Policy on Students with Disabilities
Each institution of higher education constitutes a community and as such should serve as a model of civilized behavior expressed in honest, open, respectful and equitable relationships.
The Board of Governors for Higher Education recognizes that federal and state laws mandate that Rhode Island’s public institutions of higher education be accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
Public higher education exists to provide open access to quality higher level learning to ALL citizens of the state at a reasonable cost. Students with disabilities have the right to benefit from a campus environment that is reasonably free of restrictions. Accordingly, the institutions shall maintain an environment that is conducive to learning for all students.
•No public institution of higher education in the State of Rhode Island shall deny admission to or otherwise discriminate against a qualified applicant solely on the basis of disability. In addition, no otherwise qualified student with a disability shall be denied the opportunity to participate in or benefit from any aid, benefit, or service that is offered by any public institution of higher education in the State of Rhode Island.
•Persons with a disability have the right to be accompanied by a personal assistance animal or by a family therapy pet, as defined by state law, at any public institution of higher education in the State of Rhode Island.
•It is normally the responsibility of students with disabilities to self-identify to the designated office for disability services at the institution. To be considered eligible for services, qualified students with disabilities must follow the policies and procedures established at that institution. The institution shall then provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities, while maintaining academic and student conduct standards.
•The public institutions of higher education are urged to recognize disability as a form of diversity that strengthens and enriches campus communities. Institutions are, therefore, encouraged to promote awareness and positive attitudes regarding students with disabilities.
The presidents of the public institutions of higher education will keep the commissioner informed on an annual basis of all activities undertaken to promote these goals.