Accessibility Services

The primary purpose of the Office of Student Accessibility Services is to facilitate educational development of students with a documented disability and to improve the understanding and support of the campus environment. To assure fulfillment of these purposes, the Office of Student Accessibility Services administers procedures which:

  1. Conducts assessment of students’ needs and notify the campus units with which they interact in meeting these needs.
  2. Advocates for the needs of students so that the entire campus gains a general awareness of, and sensitivity to, the importance of maintaining an accessible environment.
  3. Coordinates actions, policies, and procedures by individuals, offices, and departments which affect overall campus accessibility.
  4. Assures that all students have equal access to all institutional programs and services.

Procedures for accommodating students with documented disabilities 

Preamble ~ SUNY Canton is committed to serving individuals with disabilities as defined by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the ADA Amendments 2008. The campus community is advised that the very best performance of the campus community will be required to meet the special needs of certain students. Situations will vary depending upon the student’s unique abilities, and accommodations will be made upon individual needs assessments.

The College has established the following procedures to meet the unique needs of students as indicated by their documentation:

  1. The admissions process, for all students, begins with the Admissions Office.This office makes all admission decisions. In the case of an applicant with a known disability, the decision-making process may involve consultation with the School Dean and the Director of Student Accessibility Services.
  2. To receive services from SUNY Canton, students need to identify themselves as a student with a disability and articulate their needs, thus ensuring legitimate access to programs and services.Step 1: The applicant calls or sends a letter of inquiry to the Director of Admissions to request information – i.e., college catalog, application, financial aid, etc. Simultaneously, the applicant should inquire about the services available for students with disabilities and be given an Student Accessibility Services business card and brochure.Step 2: The applicant sends the completed admissions forms and fees to their prospective destinations. If a student with a disability needs assistance with the application process, the Office of Student Accessibility Services may assist them.Step 3: The applicant completes financial aid applications for federal, state, and local aid including TAP, PELL, EOP, etc. The applicant may also apply for aid and services from their local office of Adult Career and Continuing Education Services, Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES VR), formerly (VESID).
  3. The Admissions Office includes the Admitted Student Support letter in all new student admission packets. This letter gives students information about the Office of Student Accessibility Services, the Counseling Center, and the Davis Health Center.
  4. Upon notification of student interest, a request for necessary documentation will be made. Reference: Guidelines for Documenting Accommodation Requests is available on the SUNY Canton website or through the Office of Student Accessibility Services.Upon receipt of student documentation, Student Accessibility Services will contact the student with a confirmation of the received documentation and a decision as to whether it meets institutional criteria.SUNY Canton recognizes the highly confidential nature of disability-related information and of the state and federal guidelines regarding control and restricting access to this information. The assignment of responsibility for collecting and holding disability- related documentation lies with the Director of Student Accessibility Services. Students registered with the Office of Student Accessibility Services sign a release of information form to allow this office to send faculty notification and to discuss a student’s academic need, modification or progress with appropriate faculty, and/or university personnel.
  5. The Director of Student Accessibility Services will also communicate with the Davis Health Center, the Counseling Center, and the appropriate School Dean regarding any condition which could interfere with the educational process at the beginning of each semester. Applicants unable to perform the essential functions of a particular curriculum (i.e., lifting, using power tools, calibrating machinery) could be restricted or denied admission to specific programs or their programs could be adjusted after consultation with the School Dean, the Program Coordinator, the Director of Health Services, and the Counseling Center.
  6. All applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the campus prior to registration day. Orientation is a unique program designed to introduce students to all aspects of college life. Students meet with their School Dean and academic advisor and set up their schedules. This is also a perfect opportunity to become acquainted with the physical layout of the campus, and meet with the Director of Student Accessibility Services to draw up an individual accommodation plan.
  7. It is essential that adequate applicant/parent/service agency communication take place to ensure that a smooth transition is made to college. Following admission, an interview with the Director of Student Accessibility Services is required to discuss academic adjustments, reasonable and appropriate accommodations, and/or auxiliary aids, classroom, or residence hall accommodations. Adequate planning time must be allowed to ensure individual accommodations are in place. It is recommended that the Director of Student Accessibility Services be contacted at least thirty days prior to registration day to ensure timely services.
  8. Upon receipt of the student’s official schedule (each semester), Student Accessibility Services will send confidential written notification to each faculty member who has the student with documented needs in their class. An email will be sent to faculty members for any online course. Student Accessibility Services will assist faculty members with accommodations as necessary. This may include course selection and finalizing any special arrangements to help the student obtain textbook titles, materials, and instructional aids. (NOTE: Substantial lead time may be required to obtain materials from agencies, such as Access-Text Network or individual textbook publishers). The Director of Student Accessibility Services will also determine the accessibility of classroom, lab, and academic support facilities in consultation with appropriate faculty and alert the Registrar of any necessary changes. In addition to providing advisement leading to registration, the faculty advisor and the Director of Student Accessibility Services will assist students with the physical aspects of registration (if necessary).
  9. Students with disabilities and faculty should reference Guidelines for Alternative Testing Services for students with disabilities, available in the Office of Student Accessibility Services or at Faculty should also reference the Faculty Handbook for information regarding testing, textbooks in alternate format, and course substitutions.The Director of Student Accessibility Services will assist students with disabilities, prior to registration, by making arrangements to meet their individual needs in such major areas: Residence Life
    SUNY Canton has accessible rooms and bathrooms in the residence halls for students with mobility impairments. Students who require special housing accommodations are advised to fill out the form located in the Medical Housing Process.


    All requests are reviewed by a committee comprised of the Offices of Student Accessibility Services, Residence Life, Davis Health Center and Counseling Center. Students are advised to request arrangements for these rooms as early as possible.Transportation

    Students with disabilities are required to provide their own accessible transport to campus. The Office of Student Accessibility Services has two motorized chairs which may be used by students, with a physician’s script, on a temporary basis. Accessible parking permits are also available for students from the University Police; documentation is required.

    Food Service
    Special dietary concerns are accommodated by the Food Service Department. Meal transfers are available for students with temporary disabilities.

    Davis Health CenterThe Davis Health Center works closely with the Office of Student Accessibility Services to provide care for students with disabilities. Record of medications and accommodative medical action plans are coordinated between these two offices.

    Counseling CenterThe Campus Counseling Center works closely with the Office of Student Accessibility Services by providing free and confidential personal counseling to students with a mental health diagnosis.

    Academic SchoolsThe Director of Student Accessibility Services may conduct an evaluation conference to review individual cases where curriculum change or academic suspensions may be in order. The conference may include the following staff members: Faculty Advisor, School Dean, Director of Personal Counseling Services, Director of Health Services, and the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.
    The purpose of this conference will be to:

    1. Determine if the academic program in which the student is enrolled is appropriate.
    2. Determine the effectiveness of the college services provided to date.
    3. Recommend changes where appropriate.

    Financial Aid
    Students registered with the Office of Student Accessibility Services may be certified by the Campus Registrar’s Office for part-time NYS Tuition Assistance Program (TAP). Part-time students may receive a waiver to live on campus. Part-time students are also eligible to receive academic honors and to participate in extracurricular activities.

    External Agencies
    Students with disabilities are encouraged to avail themselves of the services available from programs such as: ACCES VR, Commission for the Blind, and the Veterans Administration. The Office of Student Accessibility Services coordinates services with these offices to provided extended student support.

    SecurityStudents with disabilities should make themselves familiar with the campus Emergency Evacuation Program. A brochure for this program is available at the Office of Student Accessibility Services.

  10. The Director of Student Accessibility Services will also assist students by coordinating any on-campus support (health services, personal counseling, tutoring services, career advisement, and planning services) which are available to all SUNY Canton students.Tutoring is not an approved accommodation for students with disabilities. Section 504 regulations state that tutoring and studying are personal services and responsibilities. Tutoring is available at SUNY Canton for all students through the Tutoring Office located in the Southworth Library Learning Commons.

Procedures for accommodating students not identified prior to enrollment

If, at any time following enrollment and/or registration, a faculty member, professional staff, or the Director of Student Accessibility Services identifies a student with a documented disability who is not receiving services, that student will be assessed and a determination of appropriate placement will be made. If it is evident that a student’s needs cannot be accommodated, the School Dean will recommend the student seek transfer to another curriculum at SUNY Canton or some other college, university, or training program (i.e. ACCES VR).

If, at any time following enrollment and/or registration, it is suspected by faculty, the Davis Health Center, or any other college official that a student might be eligible for services but does not have the required documentation, the student may be referred to the Office of Student Accessibility Services and screened by the Director of Student Accessibility Services. The Director may refer the student, if appropriate, for further evaluation. The Office of Student Accessibility Services endorses a policy by which such students will be granted minimal accommodations (i.e. extended time for exams in a quiet location) for one semester only, to allow for completion of this evaluation procedure. Faculty members will be notified of students receiving temporary accommodations.

Technology-based educational opportunities

SUNY Canton has an institutional commitment to provide technology-based educational opportunities and equal access to the Internet for students with disabilities. The Office of Student Accessibility Services works with the Dean of Academic Support Services and Instructional Technologies to identify technologies that support students with disabilities. Statements of an inclusive nature appear on all online course syllabi.

Specific information for faculty regarding working with students with disabilities can be found in the Faculty Handbook.