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Disability Resource Center

Policy and Procedure Manual

Access, Advocacy, and Achievement

Disability Resource Center General Policy and Procedure Manual


To facilitate reasonable and appropriate accommodations and services for students with disabilities.

It is the policy of SUNY New Paltz to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Federal law (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) established the rights of individuals with disabilities. SUNY New Paltz shall comply with all applicable federal laws and regulations regarding reasonable accommodations needed to provide equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities.


Students with disabilities may be eligible to receive academic support services and accommodations. Eligibility is based on assessment of each individual’s needs.

Accommodations and services may include, but are not limited to:

  • In-class note-takers
  • Testing accommodations
  • Alternative format services
  • Academic consultation
  • Campus referrals (e.g. Career Resource Center, Counseling Center, etc.)
  • Community referrals
  • Assistive technology and assistive technology training
  • Academic support services
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) support services


Requesting Academic Accommodation

  1. Students must provide timely notice to the Disability Resource Center (DRC) regarding the need for accommodations and/or services. Students are encouraged to self-disclose their disability prior to his/her first semester.
  2. Requests for accommodations must be initiated by a SUNY New Paltz student. It is the student’s sole responsibility to request or initiate the request for accommodations and/or services each semester.
  3. Disability documentation is not required, but is highly recommended. Documentation should state that a disability exists; functional limitations; and the need for accommodation as well as a signature by a certified/licensed professional or doctor. Further information regarding documentation can be obtained from the DRC.
  4. DRC staff will make every effort to provide accommodations in a timely manner, but last minute requests for accommodations may not be feasible.
  5. Every New Paltz student is responsible for their behavior regardless of disability. See the Student Handbook for more information.
  6. Once a student has requested an accommodation in a timely manner, the DRC will take the following steps to determine an appropriate accommodation based on the student interview, professional judgment, and documentation submitted:
    • Step 1- Work with the student to identify a range of potential accommodations and assess the effectiveness each would have in leveling the individual’s academic performance.
    • Step 2- Considering the needs of the individual and the requirements of the program or course, DRC staff will select and implement the most appropriate accommodation.
    • Step 3- DRC staff will verify the request for accommodation and document the accommodation on letterhead paper for the student to present to any and all instructors.
    • Step 4- The individual with a disability is responsible for notifying his/her instructor of need for accommodation via the accommodation memo.
    • Step 5- The instructor and individual with a disability agree to the accommodations and negotiate how and when the accommodation will be carried out. An instructor can make the determination to provide accommodations above and beyond those requested, but he/she is not obligated to do so under the law. If the accommodation needs change during the course of the semester, the student should discuss this with the instructor immediately. Another accommodation letter from the DRC may be requested.
    • Step 6- If the individual with a disability chooses not to inform their instructors that they have a disability needing accommodation (early in semester), but subsequently changes his/her mind during the course of the semester, then such changes should be made with as much advance notice as possible to the DRC.


                  Requesting Accommodation Letters from the DRC 


2. Event/Program Accessibility

  • Institutional departments that offer programs/events open to the public must publish information available to participants with disabilities informing them to request in advance any accommodations needed to allow them full accessibility.
  • A reasonable advance notice of at least 10 days should be given by any qualified individual with a disability needing accommodations. However, each request, regardless of time frame, will be responded to with the goal of providing access to the program/event.

3. Grievance Procedure

The intent of the Disability Resource Center is to comply with all federal regulations and meet its obligations to provide equal access to programs and services for qualified individuals with disabilities. Individuals with disabilities who have complaints about an accommodation determination must reach out to DRC staff for the appropriate steps to appeal an accommodation determination. Individuals with disabilities at SUNY New Paltz who consider themselves victims of discrimination based on a disability may file a grievance with the Affirmative Action Office within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory act. Complaints can also be filed with the Office of Compliance and Campus Climate/AAO. See more on the Office for Civil Rights website.


1. Academic accommodation: Any modification or change in the educational environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to have equal educational opportunities. This term may include:

  • Making existing facilities and programs readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities
  • Relocating classrooms, developing alternative testing procedures, or providing educational auxiliary aids, readers, note takers, interpreters, etc.
  • Altering or substituting specific courses, major/minor programs, and/or general education or degree requirements.

2. Individual with a disability: An individual with a disability is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment.