Policy and Procedures


SUNY Cortland is committed to upholding and maintaining all aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) approved in l990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of l973. We are dedicated to ensuring reasonable access to our campus programs and facilities, and continuously seek to augment and improve our services. Disability Resources has been designated as the office that coordinates services for students with documented disabilities who voluntarily identify themselves to the Office.

Direct Service

  • Determines eligibility for services based upon documentation of a disability.
  • Maintains confidential student records.
  • Provides information to students regarding their legal rights and responsibilities.
  • Review of disability documentation and development of a needs assessment.
  • Consults with students about appropriate accommodations based on documentation.
  • Coordinates auxiliary aides and services.
  • Provides personal and educational counseling.
  • Assists students in self-monitoring the effectiveness of accommodations.
  • Serves as an advocate for students with faculty, administrators and/or other departmental staff.

Education and Outreach

  • Responds to inquiries from prospective students or their families.
  • Communicates information regarding program activities and services to students.
  • Conducts outreach activities for high school students.
  • Consults with administrators and faculty regarding the needs of students with disabilities.
  • Provides training for faculty regarding accommodations and auxiliary aides.
  • Provides training for institutional administration regarding awareness of disabilities.


  • Liaison with other relevant state, local or community resources.
  • Collaborates with Facilities and Physical Plant to ensure access to campus facilities.
  • Gathers information related to adaptive technology and collaborates with Academic Computing to ensure accessibility.
  • Serves on campus committees to develop policies/procedures regarding students with disabilities.
  • Serves on state and regional councils including SUNY Disability Services Council and The Central New York Post-Secondary Disability Consortium.

SUNY Cortland is one of thirteen colleges of Arts and Science affiliated with the State University of New York (SUNY). The university is shaped and characterized by its commitment to a dual mission: providing and fostering lifelong learning and providing service to the community. The university strives to be accessible, community centered and adaptable to the needs of its students, employees and the community. SUNY Cortland is dedicated to accommodating the special needs of individuals with disabilities for the purpose of providing equal access to all programs and services as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

This document establishes the policy and procedures for determining accommodations for prospective students (matriculated and non-matriculated), employees of SUNY Cortland, and visitors to campus events such as lectures, sporting events or Commencement ceremonies. SUNY Cortland has:

  • established procedures to adequately respond to requests for accommodation
  • established procedures to provide notice to interested parties of the existence of a program of services, its location, identity of the person to contact to obtain information and services; and
  • developed a program for provision of services for students with disabilities.


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Accessibility and Equal Opportunity

It is the policy of SUNY Cortland to provide reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities in accordance with applicable laws. 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 Cortland and its employees shall comply with all applicable federal laws and regulations regarding reasonable accommodations necessary to ensure equal opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities.

It is the policy of SUNY Cortland to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities on an individualized and flexible basis. Although programs are not required to have all the resources individuals with disabilities may need, they are expected to have the flexibility and capacity to provide reasonable accommodations as needs arise.

Individuals with documented disabilities (as defined by state and federal regulations), may be eligible for reasonable accommodations. The responsibility for initiating a request for accommodations lies with the individual with a disability. It is the responsibility of every individual making a request for accommodations to provide adequate documentation that supports his/her request. Submitted documentation must be from an appropriate, qualified professional. In accordance with federal and state regulations disability related information will be treated in a confidential manner by SUNY Cortland.

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Designated Campus Contacts

Students with Disabilities

The University has designated Disability Resources as the Office which coordinates services for students with disabilities. The Director of Disability Resources collects student disability documentation, evaluates requests by students for reasonable accommodations and coordinates appropriate services. Final determination as to the appropriateness of an accommodation to the University setting is evaluated on a case by case basis and rests with the University. The Director of Disability Resources also assists faculty, staff students with information and resources relating to disability and serves as a consultant for persons needing information or referrals to outside agencies or professionals.

Employees with Disabilities

The University has designated the ADA/504 Coordinator as the contact person for employees with disabilities requesting reasonable accommodations. The ADA/504 Coordinator collects employee disability documentation and follows policy and procedures for employee requests for accommodations. The ADA/504 Coordinator is available to assist faculty and staff in gaining a greater understanding of the law and provide clarification of the University's obligations under the law to provide accommodations.

Campus Visitors

Persons with disabilities visiting the SUNY Cortland Campus should contact the designated department personnel conducting or coordinating specific activities, programs or events which they will be attending. The designated department personnel conducting or coordinating the specific activity, program or event should consult with the ADA/504 Coordinator if assistance is needed. Determination as to how to best meet the needs of those individuals with disabilities attending such activities shall be made on a case by case basis.

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Requesting Accommodations

  1. A request and determination of an accommodation is handled through the designated campus contact. Students with disabilities should contact Disability Resources, employees should contact the ADA/504 Coordinator (located in the Office of Human Resources), and all other requests should be directed to the office sponsoring the specific program or activity.
  2. Individuals with disabilities may choose to self-disclose, to the appropriate campus contact, information about their disability at any time. In order to ensure sufficient time to coordinate auxiliary aids and services, it is the responsibility of the individual to make the request in a timely manner. If a request is made after a designated deadline, every effort will be made to accommodate the request. However, because many accommodations require early planning, the University cannot guarantee that all requests for accommodations will be met. Untimely requests may result in delay, substitution or denial of an accommodation.
  3. The responsibility for requesting or initiating a request for accommodation lies with the individual with a disability. Students with off-campus program requirements such as an internship or student teaching placement are encouraged to request accommodations at least one semester prior to the semester he/she will be participating in the off-campus program.
  4. Verification of a disability is required. It is the responsibility of the individual with a disability to provide documentation that supports his/her request for reasonable accommodation. Disability documentation must clearly indicate:
  • The existence of a disability (as defined by state and federal regulations)
  • That the disability substantially limits a major life activity, including a statement of the nature and extent of the limitations; and
  • A statement of what accommodation(s) is recommended

Specific guidelines for documentation of a learning disability as well as other disabilities can be obtained from Disability Resources.

Once a qualified individual with a disability has requested an accommodation, the designated campus contact will take steps to determine an appropriate accommodation . The appropriateness of an accommodation is often determined through a flexible, interactive process that involves the individual with a disability and the designated campus contact. Early consultation is essential whenever questions of compliance and/or funding for an accommodation are involved.

Final responsibility for selection of the most appropriate accommodation rests with the University.

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Reasonable Accommodations

  • Factors to determine whether a requested accommodation is considered reasonable include:
  1. the individual is otherwise qualified
  2. the request does not fundamentally alter the essential elements of a program
  3. the request is not an undue financial or administrative burden
  4. the request is not a danger to other
  5. the request is not of a "personal" nature
  • Students with disabilities will be expected to meet the academic and technical standards of a course or program with or without reasonable accommodations. The types of accommodation provided to individuals with disabilities may vary according to the nature of the disability and the physical environment or course content.
  • An employee with a disability must be able to perform the essential functions of his/her job with or without reasonable accommodations.


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Appeal and Grievance Procedures

Appeal of Accommodation Determination

Employees, faculty, students and visitors have an opportunity to appeal a decision regarding an accommodation. Appeals may be handled informally in a case review involving the complainant, designated campus contact and the appropriate faculty member/ administrator/ supervisor. If a mutually acceptable accommodation cannot be determined with the designated campus contact and relevant SUNY Cortland personnel, an internal grievance may be filed with the Affirmative Action Officer.

Grievance Procedure

SUNY Cortland has adopted an internal grievance procedure for the provision of prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination. Individuals with a disability at SUNY Cortland who consider themselves victims of discrimination based on a disability may file a grievance with the Affirmative Action Officer. Procedures for filing a discrimination grievance are outlined in Section 850.2 of the SUNY Cortland College Handbook or can be obtained by contacting the Affirmative Action Officer. The Affirmative Action Officer shall receive any complaint of alleged discrimination, shall assist the complainant in defining the charge and shall provide the complainant with information regarding the options for filing internal complaints or external complaints through the federal Office of Civil Rights and/or the New York State Division of Human Rights.

Disability Accommodations Resources

Questions or concerns regarding policy, services or allegations of non-compliance should be directed to the designated campus contact.

Students should contact:

Sue Sprague
Disability Resources
Memorial Library, Room B-121
Phone: 607-753-2967

Employees should contact:

Jennifer Eckert-Dennison
ADA/504 Coordinator
Human Resources
Miller Building, Room 301
Phone: 607-753-2302

Individuals with a disability who consider themselves victims of discrimination and have been unable to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution with designated campus contacts and appropriate personnel may file a grievance. Individuals should contact:

Maggie Wetter
Director of Title IX/Affirmative Action Investigator
Title IX Office
Miller Building, Room 404
Phone: 607-753-4550


Contact Us


Sue Sprague, Director
Katie McCulloch, Assistant Director
Jeremy Zhe-Heimerman, Assistant Director
Chuck Woske, Office Assistant
Sarah Beeler, Graduate Assistant
Meaghan Doyle, Graduate Assistant
Cierra Stone, Graduate Assistant

Memorial Library, Room B-121
Fax 607-753-5495
Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.