Student Disability Services

Registering with the Office of Student Disability Services

Follow these five steps to register with our office:

  1. Complete the Student Disability Services Intake form. (A hard copy is also available in our office in room 238 Shuster Hall.)
  2. Read the Documentation section and CUNY Documentation Guidelines below. These guidelines apply to ALL students.
  3. Obtain proper documentation and bring it to the SDS office, along with your completed intake form.
  4. Stop by room 238 Shuster Hall or call 718-960-8441 to make an appointment with a counselor. (Students should come to their appointments prepared to discuss the nature of their disability, the impact their disability has on their learning, and the accommodations needed to help meet their academic goals.)
  5. Once eligibility is determined, follow the instructions you’re given for requesting copies of accommodation letters from our office, which you will turn in to your professors, as well as for requesting specific services.

Legal Foundations
Compliance: Lehman College is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which states, “No otherwise qualified individual with disability in the United States... shall solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Disability defined: According to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, "A physically disabled student is one who has a physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment. Major life activities include such functions as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.”

Reasonable accommodations defined: The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 requires an institution of higher education to provide reasonable accommodations to a qualified individual with a documented disability, provided that accommodation does not create an undue hardship. An undue hardship refers to any accommodation that would be unduly costly, expensive, substantially disruptive, or that would fundamentally alter the nature of the program.

Documentation

In order for SDS to remit services, all students are responsible for obtaining and submitting proper documentation of their disability in accordance with CUNY Documentation Guidelines. This documentation must come from an appropriate medical professional. The Office of Student Disability Services reserves the right to request additional documentation if the information provided is incomplete or inadequate. Students with incomplete or outdated documentation may receive conditional accommodations for one semester. However, in good faith, the student must agree to provide proper documentation for the following semester, or these accommodations will be terminated. All documentation submitted to SDS is confidential.

Accommodation Letters
The Office of Student Disability Services furnishes eligible students with accommodation letters, which document the services they are entitled to receive throughout the semester. It is your responsibility to talk with your professors, so they understand the significance of these letters and are aware of the protocols they should follow to ensure timely delivery of services. The SDS office is happy to work with you to help facilitate effective communication with faculty.

CUNY Documetation Guidelines

Prepared by the CUNY Committee on Student Disability Issues—Documentation Guidelines Subcommittee. Respectfully Submitted 3/9/2005

Initiating services:  Each CUNY campus has a designated disability services provider. While the location of the office may vary, the service is available on every campus. Unlike high school, where students are automatically provided with testing and accommodation services, on the college campus it is the student's responsibility to self-disclose and to provide documentation in order to receive accommodations. The laws that govern the K-12 environment are not the same as those that govern the college environment. (See Incoming Freshmen, Transfer Students, and Veterans and Reservists for details.)

Documentation requirements: Students diagnosed with a disability who 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. This history can, however, 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 the student’s performance in an academic setting. These guidelines apply for all disability types recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Specifically:

  • A qualified professional should conduct the evaluation and provide his/her 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 must 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 must 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 professional at each campus.

Insufficient documentation may result in the delay of services and accommodations.

Note: The terms evaluation and documentation are used according to which is more appropriate given the nature of a disability. Both constitute acceptable reports or materials for supporting services and accommodations. For more information on requirements for specific disabilities, click the appropriate link below.

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)

Evaluation requirements are as follows:

  • The evaluation should be conducted by a qualified professional whose background includes training and relevant experience in the full range of psychiatric disorders.
  • The evaluation should have taken place within the past three years and should be updated as required.
  • The evaluation should include a summary of relevant historical information including initial onset, diagnosis, medication, and indication of ADHD throughout adolescence or adulthood.
  • The evaluation should identify functional limitations in the educational setting.
  • The evaluation should include rationale and recommendations for accommodations.

Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Documentation requirements are as follows:

  • Documentation should include a diagnosis based on an audiological evaluation conducted by a qualified professional.
  • Documentation should provide a description of functional limitations and recommendations for academic accommodations, interpreter services, and other services, including assistive technology.

Chronic Medical Condition

Evaluation requirements are as follows:

  • The evaluation should be submitted on letterhead (or a standardized medical documentation form provided by the college) by a qualified health professional.
  • The evaluation should have taken place within the past six months. In case of changes, new documentation must otherwise be submitted.
  • The evaluation should identify medication being taken, if any, and include information describing the possible impact of medication upon academic performance.
  • The evaluation should identify functional limitations in the academic environment and recommendations and rationale for accommodations and/or assistive technology.

Learning Disability

Evaluation requirements are as follows:

  • The evaluation should be conducted by someone with comprehensive training with both adolescents and adults with learning disabilities.
  • The evaluation should have taken place within the last three years of high school.
  • The evaluation should include a description of functional impact of diagnosis and specifics of how the learning process may be affected by the diagnosis; it should also include recommendations and rationale for accommodations and/or assistive technology.
  • The evaluation should include test scores to document the nature and severity of the disability.
  • Adult students not previously diagnosed must be evaluated by a qualified professional and submit appropriate evaluation documentation as per guidelines.

Mobility/Orthopedic Disability

Evaluation requirements are as follows:

  • The evaluation should be made by a qualified professional with the appropriate training in diagnosing physical disabilities.
  • The evaluation should be current and relevant. If the conditions change, an updated report will be required.
  • The evaluation should include a diagnosis, a description of any functional limitations, and recommendations and rationale for accommodations and/or assistive technology.

Psychiatric/Psychological Disability

Evaluation requirements are as follows:

  • The evaluation should be made by a professional who is qualified with appropriate training in diagnosing psychological and/or psychiatric disorders.
  • The evaluation should have taken place within the past three years and should be updated as required.
  • The evaluation should include a summary of relevant historical information such as initial onset, diagnosis, medication, and indication of psychological/psychiatric disorders throughout adolescence or adulthood.
  • The evaluation should include recommendations and rationale for specific accommodations.

Substance Abuse/Chemical Dependency

Evaluation requirements are as follows:

  • The evaluation should be made from a qualified professional with experience in the field of chemical dependency.
  • The evaluation should be current (within one year of submission).
  • The evaluation should identify academic functional limitations and include recommendations and rationale for accommodations.
  • The evaluation should include treatment program and medication information.

Visual Impairment/Blindness

Documentation requirements are as follows:

  • Documentation should include an ophthalmologic evaluation made by a qualified professional or granted by a recognized resource such as the New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (CBVH). If it is from CBVH, it must include the CBVH Registry Number).
  • Documentation should be current and reflect present condition. In the case of visual acuity changes, new documentation should be submitted.
  • Documentation should identify functional limitations and provide recommendations and rationale for academic accommodations and/or assistive technology.

Other

Consult with the director of disability services on your campus.

Last modified: Apr 29, 2013

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