The RCPD upholds a mission to lead MSU in maximizing ability and opportunity for full participation by persons with disabilities. Staff at the RCPD are available to provide campus departments and faculty with information, resources, and guidance to help with their understanding of the opportunities and responsibilities under disability-related legislation.

RCPD determined accommodations are intended to provide equal access as required by law; they should not fundamentally alter the course/program or create an undue financial or administrative burden to the faculty or university. As disabilities are individualized and may produce different impacts or needs for accommodation in different settings, the services and accommodations may vary slightly in some situations or change over time. Faculty members are encouraged to work collaboratively with the student and seek support from RCPD.

What is a Reasonable Accommodation?

Under both the Americans with Disabilities Act, as recently amended, and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act, a reasonable accommodation is considered to be a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, or facility, which ensures that a qualified student with a disability is not excluded, segregated, or otherwise treated differently.

  • Reasonable accommodations are tailored adjustments that level the playing field.
  • Reasonable accommodations must not compromise essential functions of the course or program.
  • Reasonable accommodations are individually determined after review of medical documentation and an interactive needs assessment between an RCPD Ability Access Specialist and the student.

An accommodation would not be considered reasonable if it:

  • Fundamentally alters the essential nature of the course, curriculum or program
  • Constitutes services of a personal nature (such as private tutoring)
  • Results in an undue administrative or financial burden for the institution
  • Results in posing a direct threat to the health or safety of self or others
Accessibility & Technology Resources

MSU Web Accessibility

As instructional spaces and programmatic offerings are increasingly online experiences, it is vital that these offerings are designed in ways that facilitate full inclusion by people who use assistive technologies. Disabilities affect online information access in varying ways. MSU has adopted policies, resources, and guidance that help ensure accessibility. 

Assistive Listening Devices

  • Types of assistive listening devices
  • How to obtain and utilize them on campus


Best Practice & Disability Inclusion

VISAs - Faculty Perspective

  • Learn the appropriate process when a student presents a VISA
  • Watch the YouTube video to see an example scenario

Best Practices: Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Guidelines for professors and teaching assistants to consider when interacting with students with disabilities

Students with Disabilities - The MSU Approach for Inclusion

  • An overview of the MSU approach for inclusion of people with disabilities
  • Addresses questions frequently asked by new faculty

Tips for Interacting with People with Disabilities 

What's in a Name: Person-First Language

The Courtesy Rules of Blindness

RCPD Model Statements

Model Statements

For use in syllabi & program or event announcements

Alternative Testing Accommodation Resources

Testing Accommodations: A Message From the Provost

Just over 4% of the MSU student body registers with the RCPD after documenting a disability that affects major life activities. Approximately 70% of these students experience some requirement for modification to the typical testing experience. Many instructors erroneously interpret the VISA as evidence that testing cannot occur in their classroom or under their direct control. The Office of the Provost provides guidance on testing accommodations. 

RCPD Alternative Testing Guidelines

In alignment with the Provost's expectations for accommodated testing, RCPD provides guidance for faculty and students.

Crisis Management- Resources for People in Distress

Michigan State University and the surrounding community have numerous resources for individuals who are in crisis. You may contact a resource for yourself or another community member who you believe may need assistance.

If you are an MSU faculty/staff and have a student in crisis who you believe needs assistance, please consider the following resources. MSU RCPD does not provide 24-hour service and RCPD staff may not be able to immediately respond to communications via voicemail or email.

*Health and safety emergencies should be handled by dialing 911

MSU Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS)

During business hours MSU CAPS offers walk-in and scheduled appointments. CAPS is located at Olin Health Center, 3rd floor (463 E Circle Drive). Call (517) 355-8270. In crisis? CAPS offers emergency resources for students. 

MSU Sexual Assault Program

MSU SAP provides counseling, advocacy, and support groups to MSU students.To schedule an appointment with a Counselor or Advocate, please call 517-355-3551 during regular business hours. Crisis Line: (517) 372-6666.


My SSP provides 24/7 access to counselors and is free and confidential. In addition to one-on-one support, you have access to articles, tools, and resources that can help you succeed. 

MSU Behavioral Threat Assessment Team (BTAT)

MSU BTAT exists to facilitate a multidisciplinary, coordinated response to reports of students, employees, or other individuals on campus who have engaged in behavior indicating a possible threat of harm to self or other members of the campus community.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

MSU EAP is a confidential counseling service provided at no cost to MSU faculty, staff, retirees, graduate student employees, and their families.

MSU Safe Place (Domestic Violence Shelter)

MSU Safe Place provides advocacy, emergency shelter, counseling, support groups, safety planning, information and referrals to survivors of violence and their minor children. All support services are free and confidential.