Russell Sage College has an Accessibility Services Office location on each campus. These offices provide accommodations and services to all students with disabilities. For more information contact:
Katherine Norman, Director of Accessibility Services
- Albany: Library 3rd Floor
- Troy: Shea Learning Center 3rd Floor
Russell Sage College is committed to promoting self advocacy for students with disabilities and facilitates a positive and adaptive learning environment for such students. Students seeking accommodations are required to present a current evaluation for their disability conducted by a licensed professional. In accordance with Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, support services and reasonable accommodations are provided when requested by a student who qualifies for them. Newly accepted students are strongly encouraged to contact Accessibility Services upon enrollment.
Services for Current Students
Russell Sage College is committed to achieving equal educational opportunity and full participation for persons with disabilities. It is the policy that no qualified person be excluded from participating in any college program or activity, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination with regard to any college program or activity. This policy derives from the commitment to non-discrimination for all persons in employment, access to facilities, student programs, activities and services.
- Alternate formats for printed material
- Assistive technology
- Note Taking Assistance
- Sign language interpreter
- Reduced course loads
- Test accommodations
- Test Accommodation Online Request Form
- Assistance with academic accommodations
- Accommodations for alternative testing
- Auxiliary aids and services
- Facilitate academic and career advising
- Assist with development of education plan
- Assisting with obtaining academic support services including tutoring and use of the Writing Studio.
- Pre-admission counseling and new student orientation.
- Referral and liaison services to agencies such as the Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, Board of Education Services for the Blind, as well as Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic.
- Assist with Service and Comfort animal requests – Service-and-Comfort-Animals-Policy (pdf)
Student Rights and Responsibilities
Every student with a documented disability has the following rights:
- Equal access to courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities available through the college.
- Reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Appropriate confidentiality of all information pertaining to his/her disability with the choice of whom to disclose his/her disability to except as required by law.
- Information reasonably available in accessible formats.
Every student with a disability has the responsibility to:
- Meet the college’s qualifications and essential technical, academic, and college standards.
- Identify themselves in a timely manner as an individual with a disability when seeking an accommodation.
- Provide documentation from an appropriate professional source that verifies the nature of the disability, functional limitations, and the need for specific accommodations.
- Follow specific procedures for obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids.
For a full explanation of rights and responsibilities please review the → Student Handbook.
Any student with a documented disability is eligible to receive services from the Accessibility Services Office. The purpose of accommodations and modifications is to reduce or eliminate any disadvantages that may exist because of an individual’s disability. The law does not require college to waive specific courses or academic requirements considered essential to a particular program or degree. Rather, they are mandated to modify existing requirements on a case-by-case basis in order to ensure that individuals are not discriminated against on the basis of their disability.
Accessing Academic Accommodations
Students requesting accommodations should contact the Accessibility Services Office at the beginning of each semester (if not sooner) so that appropriate accommodations can be provided in a timely manner.
Students requesting accommodations are responsible for providing appropriate documentation to the Accessibility Services Office in order to verify their need for accommodations.
Documentation must be current, and must be submitted by a qualified licensed professional. Students need to follow the guidelines in order to obtain reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids. Any deviation may slow down the process or accommodations may not be granted. Once appropriate documentation has been received, the Disabilities Office will review the request and then meet with the student to discuss appropriate accommodations.
Reasonable accommodations depend upon the nature and degree of severity of the documented disability. With the Americans with The Disabilities Act of 1990 requires that priority consideration be given to the specific methods requested by the student, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is deemed not reasonable.
Accommodation letters will be developed at this time; students will meet with the Director of Accessibility Services to discuss accommodations. Students will review, approve, and sign their accommodations letter. Accessibility Services will email each students’ accommodations letter to each faculty member that the student has designated.
Open dialogue about accommodations with students and faculty members is still encouraged and strongly suggested. It is best to do this review after class or to set up an appointment with each faculty member. Each student can decide whether to disclose his/her disability or any pertinent information he/she may wish to share with the professor. The student is not required to identify his/her disability, although this information is often helpful. Each student may want to explain how his/her disability may affect his/her coursework in general; again, this is not required. After review of the student’s accommodation letter, the faculty member and the student sign the accommodation letter; one copy is retained by the professor and one copy is returned to the Accessibility Services office.
Review the accommodations. For testing accommodations, it is important to remind the professor at least one week before the exam date to be sure both parties have the same understanding of what is to occur. Test request forms should be submitted at least five (5) business days prior to the intended test date in order to provide optimal service. Throughout the semester, the student should regularly meet with the professor as necessary to discuss his/her accommodation needs.
Accessibility Services Office: Test Taking Information; Test Monitoring System for Students with Accommodations*
*Note: All students eligible for this service are referred to the Academic Support Center by the Office of Accessibility Services. Any student not in our records is ineligible to schedule an exam and will be directed to the Office of Accessibility Services to provide the proper documentation (see “Accommodations” section below).
Accessing Academic Services
To access services, students must refer themselves to the Director of Accessibility Services and provide adequate documentation from a licensed professional to the Accessibility Office. Since the purpose of the documentation is to assist the student and the College in determining reasonable accommodations (e.g., extended test time, reduced course load, auxiliary aids, etc.), these guidelines must be followed to assure that the diagnostic evaluation report is appropriate for verifying accommodation needs. Specific procedures need to be followed in order to obtain reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids. Any deviation from the process may slow down the process or accommodations may not be granted.
Each student must meet with the Accessibility Director with his/her current documentation from a licensed professional to request services. Accommodation letters will be developed at this time. Subsequently, the student should meet with faculty members to discuss his or her accommodations and review these letters. It is best to do this review after class or to set up an appointment with each faculty member. Each student can decide whether to disclose his/her disability (or any pertinent information he/she may wish to share” to the professor. The student is not required to identify his/her disability, although this information is often helpful. Each student may want to explain how his/her disability may affect his/her coursework in general; again, this is not required. After the review of the student’s accommodation letter, the faculty member and the student sign the accommodation letter.
Review the accommodations. For testing accommodations, it is important to check in again with the professor at least one week before the exam date as a reminder and to be sure both parties have the same understanding of what is to occur. Throughout the semester, the student should regularly meet with the professor as necessary to discuss his/her accommodation needs.
- Upon student request, the professor provides optional exam schedules for testing.
- The student informs the Accessibility Services Office Unit Manager and a Test Request Form is filled out. Requests should be submitted at least 5 (five) business days prior to the intended test date (in order to provide optimal service), especially if the student requires the use of a reader. Readers are “on-call” and need to be contacted in a timely fashion to ensure their availability.
- The Accessibility Services Office Unit Manager will schedule a room for the exam with the student, and make arrangements with the professor to have the exam delivered to the Disabilities Services office prior to the exam. If a reader is needed, the Unit Manager will schedule a reader and room for the exam. The student will take the exam in a monitored testing environment (with a reader, if necessary).
- Upon completion of the exam, the Accessibility Services Office Unit Manager will return the exam to the Professor in accordance with the instructions outlined in Section 4 of the Test Request Form.
Special Needs Housing
Part of the commitment to students with disabilities is to ensure that students have equitable access to campus programs, including housing. Russell Sage College will provide reasonable housing accommodations to eligible students. To substantiate the need for assistance, we require clear, current, and comprehensive documentation of limitations in function or performance, specifically as it relates to housing. Substantiated need is constituted by a severe and chronic disabling condition that has been well documented by an appropriate and qualified professional. The disabling condition must significantly impact their learning environment and/or residential activities unless reasonable accommodations are provided.
Accommodations for various disabilities and chronic health conditions take time to arrange. Residence Life receives many such requests, all of which affect the allocation of limited housing resources. For this reason, it is important that accommodation requests for pre-existing conditions be made at the time of enrollment.
Any student requiring a special housing accommodation of any type should send the request and documentation to the Residence Life Director and Accessibility Services Director as soon as they are accepted to the college. Please be specific and communicate all of your needs. You will also need to be in contact with the Wellness Center to discuss your medical needs prior to move-in to create a care plan and contract.
Apply for a Housing Accommodations (Single Dorm Room, Dining, or Comfort Animal)
To be considered for a single dorm room, dining, or comfort animal accommodation, the student must complete the Disability Housing Accommodation request form. The accommodation request form (Accessibility Services Housing Accommodation Request Form) has three parts (Part I, Part II, and Part III).
Step 1 (Student): Students complete Part I of the Disability Housing Accommodation request form.
Part II & Part III must be completed by your Licensed Healthcare Provider. Once the student completes the online application (Part I), the Accessibility Office and Office of Residence Life requires Part II & Part III of the online application to be completed by a licensed professional treatment provider and a letter to be submitted by a licensed professional treatment provider (i.e. counselor, therapist, physician, etc.).
Step 2 (Student’s Licensed Healthcare Provider): The student’s Licensed Healthcare Provider must complete Part II of the form.
Step 3 (Student’s Licensed Healthcare Provider): In addition to completing the Part II of the Disabilities Housing Accommodation Request Form, the student’s Licensed Healthcare Provider must provide a separate Letter (Part III).
Criteria required in the Letter can be found below. Treatment providers should have ongoing knowledge of the specific diagnosis that the Student has within the previous six months.
- Submitted on letterhead of practice
- Credentials and contact information of the evaluator
- Length of time evaluator has treated the student
- Diagnostic statement identifying the disability
- Description of the diagnostic methodology used
- Description of the current functional limitations
- Description of the expected progression or stability of the disability
- Description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications
- Identify the specific need the requesting student has for the accommodation
- Statement about how the need for the accommodation relates to the ability of the resident student to use the living arrangements provided by the college
- All letters must be signed by your provider and their license number provided.
Request for a Service Animal on Campus
Step 1: For an individual to qualify for a service animal on campus:
- The student must have a disability as defined by the ADA; and
- The accompanying animal must be trained to do specific tasks for the qualified individual
- Students who require the use of a service animal on campus are to contact the Office of Accessibility Services.
- See policy information on Service/Comfort Animals – Service-and-Comfort-Animals-Policy (pdf)
Application Recommended Due Dates & Notification Process
The student will need to complete and submit a new Accommodation Application by the following recommended suggested due dates to have their request considered.
- June 1: Incoming Sage College Students for Fall Semester
- December 1: Incoming Sage College Students for Spring Semester
- April 1: Current Sage College Students for Fall Semester
The Disability Housing Accommodation form must be submitted by the suggested recommended due dates in order to ensure your housing requests are available on move in day; we will continue to work with you on your accommodations. While forms submitted after the stated recommended dates will be accepted, Russell Sage College cannot guarantee it will be able to meet applicants’ accommodation needs, including any needs that develop during the semester. While applications for housing accommodations are accepted and considered after the recommended due dates, approved accommodations are subject to the availability of housing assignments.
The Director of Accessibility Services will review each student request including the supporting documentation provided and make a decision about the request. If necessary, decisions will also include housing placement based on the accommodation requested in conjunction with the Residence Life Director. Students will be notified of the decision through their Sage College email account. Consideration is given based on the date all documentation is submitted and space availability. If accommodation documentation is not received by the dates listed above, requests may not be reviewed and granted until the following semester; this decision is made on a case by case basis.
It should be noted that simply submitting the Request for Housing Accommodations form does not guarantee the request will be granted. Accommodations are made on a needs-based and space available basis. Housing accommodation requests need to be submitted each year, they do not carry forward.