Director of Accessibility: Eric Fortune-Reader
Disability Services Functions
SUNY Ulster is committed to eradicating ableism in higher education. We continually strive to make our classes and campus accessible, and to be a safe and welcoming place for all. SUNY Ulster’s Disability Services ensure that students with disabilities have the same access and opportunity that their neuro-typical, able-bodied peers have. SUNY Ulster’s Disability Services provide support to students with disabilities as they consider, begin, and pursue their education. Disability Services also provides guidance about equity and inclusion to the college and its faculty and staff. Disability Services also works with community partners to encourage folks with disabilities to consider higher education, and to better support them as they transition into college.
For prospective and new students Disability Services answers questions, assists with disability documentation collection and submission, reviews disability documentation, assigns academic accommodations, ensures that academic accommodations are available for placement testing, and explains how to use accommodations in college.
For current students Disability Services distributes release forms and accommodation letters, provides appropriate space for testing with accommodations, facilitates student self-advocacy, reviews student concerns and complaints to ensure resolutions, and arranges other approved accommodations as requested.
For both faculty and staff Disability Services provides consultation and professional development on implementing accommodations and remaining ADA and 504 compliant. For faculty specifically Disability Services offers proctoring for students with approved testing accommodations through the Testing Center on campus, and can provide assistance discussing accommodations with students if requested.
Disability Services also collaborates with community partners. Disability Services provides information and recruitment to local high schools and agencies serving folks with disabilities. The College also communicates and works with outside agencies such as Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), the Mental Health Association in Ulster County, Ulster County Mental Health, Resource Center for Accessible Living (RCAL), The Ulster County Transition Council, and many local high schools.
Ableism: “discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities.” (Merriam-Webster dictionary)
Neuro-typical: A person who lacks any learning, mental health, developmental, or neurological disability. Someone who has cognitive and neurological functioning similar to most other people.
Able-bodied: “Someone who is healthy and has no illness, injury, or condition that makes it difficult to do the things that other people do.” (Cambridge Dictionary)
Disability Documentation: Documentation that verifies a disability, describes functional barriers to academic success resultant from that disability, and provides suggestions of effective and reasonable accommodations.
Academic accommodations: Academic accommodations are supports approved for the student based on specific needs as evidenced by their disability documentation (for example time and a half on tests).
Placement testing: Prior to registering for classes students must take a placement test to see what level of courses they should begin with.
Accommodation letter: An accommodation letter lists the academic accommodations a student has been approved for.
ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
504: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a civil rights statute which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities