What If I Suspect I Have a Disability?
What to Do and Who to Contact
It is the student's responsibility to determine whether or not a disability is present.
- If you have not been diagnosed with a disabling condition and suspect you have one, you may want to be tested.
- The law does not require the college to identify and evaluate students who may have disabilities, nor to compensate students for money spent on testing for the presence of a disability.
Testing for a Disability
Testing for the presence of a disability varies with each disability or medical condition. Here are a few suggestions:
- Visit your primary care physician and alert him or her to your suspicions. Your doctor may have a list of resources that would be available to you for testing.
- Contact your local vocational rehabilitation office. For New York state residents, the Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) has offices throughout New York State. They may be able to refer you to other community resources.
- Regardless of your state of residence, you can learn more about federal resources and state-by-state resources at Disability.gov [this link opens in a new window], a joint project managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy in partnership with 21 other federal agencies whose mission is to connect people with disabilities and their family members, veterans, caregivers, employers and service providers with the resources they need to participate fully in the workplace and in their communities.
- Contact any local colleges or universities in your area, particularly those schools that offer graduate degrees in school psychology, if you suspect you have a learning disability. These schools often offer educational testing at a reduced rate because the testing is done by graduate students under the supervision of faculty.
Several colleges and universities in New York state that operate psychological services centers include:
- The Dean-Hope Center for Educational and Psychological Services operated by Teachers College, Columbia University [this link opens in a new window]
- Psychological Services Center, University at Buffalo [this link opens in a new window]
- Psychological Services Center, Syracuse University [this link opens in a new window]
- Binghamton University Psychological Clinic [this link opens in a new window]
- Psychological Services Center, University at Albany [this link opens in a new window]
- Visit our community resources page for additional information.
- You also can contact your Empire State College center's disability representative. Our center disability representatives are responsible for other student services in addition to their role as disability representative. He or she may have suggestions and strategies that can help you in your studies until you are able to obtain a diagnosis, or may be able to help you talk with your mentor to request informal modifications to the study to compensate for your difficulties.