How do I register for Services?
It is the responsibility of the student to self-identify as a student with a disability.
Students must contact SSD to schedule an appointment with the program director to register for services. It is the responsibility of the student to provide documentation (see documentation guidelines) to support the individual’s request for any accommodations.
Students need to 1) complete the SSD Intake form, 2) submit documentation of disability that supports request for accommodation and 3) meet with an SSD counselor who will conduct an interactive process with you to discuss your application for services. 4) Final determination of recommended accommodations will be reviewed for approval by the Director of the program.
What if I do not have documentation?
In the event that a student has not been previously diagnosed or does not have documentation of disability, it is recommended that the student set up an appointment with SSD to discuss ways of obtaining testing for disability or other ways of securing supporting documentation.
The office provides a warm and supportive environment and students are always welcome. While a student may not receive accommodations in the absence of supporting documentation, the SSD office is fully available to provide guidance and recommendations as needed.
Students diagnosed with a disability that request services or accommodations are required to provide appropriate and current documentation. In the case of multiple disabilities, students must provide documentation for each disability for which accommodations are requested. Prior documentation such as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a history of receiving accommodations from a former school does not necessarily validate the need for services or continuation of accommodations at the university level. However, this history can be attached to the current documentation as part of a comprehensive assessment battery. The determination of reasonable accommodations on campus is based on satisfying the documentation guidelines outlined below and a clear demonstration of the functional limitations on his or her performance in an academic setting. These guidelines apply for all disability types recognized by the ADA.
- A qualified professional should conduct the evaluation and provide name, title, professional credentials, including information about state licensure or certification number.
- The evaluation should include the diagnosis (ICD-10 or DSM-IV) and be dated. The document will include the original signature of the professional responsible for the assessment of functioning.
- The evaluation must be current. Disabilities may change in severity over time and documentation should support current accommodation needs.
- Recommendations and rationale for accommodations and/or assistive technology should be based on the analysis of the functional impact of the diagnosis.
- Services, accommodations, and/or assistive technology will be determined on an individual basis upon documentation review and consultation with the disability service director at each campus.
- Students must provide SSD consent to speak with your doctor and/or evaluator in order to verify submitted documentation before approving requests for reasonable accommodation(s).
- Insufficient documentation may result in the delay of services and accommodations.
Key Points: Qualified evaluator, current evaluation, evaluation signed and dated by evaluator, recommendations for accommodations. (Note: the term evaluation and documentation are used accordingly to that which is more appropriate for disability type). Both constitute acceptable reports or material for supporting services and accommodations.
Learning Disability Documentation Guidelines
The evaluation should:
- be conducted by an evaluator with comprehensive training with adolescents and adults with learning disabilities.
- be evaluated within the last three years of high school.
- include a description of functional impact of diagnosis and include specifics of how the learning process may be affected by the diagnosis; and should include recommendations and rationale for accommodations and/or assistive technology.
- include test scores to document the nature and severity of the disability.
- Adult students not previously diagnosed must provide appropriate documentation as per guidelines.
ADD/ADHD Documentation Guidelines
The evaluation should:
- be conducted by a qualified professional whose background includes training and relevant experience in the full range of psychiatric disorders.
- be within the past three years and be updated as required.
- include a summary of relevant historical information including initial onset, diagnosis, medication and indication of ADD/ADHD throughout adolescence or adulthood.
- identify functional limitations in the educational setting.
- include rationale for specific recommendations or accommodations.
Psychological & Psychiatric Disorders
The evaluation should:
- Be made by a professional who is qualified with appropriate training in diagnosing psychological and/or psychiatric disorders.
- Be current as of the date of request for accommodations, and updated as needed.
- Include a summary of relevant historical information including initial onset, diagnosis, medication and indication of psychological/psychiatric disorders throughout adolescence or adulthood.
- Include specific recommendations and rationale for academic accommodations.
Visual Impairment or Blindness
The evaluation should:
- include an ophthalmologic evaluation made by a qualified professional or granted by a recognized resource such as NY State Commission for the Blind (include CBVH Registry Number)
- be current and reflect present condition. In the case of visual acuity changes, new documentation should be submitted.
- identify functional limitations and provide recommendations for academic accommodations/assistive technology.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing Guidelines
The documentation should:
- include a recent diagnosis based on an audiological evaluation conducted by a qualified professional.
- include a description of functional limitations and recommendations for academic accommodations, interpreter services, and other services including assistive technology.
The evaluation should:
- be made by a qualified professional with the appropriate training in diagnosing physical disabilities.
- be current and relevant. If the conditions change, an updated report will be required.
- include a diagnosis, a description of any functional limitations and recommendations for accommodations and/or assistive technology.
Chronic Medical Condition
The evaluation should:
- be submitted on letterhead by a qualified health professional.
- be within the past six months.
- identify medication, if any, and include information describing the possible impact of the medication upon academic performance.
- identify functional limitations in the academic environment and recommendations for accommodations and/or assistive technology.
Substance Abuse / Chemical Dependency
The evaluation should:
- be submitted from a qualified professional with experience in the field of Chemical Dependency.
- be current (within one year of submission).
- identify academic functional limitations and recommendations for accommodations.
- include treatment program and medication information in the report.
- Consult with the disability director on campus.
What are Reasonable Accommodations?
According to federal law, no (otherwise) qualified person with disability shall be denied a benefit or opportunity or excluded from participation solely on the basis of that disability. An individual is considered qualified if with or without reasonable accommodation, they meet the same eligibility requirements and standards of behavior and performance demanded of anyone else.
This means that an accommodation or adjustment may be made on a case by case basis to enable an otherwise qualified person with a disability to have full access to the classes and programs at Queensborough Community College. Examples of such accommodations are not limited to but may include extended time for exams, the use of assistive technology (i.e. specialized software), or the use of a tape recorder in class.
It is important to note that an accommodation may be appropriate for one particular course but not for another. Accommodations are determined on an individualized basis for each student and each class. Requests for accommodations must be supported by appropriate documentation and must be submitted in a timely manner. Accommodations cannot be made on a retroactive basis.
Upon determination of accommodations, students will be provided with a complete form (Class Accommodations), which they will bring directly to each professor. This form communicates to the professor the accommodation under the ADA/504. This provides information that the student is covered under the ADA/504, however it does not disclose the nature of the disability.
Final determination of accommodations will be made by the coordinator in collaboration with the student. Students may request a review of recommendations and/or provide updated documentation as necessary.
There are no fees for accommodations provided for students with disabilities. Personal services such as personal aids and specialized transportation are not considered accommodations and are not provided by the college. Please discuss these needs with the disability director if such arrangements are necessary.
How do I Receive Accommodations?
Once you have met with the director and have been approved for accommodations, upon your request, you will be provided with an "Accommodation Card". You are required to produce this card when requesting accommodations from your professor at the beginning of each semester. The card will indicate SSD approved accommodations and does not disclose confidential information. It is the responsibility of the student to present the card to each professor from who they are requesting accommodations. Please remember that students identified as eligible for accommodations will not be permitted to seek retroactive use of accommodations. Likewise, students who fail to request, and / or use, their accommodations are not permitted to request faculty to provide them retroactively. Faculty are not required by law to provide retroactive accommodations to any student at any time.
In order to schedule an exam with accommodations, a Testing Accommodation Form must be completed and submitted to the SSD Lab (L115), no later than two days before the scheduled exam. The form should be completed by the student and presented to the professor who will in turn fill-in the requested information and immediately return it to the student. This form should be delivered by the student to the SSD Lab (L115). The exam will then be administered as per approved accommodations in the SSD Lab as scheduled. It is the students responsibility to follow this procedure in order to ensure accommodations.
Math & Reading
As per CUNY policy, the Compass Math and CUNY Reading exams are un-timed, therefore any student can take as much time as needed to complete the exams. When a student with a disability only needs extended time as an accommodation, they can be tested with the class/group on the date assigned to them by the Office of Testing. Students requesting other accommodations should schedule their exams through the SSD.
All students with disabilities requesting accommodations must schedule their exams through the SSD. All requests will be reviewed and appropriate accommodations will be determined according to documentation.
Assistive Technology Accommodations:
Assistive technology is available for student use in the SSD Lab and in all campus labs that are used by students. Individualized assistance and training is available by appointment as determined by disability documentation. For consultation regarding specialized hardware or software, please schedule and appointment with the assistive technology specialist in the SSD office (S132).
When is Assistive Technology a Reasonable Accommodation?
Assistive technology serves a very important role as a disability related accommodation. It will be approved for use in the classroom or for an exam only upon review of appropriate documentation. While the use of a tape recorder, spell-check device or a calculator can be helpful to anyone, they are only considered a reasonable accommodation under specific documented circumstances. Many students have been permitted to use certain assistive technology devices in high school, but may not have the same accommodations in the college environment.
Calculators may be approved as a reasonable accommodation only under the following conditions:
- Disability documentation indicates the presence of a specific cognitive disability that causes problems with arithmetic computation.
- The ability to add, subtract, multiply or divide is not considered to be the essential content of what the exam is intended to test.
Audio Recorders may be approved by some professors for use by any student who chooses to record a lecture, however the professor has the right to deny the use of an audio recorder in the classroom. For those students who rely on the audio recorder as a disability based accommodation, supporting documentation must be submitted and approved by SSD.
Spell-Check Devices are considered as a reasonable accommodation only under the following conditions:
- Disability documentation indicates a specific cognitive difficult with spelling.
- The ability to spell words is not the essential content of the exam for which the student is requesting accommodations.
All requests for assistive technology must be supported by appropriate documentation and will be reviewed on an individualized and course by course basis.
How do I request an ASL interpreter?
- All requests for ASL interpreters should be submitted to SSD room S132.
- For mainstream classes, you should submit a copy of your course registration.
- For situations other than your regularly scheduled classes, you should come to the SSD office, and fill out an "ASL Interpreter Services Request Form".
When should I request an ASL interpreter?
- All ASL interpreter requests should be made at least 3 weeks in advance, or as soon as you know the class or event date to allow enough time to make the necessary arrangements.
- SSD will make every effort to provide "reasonable accommodations" as required by law, but cannot guarantee services for last-minute requests.
Do I need ACCESS VR support to receive interpreting services?
- ACCESS VR support is not required to receive ASL interpreting services, but it is strongly recommended to assist with planning and paying for your education.
- Inform SSD if you are receiving support from ACCESS VR, and tell us the name of your counselor and the office where your counselor is located.
*Sorenson SVRS Video Relay Service is provided free of charge in S-132 and can be used during our normal business hours 8:45 am to 5 pm Monday – Friday.