Access the tools you need to thrive during your academic journey at Elmira College.


Academic Accommodations

Elmira College is committed to providing reasonable accommodations and services to students with qualifying documented disabilities, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)

Accommodation requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Manager of Accessibility Services in collaboration with the student. Assistance is also available to students experiencing short-term illness or physical injury.

Examples of qualifying disabilities include:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Psychological or neurological conditions
  • Visual, hearing, or mobility impairments
  • Chronic health or medical conditions

Any disability that substantially limits one or more of a person's major life activities may necessitate modifications to the services, programs, or facilities of the College in order to ensure equal access. Students who have eligibility documentation on file with Elmira College’s Manager of Accessibility Services can be approved for a variety of appropriate accommodations that are matched to the individual student’s identified needs.

It is important to note, that while the college student is protected by Section 504, as well as the ADA, students choosing to go to college are not entitled to the same level of academic support they received in high school. Students entering college move from an environment that is structured to ensure student success to a college-level environment that is designed to allow equal access.

The College ensures access, but success is up to the student who must seek out appropriate support:

What difference can accommodations make?

Evelyn Schoenberger '22 was able to improve her test grades. "In one of my Nursing exams that I took before receiving a testing accommodation, I only had two out of the first 30 questions wrong. But I had many wrong answers in the last 20 questions of the exam because that is when other people began getting up to leave. ... I didn't realize I needed the quieter space."

What difference can accommodations make?

Additional Resources

Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights for more information on the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities preparing for postsecondary education.

Read this open letter from Dr. Jane Jarrow, Founder and President of Disability Compliance in Career and Online Learning, and of Disability Access Information and Support. Jarrow shares her experience transitioning her child with Cerebral Palsy to a higher education institute. Her letter includes recommendations on how to let your student or students take the lead in advocating for themselves.

Requesting Accommodations

  • We can’t help you unless you reach out! Your first step is to disclose your disability to the appropriate staff and tell us about your intent to seek reasonable accommodations. This can be done by emailing, calling (607) 735-1808, or stopping by the Office of Student Success in the Gannett-Tripp Library.
Provide Documentation
  • Intake & Consent Form
    • This is an electronic form for you to complete. This helps us to better understand what’s worked for you in the past and what you think will help you succeed here at EC. It also gives you an opportunity to grant us permission to speak with others on campus and your parents/guardians.
  • Disability Verification Form
    • You will need to have a medical professional complete the Disability Verification Form and return it to us. This is their opportunity to offer their professional medical advice about how we can best support you.
  • Other Supporting Documentation
    • If you had an IEP or 504 Plan in your previous academic settings, those are helpful documents for us to have. Despite their usefulness, they are not considered sufficient documentation, so you will still need the Disability Verification Form (see above).
Participate in an Intake Meeting
  • Once the necessary forms have been submitted, you will be invited to meet with our office. In this meeting, we will review the information provided by you and your medical professional(s) and determine what reasonable accommodations will be afforded to you. Please note that reasonable accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Share Your Accommodations Memo
  • At the beginning of each term, we will email your accommodations memo to you, which lists out the reasonable accommodations you have been afforded. It is your responsibility to share this memo with your course instructor(s). It’s also a good idea to have a conversation with your instructor(s) about what they can do to make the learning experience positive for you.
Use Your Accommodations
  • If you are afforded testing accommodations, you will need to complete a form before every test for which you plan to use your accommodations.
  • If your accommodations include the use of college-owned equipment, we will ask you to sign a loan agreement.
  • If your accommodations include lecture recording, you and your course instructor(s) will need to sign a recording agreement.
Follow Up
  • Our office is always available to help you! If something isn’t working for you, please let us know.

Documentation Guidelines

According to the Association of Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), documentation for Academic Accommodations should include:

1. The credentials of the evaluator(s)

The best quality documentation is provided by a licensed or otherwise properly credentialed professional who has undergone appropriate and comprehensive training, has relevant experience, and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated. A good match between the credentials of the individual making the diagnosis and the condition being reported is expected (e.g., an orthopedic limitation might be documented by a physician, but not a licensed psychologist).

2. A diagnostic statement identifying the disability

Quality documentation includes a clear diagnostic statement that describes how the condition was diagnosed, provides information on the functional impact, and details the typical progression or prognosis of the condition. While diagnostic codes from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM) or the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) of the World Health Organization are helpful in providing this information, a full clinical description will also convey the necessary information.

3. A description of the diagnostic methodology used

Quality documentation includes a description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results. Where appropriate to the nature of the disability, having both summary data and specific test scores (with the norming population identified) within the report is recommended. Diagnostic methods that are congruent with the particular disability and current professional practices in the field are recommended. Methods may include formal instruments, medical examinations, structured interview protocols, performance observations and unstructured interviews. If results from informal, non-standardized or less common methods of evaluation are reported, an explanation of their role and significance in the diagnostic process will strengthen their value in providing useful information.

4. A description of the current functional limitations

Information on how the disabling condition(s) currently impacts the individual provides useful information for both establishing a disability and identifying possible accommodations. A combination of the results of formal evaluation procedures, clinical narrative, and the individual’s self report is the most comprehensive approach to fully documenting impact. The best quality documentation is thorough enough to demonstrate whether and how a major life activity is substantially limited by providing a clear sense of the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the condition(s). While relatively recent documentation is recommended in most circumstances, common sense and discretion in accepting older documentation of conditions that are permanent or non-varying is recommended. Likewise, changing conditions and/or changes in how the condition impacts the individual brought on by growth and development may warrant more frequent updates in order to provide an accurate picture. It is important to remember that documentation is not time-bound; the need for recent documentation depends on the facts and circumstances of the individual’s condition.

5. A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability

It is helpful when documentation provides information on expected changes in the functional impact of the disability over time and context. Information on the cyclical or episodic nature of the disability and known or suspected environmental triggers to episodes provides opportunities to anticipate and plan for varying functional impacts. If the condition is not stable, information on interventions (including the individual’s own strategies) for exacerbations and recommended timelines for re-evaluation are most helpful.

6. A description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications

The most comprehensive documentation will include a description of both current and past medications, auxiliary aids, assistive devices, support services, and accommodations, including their effectiveness in ameliorating functional impacts of the disability. A discussion of any significant side effects from current medications or services that may impact physical, perceptual, behavioral or cognitive performance is helpful when included in the report. While accommodations provided in another setting are not binding on the current institution, they may provide insight in making current decisions.

7. Recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services

Recommendations from professionals with a history of working with the individual provide valuable information for review and the planning process. It is most helpful when recommended accommodations and strategies are logically related to functional limitations; if connections are not obvious, a clear explanation of their relationship can be useful in decision-making. While the post-secondary institution has no obligation to provide or adopt recommendations made by outside entities, those that are congruent with the programs, services, and benefits offered by the college or program may be appropriate. When recommendations go beyond equitable and inclusive services and benefits, they may still be useful in suggesting alternative accommodations and/or services.

At Elmira College, this information is collected from a medical provider using the Disability Verification Form, which will be provided to students upon their self-disclosure of their disability to the Office of Student Success. Please note, High School IEP and 504 plans are NOT considered sufficient documentation.

Campus Accessibility

Elmira College has a beautiful and historic campus located in the Southern Tier of New York State. Some locations on campus can pose challenges, especially for individuals with mobility impairments.

The Manager of Accessibility Services provides students with information and assistance regarding accessibility on campus. Students that have eligibility documentation on file with the Coordinator can:

  • Make special housing requests through the Coordinator and the Office of Residence Life.
  • Address classroom accessibility issues. When appropriate, classrooms can be relocated on campus to more accessible locations.
  • Find handicapped parking in a variety of campus parking lots.
  • View/Download/Print the campus map for your visit

For information regarding obtaining a Handicapped Parking Permit, please visit the New York State Department of Moter Vehicles - Parking for People with Disabilities


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