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Student Accessibility Services FAQs

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) coordinates accommodations for students with disabilities. The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about accommodations.

A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, performing manual tasks, walking, caring for oneself, learning, or concentrating. Common disabilities for which Queens students seek accommodations include:

  • vision and hearing impairments
  • chronic medical conditions
  • physical disabilities and mobility impairments
  • learning disabilities
  • ADHD
  • psychological or mental health conditions
  • injuries/temporary impairments which limit major life activities

The first step is to meet with a member of SAS. We will talk about your disability and how it may impact your academic and campus life experience, as well as any accommodations you have used in the past. We will discuss what kinds of reasonable accommodations colleges can provide and begin to develop a plan. We will go over what kind of documentation we need to support your accommodation request(s) and answer any questions about the accommodation process.

In addition to what we learn from your first-hand report, we need some information about your disability and functional limitations (how your disability impacts your major life activities) from your licensed healthcare or mental health provider.

The most helpful information to provide to SAS when requesting disability accommodations includes:

  • A diagnosis or the name of your disability
  • A summary of functional limitations: how does your disability impact your major life activities? (This may include things like sleeping, eating, speaking, communicating, learning, and reading. In college it is often helpful to include any anticipated impacts on class attendance, test -taking and/or living in a campus residence.)
  • The diagnosing professional’s background/licensure
  • Any recommendations for accommodation

Comprehensive documentation also includes:

  • relevant educational/diagnostic testing results;
  • how long you have had this diagnosis;
  • what kinds of accommodations or interventions you have utilized in the past;
  • whether your condition is temporary, stable, or episodic;
  • information about your relationship to your provider;
  • potential impacts if your requested accommodations are not able to be met
  • any alternative accommodations which may facilitate full access to and participation in campus life

For housing accommodation requests, including Emotional Support Animals, we strongly recommend having your provider complete the Housing Accommodation Documentation Request form, since it will assist them in including all of the information we need.

Documentation should come from a licensed medical or mental health professional qualified to evaluate your disability. If possible, it should come from the treating/diagnosing professional. In some cases, we are able to accept documentation from a family doctor, pediatrician, or general practitioner thoroughly familiar with your medical/mental health history. It is best for documentation of psychological/psychiatric disabilities to come from a mental health practitioner (counselor, clinical social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist) with whom you are an active and established patient/client.

Please meet with us to discuss your disability and situation. In some cases, we are able to provide accommodations on a temporary and/or provisional basis.

SAS will review the documentation. This process can take up to 60 days but more commonly will be completed within about 10 business days. After documentation review, SAS will reach back out to you to let you know the status of your accommodation request. If the documentation submitted contains all the information we need to approve your accommodation request(s), we will proceed with setting up the accommodations. Sometimes we may need to request additional information. Sometimes an accommodation may be denied based on the available information, the nature of the request, and/or the practical limitations of our physical and educational environment. In those cases, SAS will reach out to let you know and you will have the option to schedule a meeting to address any questions or concerns you may have.

Students with classroom and/or testing accommodations are given a letter of accommodation which they may provide to faculty in order to utilize their accommodations. SAS will only share information about a student’s accommodations with relevant university staff on a need-to-know basis. For example, information about housing accommodations will be shared with residential life staff. Disability-related documentation and records are not part of a student’s academic records and are stored confidentially within the SAS department.

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