Accommodations

Common Accommodations

Each student’s needs and accommodative services will be evaluated and provided on an individual basis.  In most cases, however, barriers to access are eliminated through the implementation of one or more of the following accommodations:

 

Reduced Course Load

Under the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, students with disabilities whose disabling condition is such that a course load in excess of 11 credit hours is not possible may maintain status as a full time student (12 or more credits) while being enrolled with a part time schedule (1 to 11 credits).  Requests for a reduced course load will be evaluated in terms of the impact of the disability and the demands of a proposed course schedule.  In order for a reduced course load to be approved, students must provide appropriate documentation to Accessibility Services verifying a disability and supporting the request.  Therefore, documentation must explain why a particular barrier is significant enough to prevent pursuit of a full time schedule.  Additionally, students must specifically request a reduced course load no later than the first day of class for each semester.  

In all cases, students must be aware that a reduced course load may affect the amount and application of federal and state financial aid grants.   Therefore, it is extremely important that students consult with the Financial Aid office prior to committing to a reduced course load.  Equally as important, students should discuss the implications of a reduced load on their overall educational goals with their academic advisor. 

Students playing varsity sports at SUNY Adirondack are subject to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) requirements and should consult with the Chair of the Athletic Department for these rules and regulations prior to committing to a reduced course load. 

 

Testing

There are a number of appropriate testing accommodations that may be implemented depending on the specific disability-related needs of the student. In all cases students must adhere to the Learning Specialist’s Policy and Procedure for Testing Accommodations.  Typical testing accommodations may include, but are not limited to, the following:

Extended Time:  Extended time is determined on a case-by-case basis and is calculated based on the documentation provided by the student and the standard amount of time allowed for the exam.  It generally results in time and a half and does not mean unlimited time. Students should arrive at the Accessibility Services at or before their scheduled time.  

Separate Location:  This is a location where outside distractions are reduced.  No space may be entirely distraction free, but we will work together to make it as quiet as possible.  Please discuss any concerns with the Learning Specialist.

Reader:  Tests and quizzes are scanned and read by software (Kurzweil 3000).  Students should familiarize themselves with the software before they first use it.  Our office can show you how.

Calculator: A calculator may be provided if it does not fundamentally alter the nature of the exam or the evaluation of student’s ability to meet course expectations. 

Scribe: A scribe writes exactly what the student dictates.  The scribe may not provide the student with any information about the material being tested, clarify test questions or provide additional examples and the student should not ask that they do so.

Computer Access:  The use of word processing programs may be preferred over a scribe by a student and may allow that student to complete essay exams independently.  Some students may be eligible for the use of enlargement, voice recognition software, or a spell checker.

Converted Format:  This may include large print, Braille, or audio-recorded exam material. 

 

Books in alternate format/audio

Students with visual impairments, learning disabilities or other physical disabilities that result in the inability to effectively read or comprehend standard print may be eligible to receive books in alternate format.  Students who feel they are eligible for this accommodation should meet with the Director of Accessibility Services to review eligibility and procedures for obtaining materials as soon as they are registered for classes. 

 

Accommodative Furniture

Students with physical disabilities or medical concerns that make it difficult to sit in traditional classroom desks or those utilizing wheelchairs may request the placement of accommodative furniture in their classrooms.  Students should inform the Director of Accessibility Services as soon as possible, preferably prior to the start of classes, and clarify what their needs are.  The Director will inform the Director of Facilities and furniture will be placed in appropriate locations. 

 

Equipment and Technology

SUNY Adirondack has a variety of equipment and technology that can be accessed on campus to assist students with disabilities.  This includes:

Students who borrow adaptive equipment must take the responsibility for the items and agree to have the equipment returned to Accessibility Services as indicated at the time of the loan.  Students must also agree to make restitution for any and all damages to and/or loss of the equipment.  A hold may be put on a student’s academic records if the equipment or restitution is not made in a timely manner.

 

Note Takers

Note Takers can be provided to students when a disability presents significant difficulty in academic performance skills such as writing, verbal comprehension or concentration.  Students who receive note takers as an accommodation are asked to take the primary responsibility in identifying and hiring other students willing to provide the service.  If necessary, Accessibility Services will assist in this process.  Students pursuing note taker services are encouraged to take the following steps:

~Complete accommodation forms with the Director of Accessibility Services or Learning Specialist and get note-taking services approved;

~Observe classmates and identify those that seem to follow along well.  (If you have difficulty finding a note taker, approach your instructor and ask for assistance).

~Approach a classmate you feel may provide good service, and ask if she/he would be interested in receiving compensation for assisting you with notes during the semester;

~Ask your classmate to complete a note taker information card and return it to Accessibility Services.  At this time we will provide the note taker with all other necessary information and paperwork; 

 

Students who are serving as note takers will be paid for their services.  Students receiving note taker services must monitor the quality and timeliness of the notes they receive.   Note Takers are not required to provide notes to students on days when the student who is receiving services does not report to class.

 

Course Substitutions

Faculty and administrators at SUNY Adirondack understand that at times traditional accommodations may not be sufficient to achieve the goal of providing students with disabilities with equal access to degree programs.   In recognition of this, the College may approve course substitutions that do not compromise essential components or standards of academic programs.  Requests for course substitutions will be evaluated based on section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.  No student may be allowed to substitute or waive course requirements, pre-requisites or other degree requirements unless approved by SUNY Adirondack.  It should be noted that federal regulation prohibits the College from waiving or substituting essential course requirements or components of programs leading to licensure or certification. Course substitutions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis according to the following procedures:

Students who wish to pursue a course substitution due to disability status must submit a written request to the Director of Accessibility Services.  The submission must identify the specific request, include a statement identifying the reason for the request, and the student must submit documentation that verifies prior experiences with the subject matter pertaining to the request including the names of courses taken, grades received and steps taken to supplement efforts in the subject area.  The student must also submit documentation that clearly substantiates the student’s disability and its specific impact on the student’s ability to perform in the academic area in question.  This documentation must be on file in Accessibility Services or provided at the time of the request.  Disability related documentation must be relevant and comprehensive and provided by an appropriate professional as detailed in the documentation guidelines available through Accessibility Services.   

Requests for course substitutions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis as timely as possible.  It is important that the appropriate party has sufficient time to review and evaluate course substitution requests.  Generally, students should submit requests and all supporting documentation at least six weeks prior to the start of the semester for which the substitution would take effect.  At all times, course adaptation and/or accommodations will be considered before a substitution is offered.  Approved substitutions will not relieve students of the responsibilities or transcript outcome of courses for which they are enrolled in at the time of a request, and will not affect the status of previously transcripted grades.  Course substitutions will also be rendered exempt if the student changes programs prior to graduation.

At the time of the request the student must consent to the release of disability related information as it pertains to the request to the appropriate division Chair.  The Director of Accessibility Services will consult with the Chair to help determine the appropriate course of action, and reserves the right to consult with diagnosticians in the areas of special education and/or learning disabilities as needed.  After a thorough review of each request and all supporting documentation, a written decision will be provided to the student by the division Chair.  If the request is approved, the Chair will identify at least one course that may be used as a substitute and reserves the right to consult with other academic divisions to identify appropriate options.  A copy of the decision will be forwarded to Accessibility Services and, if appropriate, the Registrar will be informed so that necessary adjustments can be made to the student’s transcript. 

 

Students who wish to appeal the decision of a division Chair must submit a letter of appeal to the Accessibility Services. The letter of appeal and all supporting documentation related to the request, including the written decision provided by the division Chair, will be forwarded to the Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs for review.  The Vice President will consult with the Dean of Academic Affairs and the Division Chairperson as necessary and will issue a final written decision to the student.  A copy of this decision will also be filed with Accessibility Services.

Interpreter Services

Students who are deaf and use sign language to communicate should contact Accessibility Services so interpreter services can be set up.  Because it can be challenging to find interpreters in our area, it is crucial for a deaf student to notify the office of their need as soon as possible.  The director will approve the student for priority registration so an interpreter can be secured early enough.

Currently, the College maintains relationships with New York State’s office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR formerly known as VESID) and Northeast Career Planning which are the primary resources for interpreter services for our students.  Students should be aware, however, that the responsibility to request support services, to provide appropriate documentation and to inform the College about their communication needs rests with the student.  Early notice is essential for Accessibility Services to coordinate appropriate and meaningful services.  

The role of an interpreter is to provide students who are deaf or hearing impaired with equal access to college sponsored programs and activities by facilitating communication between the student and the instructor and other students during class sessions, and between the student and the instructor during formal meetings or consultations.  Interpreters may also be available for campus sponsored activities such as social events, lectures and presentations as needed.  Interpreters do not function as tutors, note takers, counselors or advisors and are not required to facilitate personal conversations.  At times, interpreters may function in teams to avoid fatigue and to provide appropriate service. The following guidelines also apply to the provision of interpreter services at SUNY Adirondack:

  1. Student participation and feedback is an important part of ensuring the success of interpreting services.  Interpreters may be able to adjust their signing speed and/or style to fit student needs and students should work directly with their interpreter to develop signs that may be course specific.  Students should also provide interpreter/s with copies of each class syllabus, relevant hand-outs, and vocabulary lists as necessary. 
  2. Students who are provided with interpreter services must maintain appropriate communication with their interpreter/s regarding class attendance and schedules.  Students should also be aware that most interpreters do not live locally and travel up to 1 ½ hours to get to campus.  Based on this, students should make sure to directly contact their interpreter/s as soon as possible if changes in their schedule occur, they will miss or be late to a scheduled class for any reason, or the class is canceled by the instructor or due to weather conditions.  In the event that a student cannot contact his/her interpreter/s Accessibility Services should be notified immediately.  In the event of unplanned absence or lateness, the following guidelines will apply:
    1. Interpreters will wait in or outside of the class room fifteen (15) minutes.   If the student does not arrive by the designated time the interpreter will notify Accessibility Services as soon as possible.
    2. Persistent lateness or absences may result in the suspension or cancelation of interpreter services until a consultation with the Director of Accessibility Services and the interpreter takes place.
  3. Generally, students should discuss any interpreting related problems or concerns directly with the interpreter for the class.  If additional assistance is needed, the student should schedule an appointment with the Director of Accessibility Services to discuss the situation further.  In addition:
    1. If an interpreter does not report to or is late for a scheduled class, the student should inform the faculty member and ask him/her to help identify some one to take notes for you and/or, if possible, tape record the class for later transcription or interpretation.  Accessibility Services should be informed as soon as possible if the interpreter does not report to class or if repeated lateness occurs. 
    2. Interpreters are expected to maintain a neutral and professional role with college faculty and adhere to the Code of Ethics of the national Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).  Generally, the Code requires interpreters to maintain confidentiality and to interpret messages and information without bias or interjection of personal opinion.  Interpreters are also required to follow the guidelines for providing service to college students outlined by Northeast Career Planning.  Copies of these guidelines and the RID Code of Ethics can be obtained from Accessibility Services upon request.  Any misconduct should be reported to our office as soon as possible.
  4. SUNY Adirondack will also seek to provide students with interpreter services for any campus sponsored event or activity and for presentations or lectures required as a component of a scheduled class.  Out of class interpreter service requests should be made Accessibility Services as early as possible, or at least three (3) business days prior to the actual activity or event. If there is no interpreter available at the requested time, the Director of Accessibility Services will seek to provide the student/s with alternative accommodations such as a note taker or captionist.
Recording Lectures

Students with disabilities that result in difficulties with memory, auditory processing or related issues may be eligible to record class lectures as an accommodation.  Students must first complete accommodation forms with Accessibility Services and get recording lectures approved as an accommodation.  At this point, students can choose to purchase and use their own recorders or to borrow one from Accessibility Services.  At times, recordings may be restricted to lectures only, in order to protect the confidentiality of other students who share personal information in the classroom setting.

  Tutoring

SUNY Adirondack provides selected tutorial services that are available to all students enrolled in the College.  Take a look at our current TUTOR SCHEDULE.  Section 504 and the ADA require that students with disabilities have equal access to these services.  The law does not require the College to provide tutoring as a distinct accommodation to students with disabilities.  Students registered with Accessibility Services may utilize existing tutorial services on campus to help them with their individual academic needs.  When possible, Accessibility Services will assist students in establishing individual tutorials as necessary. 

Some students may receive funding for tutors through the New York State Office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR formerly known as VESID) or other sponsoring organizations.  In these situations, Accessibility Services will coordinate and process the required paperwork to issue payment to tutors and, if possible, may assist students in locating a tutor. 

 

Assisted Priority Registration

Each semester, the College provides a two-week period of time for students who have already accumulated credits at SUNY Adirondack to register for classes for the following semester prior to opening registration to new or non-matriculated students.  During this week, the day a particular student may register for the following semester is dependent on the number of credits earned, such that students with 45+ credits may register on the first day and students with 30 credits may register on the second day and so on.  Students with disabilities that may impact their ability to stand in line, report to campus or those who need a specific schedule to accommodate their disability should inform the Director of Accessibility Services at least one week before the priority registration period.  Students should also meet with an academic advisor, complete a registration form, ensure that there are no holds on their accounts, and provide the registration form to Accessibility Services.  The Director will submit the registration form to the Registrar on the day in which the student was originally assigned clearance to register.  In some cases the Director will request that a student’s registration be entered earlier if the individual situation warrants the action. 

 

Parking

Students who do not have the designated tag/authorization through the Police or Motor Vehicle Department, but need to park closer to the buildings may request a parking permit through Accessibility Services.  Each request will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and authorization will be provided when appropriate.  Parking stickers will be issued by the Facilities Department and must be placed in the appropriate location on the vehicle according to their policies and procedures.