Disability Services

Frequently Asked Questions

A Resource for Students, Faculty and Staff

The information provided below is designed to assist various on-and-off-campus constituents in locating answers to some commonly asked questions.

Please note that the information provided below represents a condensed version of the information provided elsewhere within the Office of Collegewide Disability Services website. Links have been provided within some questions to assist you in locating more in-depth information.

Click on a question to view the answer.

What accommodations are offered at Empire State College?

Students request accommodations based on their experiences with their disabilities, and therefore, accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis. There is no list of accommodations to choose from. Students have to determine what modifications to the study would accommodate their disabilities and share that information with the center's disability representative.

What If I don't know what accommodations to request?

The first question you should ask yourself is "How am I struggling in my studies?" The answer to that question will usually lead you to the modifications that you need to accommodate your disability. You should also talk with your center's disability representative. He or she can talk with you about your disability and any accommodations that you have used in the past, if any. If you are still having difficulty determining which accommodations may be appropriate for you, your request for accommodations will be forwarded to the Office of Collegewide Disability Services and you will be asked to provide documentation of your disability.

I am a prospective student with a disability. Do I have to tell admissions about my disability? Will my disability influence my admission to the college?

No. You are not obligated to inform the college of your disability during the admissions process. The presence of a disability will not influence your admission to the college at all.

Do I have to pay extra for accommodations?

No. Reasonable accommodations are provided by the college at no cost to the student.

What financial aid is available for students with disabilities?

Students with disabilities are eligible to apply for TAP funds on the basis of part-time study. To learn more about this option, please visit our Part-time TAP Application page If you would like to seek other funding sources, we recommend that you search the Internet through a search engine like Google. If you type in "Scholarships for college students with disabilities" you should be able to locate additional resources.

Do I have to request accommodations if I have a disability?

No. You only have to request accommodations if you want to use them in your studies. Accommodations will not be suggested or offered unless you identify yourself as a student with a disability and request them.

What is the difference between asking my mentor for an accommodation and talking with the disability representative for my center about my accommodations?

Requesting accommodations through your center's disability representative officially notifies the college that you are a student with a disability and invokes the protection of the state and federal disability laws. Talking with your mentor or tutor about what modifications you may need in the study does not. Please visit the Register with Disability Services and Request Accommodations page to request accommodations or visit the Office of Collegewide Disability Services Student Handbook pages to learn more about disability services at Empire State College.

Can I get a waiver of general education requirements as an accommodation for my disability?

Waiving requirements or other academic decisions are not accommodations. They are handled separate to the accommodation process. These requests necessitate the review of your center dean and, possibly, the Office of Academic Affairs. Your center disability representative can help you determine whether or not your request for accommodations is actually a request that requires an academic decision. More information about general education requirements is available.

Does the college have to provide assistive technology and computer equipment for my use at home if it will accommodate my disability?

No. The law does not require the college to purchase personal services, equipment or aids for you. You are responsible for providing your own equipment for home use.

I am a nonmatriculated student and I have a disability. Am I entitled to accommodations?

Yes. Any student who enrolls in a study at Empire State College and has a disability is entitled to accommodations under the laws.

I think I have a disability, but I have not been diagnosed. Does the college pay for my evaluation if I share my suspicions with my center disability rep?

No. It is the student's responsibility to determine whether or not a disability is present. The law does not require the college to identify and evaluate students who may have disabilities. More information about what to do if you suspect you have a disability is available.

I cannot use print textbooks and need audio books. Why must I pay for a copy of the textbook that I cannot use?

New York's Chapter 219 law requires that the student purchase the print version of the textbook in order to obtain a free electronic text copy of the book. This is done to protect the publisher's and author's copyright interests. If you would like to use an audio version of the book, you can request an audio text from Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D), which does not require students to purchase a copy of the textbook in addition to borrowing an audio version from them.

More information about Requesting Alternatively Formatted Books is available.

How do I request accommodations when I cross enroll at another college to take a class?

Each college has a staff member who is responsible for accommodating students with disabilities for that campus. If you think you will need accommodations, you should determine who that person is and make contact. You can usually find this information by going to the college's web site and searching the site using the words "disability services." When you contact the person responsible for accommodations at the other college, contact him or her and talk about your situation. The other college may require you to provide documentation of your disability or they may want to contact your disability representative to talk about your accommodations. Each college has different policies and procedures. You will have to follow their procedures to receive accommodations on their campus.

What type of documentation will I need and how recent does it have to be?

Documentation is required for only a few specific accommodation requests at Empire State College. Documentation is typically only required if your accommodation request is forwarded to the Office of Collegewide Disability Services.

More information about Documentation is available.

Where do I send my documentation?

If you are required to provide documentation, or if you wish to provide the documentation to the college regardless of whether it is required or not, you can fax it to 518-587-9716 or mail it to:

Office of Collegewide Disability Services
Empire State College
1 Union Ave.
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866