Pass the “RI Promise Reasonable Accommodations Legislation”

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Calling all parents, teachers, students, concerned  citizens, and advocates:

You can help ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to the Rhode Island Promise Scholarship! Why should individuals with disabilities pay for school because they may need more time to graduate? The "RI Promise Reasonable Accommodations Legislation" sponsored by Rep Chippendale and Sen de la Cruz," ensures that those with disabilities get a graduation timeline reasonable to them.

Please read below for our story, the problem, and how you can help pass this legislation. 

Our Story

Calling all Parents, teachers, students, RI Citizens, and advocates:

Colleen & I are two mothers with 17-year-old children with IEP's who are about to graduate High School and aspire to go to college. In our life after the high school journey, we came to realize – something is not right here. The same opportunities for students with disabilities are not being offered at CCRI as they are to typical students. In this journey, we have found people enrolled at CCRI that are experiencing this different treatment. Suzzane is one of them. We are asking for your support to get our voices heard to amend the Rhode Island Promise Scholarship. As it currently is, this scholarship is a broken promise to all Rhode Islanders with a disability. We need your voice to help change this. 

The Problem

Due to a disability, many teenagers and adults need to attend college as part-time students for various reasons. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehab Act, if a person has a qualifying disability, they have the right to accommodations to ensure equal access. A change in course load is a reasonable accommodation. If a student requires to be at CCRI for more than two years, they must pay for school. This is an unfair practice and standard for all children and adults with disabilities looking to utilize the Promise Scholarship. 

Recently CCRI leadership acknowledged that this needs to change, and they are hopeful they can change the policy at their level. It is excellent they know this needs to change, but there are a few problems. 

1) It is the law of the promise scholarship that CCRI operates within. It is the law that needs to change. 

2) As of this moment, we do not know when their policy will change, what the changes are, and if it can be changed. 

3) We do not know if the policy will address the main issues, which are:

  • Will a student with disabilities' schedules remain versatile and allow the time needed to graduate, even if they may need to take remedial classes at the start of their journey?
  • Will students with disabilities who have been dropped from the program due to not meeting requirements be allowed to continue with the promise scholarship?
  • Will students with disabilities, since the scholarship began, be allowed in the program if they chose not to pursue it due to the time requirements?
  • Will students with disabilities who graduate older than the age of 19 be allowed to use the promise scholarship?

Actions- how you can help

  • Sign the petition, share the petition and ask others to sign
    If you are someone (or know someone) who is impacted by this, please reach out to us.
  • Please send e-mails or make phone calls to state leaders in support of the Bill. 
  • This link has contact information and form letters. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eIfBHcDiVnrAPt0y0mKLl2Bd0IEyIeJM/view?usp=sharing
  • We need people to come forward to write statements or give testimony of impact or support.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and helping our cause!