Office of AccessABILITY

Office of AccessABILITY logo

Stella and Charles Guttman Community College is firmly committed to making higher education accessible to students with disabilities by removing architectural barriers and providing programs and support services necessary for them to benefit from the instruction and resources of the University.

The Office of AccessABILITY Services provides and coordinates reasonable accommodations and support services to students with disabilities, as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and strive to increase the level of disability awareness among all members of the Guttman  community.

Early planning is essential for many of the resources and accommodations provided. Please contact us at the earliest possible date in order for us to assist with your needs.

To enroll in the Office of AccessABILITY Services, please review our requesting services tab and schedule an assessment with one of our friendly staff members.

Sincerely,

Office of AccessABILITY Services

Contact

Office of AccessABILITY Services
Tel: (646) 313-8256
Fax: (646) 664-3907
Email: accessabilityservices@guttman.cuny.edu

Bryant Park landscape

Mission

The Office of AccessABILITY Services (OAS) fosters an accessible and inclusive community where students with permanent and temporary disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of campus life. We facilitate student learning and access through partnerships with students, faculty, and staff within the Guttman Community.

Vision

A universally accessible campus where programs, services and environments are usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

Students requesting accommodations should ask their doctor or diagnostic center to provide the School with documentation of their disability and specific recommendations for accommodations. They should also submit all student assessment forms. The documentation must be current, follow documentation guidelines, and should be sent four weeks in advance of the term to allow sufficient time to prepare. Documentation will be held in confidence. Once this documentation is received, the Office of AccessABILITY Services will determine the reasonable accommodations to be provided, issue an accommodation card to the student, and arrange for these accommodations to be made within the context of the student’s academic journey at Guttman Community College.

Documentation Guidelines

Unlike high school, where students are automatically provided with testing and accommodations services, on the college campus it is the student’s responsibility to self-disclose to the office of disability services  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.

In general, documentation must be provided by a physician or other appropriate licensed professional. This documentation must consist of a current report or evaluation prepared by the appropriate professional, along with a completed intake form.

The documentation must:

  • Specify the diagnosis, including when the diagnosis was made and the likely duration of the condition if not ongoing.
  • describe in detail the student’s functional limitations created by the diagnosis; and
  • Indicate accommodations that are recommended for the student, along with explanations as to why these accommodations would be useful.
  • Individual Education Programs (IEPs) can be provided with an appropriate psychological/educational report or medical documentation. However, IEP’s are not sufficient documentation of disability.

Students who are diagnosed with a disability and interested in registering for accommodations and services from the Office of AccessABILITY Services are encouraged to provide medical documentation of their disability in order to determine the best and most appropriate accommodations.

In order to receive academic adjustments, students are required to submit documentation and schedule an assessment/intake session with a representative from AccessABILITY Services. During the session, a unit staff member will review documents and discuss academic adjustments.

Students who register with the Office of AccessABILITY are given accommodation cards to present to faculty regarding the accommodations they should receive in class and for testing. Students must present their card to their instructors in order to receive the accommodations to which they are entitled.

Please be advised it is at the students’ discretion and responsibility to discuss their accommodations with their academic advisor and instructional team.

Students diagnosed with a disability who are interested in registering for services in the Office of AccessABILITY Services are encouraged to provide medical documentation of their disability in order to determine the best and most appropriate accommodations.

In order to receive academic adjustments, students are required to submit documentation and schedule an intake session with the Office of AccessABILITY Services.  During the intake session, a unit representative will review documents and discuss academic adjustments.

Students who register with the Office of AccessABILITY are given cards to present to faculty regarding the accommodations they should receive in class and for testing. Students must present their card to their instructors in order to receive the accommodations to which they are entitled.

Please be advised it is at the students’ discretion and responsibility to discuss their accommodations with their instructional team.

The AccessABILITY Staff works closely with faculty and external resources to provide appropriate and effective academic accommodations to students. Below are some examples of campus accommodations that registered students may receive based on their individual needs.

  • Testing Accommodations may include extra time, alternate testing location, use of a reader and/or scribe, use of assistive technology, enlarged print or alternate text format exams
  • Livescribe recording smart pen
  • Laptop use in class
  • Career guidance and skills training for job search and retention
  • Reading software (Kurzweil, Zoom Text, Read and Write Gold, JAWS, Dragon)
  • Large print or other alternate text formats
  • Sign Language Interpreter
  • Other academic accommodations specific to student disability

Scholarships provides funds to qualified students who require additional financial support. Students who are awarded scholarships are often based on academic merit. Some scholarships are designed to assist students in their academic journey, others are awarded as they progress within the student’s area of study. Click the link below for additional information.

List of scholarships for students with disabilities.

Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) starts with the presumption that all individuals with disabilities can benefit from vocational rehabilitation services and should have opportunities to work in jobs integrated within their communities.  Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors guide individuals through service programs they need to reach their employment goal.

CUNY LEADS

CUNY LEADS (Linking Employment, Academics Disability Services) is a unique program designed to prepare CUNY students with disabilities to make realistic academic and career choices and develop the skills that will result in successful career outcomes. The program provides services for eligible students including:

  • Academic advisement and career counseling
  • Resume and interview preparation
  • Internship preparation
  • Job search and placement assistance
  • ACCES-VR referrals

This exciting program is free of charge for all eligible candidates and available on all CUNY campuses.

For more information, please contact: accessabilityservices@guttman.cuny.edu

The Office of AccessABILITY Services has been designated by the University to assist students with diagnosed and documented disabilities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with accessing and participating in the educational, social, and professional opportunities available at Stella and Charles Guttman Community College in accordance with federal laws and University obligations.

Stella and Charles Guttman Community College recognizes that a diverse campus community is essential to enriching intellectual exchanges and enhancing cultural understanding and, as such, values equality of opportunity, mutual respect, and an appreciation for diversity. Therefore, the University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to our students with disabilities in support of all students’ educational goals, personal growth, and professional development.

Prior to receiving accommodations a student obtains an accommodation card from the Office of Accessibility. It is important to discuss appropriate accommodations with students; however, asking questions about a student’s disability, such as the diagnosis, must be avoided. Students have the legal right not to disclose the diagnosis; they need only discuss how reasonable accommodations assist them in their academic environment.

Below please find some helpful materials that can guide you in assisting our neuro-diverse population.

Teaching Strategies:

Designing An Accessible Website:

Student Disability Accommodations:

The City University of New York and Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, CUNY in compliance with sections 503 and 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, New York State legislation [Executive Law 296] and the New York City Human Rights Law does not exclude qualified individuals with disabilities, solely by reason of their disability, from participation in programs, activities, or employment. In addition, CUNY and Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, in compliance with Title IX of the Education amendments Act of 1972, does not discriminate against any student on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions.

Therefore, students needing assistance for fulfilling academic program requirements due to a disability or while experiencing pregnancy or a medically-related condition can make a request for an accommodation from the Office of AccessABILITY within the Office of Student Engagement unit by following the procedures outlined herein.

 

The Office of AccessABILITY Services makes every effort to reasonably accommodate students with disabilities to have the same access to school programs and educational opportunities that other students receive.[1] The Office of Accessibility Services will determine whether to grant a reasonable accommodation based on presented documentation, including medical documentation, as well as student-described strengths and limitations. Prior accommodations granted for the same type of disability will be taken into consideration.

The Office of AccessABILITY Services may consult with appropriate College officials to determine the feasibility of granting the requested accommodation consistent with University and College policy. Such consultation shall be confidential, and limited to those officials having a need to know, such as the instructor for a course in which the accommodation is needed or Academic Affairs officials when there are faculty or academic issues involved, as well as the CUNY Office of Disability Services to consult on best practices.

At times, students may request accommodations that are not reasonable, as described under the law, or cannot be justified by the documentation presented. In the event that the accommodation requested is denied, the Office of AccessABILITY Services will explore and seek to establish alternative accommodations or services.

Appeal of a decision denying a student accommodation:

If the proffered accommodation is still unacceptable to the student, the student may contact the College’s 504/ADA Coordinator in order to informally discuss the matter in an effort to resolve the situation. The 504/ADA Coordinator will make recommendations in an attempt to resolve the matter. The student may also formally appeal, in writing, addressed to:

Arlene Peterson
Chief Diversity Officer/
504/ADA Coordinator
Stella and Charles Guttman Community College
50 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018
Phone: 646.313.8825
Arlene.Peterson@guttman.cuny.edu

The complete written appeal request should identify the specific accommodation that was originally requested and explain the circumstances that justify why the Office of AccessABILITY Services should have granted the requested accommodation.

The 504/ADA Coordinator will review the written appeal, which includes the student’s justification for the requested accommodation, will consult with the Office of AccessABILITY Services to review the records and information the Office of Accessibility Services had available related to the request for a reasonable accommodation at the time the decision to deny the specific requested accommodation was made. [2]

The 504/ADA Coordinator will issue the decision by sending a written response via email to the student at his or her Guttman email address, if the student does not request to be contacted elsewhere, with a notification to the Office of AccessABILITY Services. The decision will be issues as soon as possible with an estimated time of seven (7) to 10 business days from the date the student submitted the complete written appeal to the 504/ADA Coordinator.

If the original request is approved, the Office of AccessABILITY Services will implement the accommodation as per the decision of the 504/ADA Coordinator. If the appeal is denied, the Accessibility Services Office will work with the student to establish alternative accommodations or services to support their academic progress.

For additional information, please see the CUNY Procedures for Implementing Reasonable Accommodations.

[1] The Office of AccessABILITY Services establishes and registers all official reasonable accommodations in the College for students with disabilities to access academic programs. It cannot enforce informal arrangements made outside of its purview.

[2] In the event that the student submits new information to the 504/ADA Coordinator that the Office of AccessABILITY Services did not have at the time the decision was made to deny the accommodation request, the 504/ADA Coordinator will submit that new information to the Office of Accessibility Services to review and consider in light of the original accommodation request. If the Office of AccessABILITY Services still denies the request for accommodation and the student request to appeal that decision, the 504/ADA Coordinator review the appeal.

The Office of AccessABILITY Services (OAS) is an agency based voter registration site. Students will be offered the opportunity to register to vote. There is no obligation to register to vote and the student’s decision will have no effect on accommodations offered by OAS.

If you need assistance, visit schedule an appointment via Starfish or email at accessabilityservices@guttman.cuny.edu.

For more information go to State Board of Election (SBOE) home page.