The policy was first implemented to be in compliance with state and federal law related to the rights of persons with disabilities, notably Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008, and the New York State Human Rights Law.
The purpose of this policy is to assure college compliance with federal, state and local laws pertaining to the rights of prospective and current students with disabilities.
Disability: A diagnosed physical or mental impairment that affects the performance of one or more major life activities. Individuals with a history of impairment or regarded as impaired are also protected from discrimination on the basis of that disability.
Qualified individual with a disability: A person with a disability, who with or without reasonable accommodation is able to perform the essential functions of his or her job.
Reasonable accommodation: A modification to an employee’s work environment or tasks that does not reduce standards, fundamentally alter the nature of the employee’s work or pose an undue burden on the institution.
Essential functions: Those tasks or functions that, if modified, would fundamentally change the nature of the job or occupation for which the position exists
Empire State College complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. These acts “ … no otherwise qualified handicapped individual … shall, solely by reason of his or her handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance (29 USC Sect. 706).” Regulations implementing Section 504 and ADA establish standards for employment practice, accessibility of facilities, and education programs with which institutions receiving federal funds must comply (34 CFR Part 104).
In accordance with these regulations, a qualified person with a disability who meets the academic and technical standards required to enroll in and participate in the Empire State College program shall be provided an equal opportunity to obtain a degree in the most integrated setting appropriate to that person’s needs. Empire State College makes reasonable accommodation to meet the needs of students with disabling conditions. Reasonable accommodation does not include academic adjustments that would fundamentally alter the nature, essential requirements or academic standards of the program.
The college considers each student’s individual needs through consultation with the student’s center or unit and the director of Collegewide Disability Services.
The director of Collegewide Disability Services, coordinates the college’s compliance with Section 504, ADA and their implementing regulations with respect to students. Questions concerning the college’s policy should be directed to the director of Collegewide Disability Services, SUNY Empire State College, 2 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866-4390, 518-587-2100, ext. 2544 or email Disability.Services@esc.edu.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008
New York State Human Rights Law
Empire State College provides educational services through regional enrollment centers throughout New York state and the Center for Distance Learning. Students with disabling conditions may work out informal accommodations with their mentors/tutors. To make a formal declaration of disability and request a student may contact the center’s disability representative (see A below).
Students who wish to file a complaint about their treatment at the college or the determination of their accommodation request are welcome to do so. Internally, students may access the college’s Student Grievance Procedure to do so.
The student is strongly encouraged to seek informal resolution of a grievance by bringing it to the attention of the relevant center, program or central office administrator in a timely fashion. An attempt at informal resolution should begin no more than 30 days after the concern arises.
If the student is unsatisfied with the response, the student may make a formal, written complaint to the relevant administrator.
If the student is unsatisfied with the first level of administrative response, the student may appeal in writing to the appropriate Vice President.