing spaces are monitored via a closed-circuit camera. Exam video content is stored on a secured, on-site digital recording device that is maintained exclusively by Testing Center staff.
  • You are NOT permitted to touch/move the cameras that are located in the studio. If you are caught moving a camera you will be reported to the instructor and may be charged with academic misconduct.
  • A staff member may come into any testing location at any time to perform a random integrity check. 
  • Any suspected evidence of cheating will be documented by Testing Center staff and reported to the appropriate faculty member and the Dean of Students office. Any unauthorized notes and any scrap paper used during the exam will be copied and returned with the exam to the instructor, along with any video evidence.

Expectations for Scribes

  • Scribes will write down verbatim what you have dictated. The scribe is not responsible for organizing or paraphrasing your thoughts into a final draft. 
  • Scribes are responsible for general spelling and sentence ending punctuation. You are responsible for directing the scribe for any spelling of specific class related terminology or punctuation within sentences.
  • At any time, you will have the opportunity to review what the scribe has written either by reading or having it read to you. 
  • If there are corrections, you will direct the scribe to make them.


student sitting at table while studying outside

Policies & Procedures

The Grievance Process may be found in the Student Handbook.

For information on other policies, such as Service Animals on campus, please refer to the Board Policy Manual or contact Disability Support Services.