Students’ Rights and Responsibilities

You, the student, have the right and responsibility to:

  • choose whether or not to disclose your disability. If you don’t want the institution to know or feel that you don’t need or want accommodations, no one is going to make you disclose or force you to use accommodations.
  • request accommodations. If you feel the functional limitations of your disability create unnecessary barriers that could be mediated by reasonable accommodations, you have the right to make a request.
  • provide documentation of your disability and how it impacts your academic performance. At Empire State College, most accommodations do not require documentation; however, you will be required to provide documentation if you request books in alternative formats, ADA Part-Time TAP or Reader’s Aid Funds.
  • communicate in a timely manner with appropriate personnel about your disability, accommodations or what is or is not working
  • success vs. access. No college is required to lower the academic, course, and/or program expectations; again, the legislative focus in higher education is on participation and access and does not guarantee success.
  • file a grievance if you feel there is discrimination against you.
    • formal vs. informal: the difference between having a conversation with your mentor or disability representative and making a written complaint using institutional processes
    • institutional vs. outside the institution: following institutional processes versus filing a complaint with an external agency such as the Office of Civil Rights

The institution has the right and responsibility to:

  • admit you as a student. If you meet the same admissions requirements as other students (known as being ‘otherwise qualified’), no college can deny you admission based solely on your disability.
  • request documentation of the presence of a current disability, how that disability impacts educational tasks and learning and the need for accommodations.
  • deny an accommodation that would:
    • fundamentally alter a course or program
    • reduce course or program standards
    • result in undue burden.

This includes requests for certain types of personal aides and services, such as assistance with eating, toileting or dressing.

This also includes providing financial assistance to students for the purchase of any personal equipment or technology such as software programs, laptops, computers or personal assistive technology.

Return to Student Handbook or continue to Student Action Plan: A Step-By-Step Guide.