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The College of Saint Rose

Policy Number: Student Accommodation Policy

Responsible Office: The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities and Title IX Office

Approved Date: January 6, 2023

I. Overview and Scope of Policy

The College of Saint Rose (the “College”) is committed to ensuring that all admitted or enrolled students with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in all of the College’s programs, services and activities on an equal basis.  The College supports the integration of all qualified students with disabilities into the College’s programs, services, and activities and is committed to full compliance with all applicable laws regarding equal opportunity for students with disabilities.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008 (“ADA”), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (“Section 504”), and the New York State Human Rights Law (“HRL”) all qualified students with disabilities are eligible for reasonable accommodations or modifications in the academic environment that enable them to enjoy equal access to the College’s programs, services, and activities.  A reasonable accommodation is an auxiliary aid, modification, or adjustment that allows an individual to gain equal access and have equal opportunity to participate in the College’s programs, services, and activities and use of its facilities.  The College is not obligated to provide an accommodation that imposes an undue burden or requires a fundamental alteration in the curriculum or alteration of any essential elements or functions of a program.  In certain circumstances, the College may ask students to provide documentation of their disability that meets the College’s established guidelines and demonstrates how their disability impacts that participation in courses, programs, jobs, activities, and/or use of facilities at the College.

This Student Accommodation Policy (the “Policy”) applies to all full-time/part-time, undergraduate, and graduate students who are matriculated in any of the College’s academic programs (in all courses and related degree requirements), and/or who participate in any College sponsored activities.  This Policy does not apply to students or other employees requesting work accommodations.  Students and other employees seeking reasonable accommodations in the workplace should contact the College’s Human Resources Office.

Only students who identify themselves as having a disability or are regarded as having a disability are eligible for the accommodations provided for in this Policy.  This Policy defines the process for all eligible students with disabilities to seek reasonable accommodations in any of the College’s programs, services, and activities.  This Policy addresses the following accommodations available to qualified students with disabilities:

  • Academic Accommodations;
  • Service Animal and Emotional Support Animal Accommodations;
  • Housing Accommodations;
  • Pregnancy Accommodations;
  • Student Leave of Absences and Withdrawal; and
  • Student Life and Student Association Accommodations.

Students with disabilities are encouraged to request these services by contacting the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (“the Office”), via mail at The College of Saint Rose, 432 Western Ave., Albany, NY 12203, in person at 985 Madison Ave., Saint Joseph’s Hall 2nd floor or via email at disability@strose.edu.

The College’s goal is to understand how a student’s disability impacts the student so that an appropriate plan can be developed.  In addition to certain required forms located in the Appendix to this Policy, any form of documentation or information that you can provide to our Office may be helpful in working with you to develop an accommodation plan.  The more information you can share with us, the more it will help us in working with you.  Examples of helpful documentation or information include, without limitation:

  • Educational records, such as high school accommodation plan (IEP, 504 plan, etc.)
  • Neuropsychological or education evaluation
  • Statement from a health, mental health, or other service provider
  • Medical records
  • Audiology report
  • Vision assessment

II. Academic Accommodations

Academic accommodations are available to all qualified full-time/part-time, undergraduate, and graduate matriculated students who are enrolled in any of the College’s academic programs (in all in-person and on-line courses and related degree requirements), including all required field placements, student teaching experiences, and internships for course credit.

1. Procedure for Requesting an Academic Accommodation

It is the student’s responsibility to inform the College that the student has a disability and/or is requesting a reasonable accommodation for a disability.  At the beginning of each semester, the College encourages students who may require an academic accommodation to contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, via mail at The College of Saint Rose, 432 Western Ave., Albany, NY 12203, in person at 985 Madison Ave., Saint Joseph’s Hall 2nd floor, or via email at disability@strose.edu.  When the student contacts the Office, the College will discuss the academic accommodations that are available and counsel the student as to which academic accommodations may be most appropriate.  This initial conversation provides students with an opportunity to inform the College of their needs and to advocate for themselves.

To be eligible for an academic accommodation, a student must notify the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities of the student’s disability and need for an academic accommodation.  Students are encouraged to provide the notice at the start of the semester.

Once the student notifies the Office, the Office will review the student’s request.  The Office shall engage in an interactive process and communicate with the student either in person, over the phone, or via the student’s Saint Rose email to determine which types of academic adjustments are appropriate in light of the student’s individual needs and the nature of the the College’s academic program.  The Office reviews academic accommodation requests on an individualized case-by-case basis, which is designed to address the individual needs and functional limitations of the student.  Students with disabilities possess unique knowledge of their individual disabilities and should be prepared to discuss the functional challenges they face and, if applicable, what types of accommodations have or have not worked for them in the past.

In the event that the Office requires more information, the Office may ask the student to sign a release allowing the Office to contact the student’s treating healthcare professional tp request supplemental documentation relating to the student’s disability.  Inquiries to healthcare providers will be limited to the need to address the student’s specific academic accommodation request, including, but not limited to, determining disability status, rationale for the request, and discussion of other potential alternative accommodations.

If requested, the healthcare professional’s documentation substantiating the nature and extent of the student’s physical or mental disability must be clear, current, comprehensive, and submitted on official letterhead.  The documentation must be sufficient to establish a direct link between the underlying impairment and the requested academic accommodation.  The documentation must include the following information:

  • The credentials of the person completing the documentation;
  • The nature of the student’s disability;
  • An explanation of how the condition impacts a student’s learning or impairs their functioning in a college environment;
  • A description of the expected progress or stability of the condition; and
  • Recommendations and suggested accommodations.

In determining which types of auxiliary aids and services are necessary, the College will give primary consideration to the requests of individuals with disabilities.  The College will analyze the appropriateness of a requested aid or service in its specific context.  For example, the type of assistance needed in a classroom by a student who is hearing-impaired may vary, depending upon whether the format is a large lecture hall or a seminar.  With the one-way communication of a lecture, the service of a notetaker may be adequate, but in the two-way communication of a seminar, an interpreter may be needed.

In the event that the Office determines that the student’s identified disability requires academic accommodations, the Office will prepare an Academic Accommodation Letter for the student that identifies every academic accommodation that has been approved for the current semester.  The Office will email the Academic Accommodation Letter directly to the student.

In the event that the Office denies the student’s academic accommodation request, the student may file a grievance and/or a petition for appeal in accordance with the Student Disability Grievance Procedure (the “Grievance Procedure”), attached as Appendix A.

Students are responsible for forwarding their Academic Accommodation Letter to their professor and meeting with each professor to arrange the students’ specific academic accommodations.  The purpose of these meetings is for students’ professors to get to know them better, to learn about how the students’ accommodations allow for their unique learning style, and to enable the students to participate more fully in class.

It is recommended that students bring a hard copy of the Academic Accommodation Letter to their meetings with professors.  It might also be helpful for students to review the course syllabus or outlines of each of their courses beforehand to determine whether there are any times during the semester when paper deadlines and/or exam dates may overlap or occur closely together.

The students need not disclose the specifics of their diagnosis or disability to their professor, the faculty member cannot require them to do so.  If asked, the student should feel free to say that they are not comfortable discussing their diagnosis or disability at the present time.  However, the student should be prepared to discuss the sorts of support or accommodations that the student has found helpful in the past, and their approved accommodations by the Office.

2. Types of Accommodations Available to Students

Academic accommodations that the College may offer qualified students with disabilities include, but are not limited to the following:

a. Exam Accommodations

Exam accommodations are designed to mitigate any barriers that a student with a disability may experience in a test-taking environment/situation and are approved on an individualized, case-by-case basis.  Exam accommodations apply to any timed assessment completed in a single sitting.  Common exam accommodations that may be approved for students can include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Reduced distraction test taking environment
  • Extended time
  • Use of a computer for written responses
  • Reader or text-to-speech program
  • Use of a calculator
  • Screen reading software program
  • Screen magnification software program
  • Tests printed in large font.

Students are responsible for scheduling their exam accommodation appointments by filing an Exam Accommodation Request Form (INSERT LINK) (the “Exam Form”) with the Office at least seven (7) calendar days prior to when an exam will take place, to ensure that the appropriate proctor, space, and/or technology will be available; provided, however, that if the exam is a final and/or comprehensive exam, the Exam Form must be submitted at least three weeks prior to the final and/or comprehensive exam.  If students receive extended time on exams, it is important that the students check their schedules before submitting their Exam Forms to ensure that their exam end times will not conflict with other classes or exams.

Students who have never previously established a need for exam accommodations with the College’s Office may be denied exam accommodations if they fail to comply with the notice requirements.  Students who have already established a need for an exam accommodation with the Office will not be unreasonably denied an exam accommodation for failing to comply with the notice obligation.  However, the student’s exam may need to be rescheduled due to scheduling, proctoring, technology, or other issues.  In certain circumstances, if adequate notice is not provided, it may not be possible to reschedule an exam and the student will need to work with their professor on an extension or take the exam on the regularly scheduled date with their class.

It is imperative that students speak with their professors at the beginning of the semester to discuss their exam arrangements.

Please note:

  • The student will receive acknowledgement within forty-eight (48) hours of submission of an Exam Form.  A confirmation letter with information regarding the time and location of the student’s exam will be sent to the student and the student’s professor via e-mail at least two (2) days before the scheduled exam.
  • Students should discuss each exam with their professors in order to obtain the needed details for the Office when submitting the request (e.g., length of time allowed for exam, permitted materials, etc.).

b. Course Substitution

The goal of providing students with disabilities with equal access to an academic program may entail the provision of course substitutions, so long as each substitution does not lower the standards of integrity of the degree program.  Course substitutions occur only under extraordinary circumstances and must be reviewed by the Director of the Office and approved by the Department Chair and Dean of the student’s academic program.  Course substitutions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and students must follow a separate application process to request course substitution.  Students who believe they may be eligible for this accommodation should discuss their circumstances with the Office and the Dean of their academic department as early in the academic careers as possible.

c. Flexible Deadlines

Some students with disabilities may qualify for flexible deadlines as a reasonable accommodation. The purpose of a flexible deadline accommodation is to provide the student with an opportunity to consult with the instructor well in advance to identify an acceptable alternative submission date for a paper, project, or exam when there are conflicting due dates for assignments or exams in one or more classes.  Flexible deadlines are not extensions in that there is planning involved.

At the beginning of the semester, qualified students must review the syllabus and meet with their professors to discuss exam dates and assignment deadlines.  Flexible deadlines may result in an assignment or test being moved up or moved back in order to accommodate the nature of the assignment, the professor’s course objectives, or the student’s assignment schedule.  Typically, exams are not moved unless there are no other options, and the professor is in agreement.  Group presentations are also generally nor moved due to potential scheduling conflicts for other members of the group or class.

Requests for flexible deadlines on final papers at the end of the semester must be arranged by the student with the professor.  In such cases, the proposed flexible deadline may require a new due date falling during the study period and/or the final exam period.  Requests for flexible deadlines for end of semester work must be made at least three (3) weeks prior to the end of the semester.

Note, however, that as a result of such request, a student may receive an incomplete in the class, which may result in an additional fee and other consequences.

d. Supporting Note-Taking Services and Recording Lectures

The determination of the specific type of note-taking assistance is made on an individualized basis through an interactive process with the Office.  Students may request note-taking assistance at any time before or during the semester.

Types of Note-Taking Services include, without limitation:

  • Use of a laptop or tablet in class;
    • Students are responsible for bringing a laptop or tablet to each class/meeting.  Students are only permitted to use appropriate note taking programs/software during class.  Students found to be misusing this accommodation (e.g., using the Internet when not permitted or web surfing in class) may have their accommodation revoked and an alternate accommodation implemented.
  • Use of a recording device, such as:
    • LiveScribe Pens (these pens allow a student to record a lecture and sync their own notes to the audio recording)
    • Sonocent Audio Note Taker (software designed to record lectures, synced to the student’s own notes, PowerPoint slides, and a color-coded visual representation of the lecture audio);
    • AudioNote (software that provides the same functionality as the LiveScribe Pen)
  • Use of a Peer Note-Taker.
    • The Office coordinates notetaker services for students, who due to a disability, are either unable to take notes or need class notes to supplement their own notes and class attendance.  The Director of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities will identify and hire qualified students who will provide eligible students with note-taking services.  Peer note-takers and students are responsible for coordinating the method by which notes are copied.
    • Where it is determined that use of a peer note-taker is an effective and necessary auxiliary aid, the service will not be conditioned on the availability of a peer note-taker, or subject to the discretion of faculty to provide notes.
    • Where the Office approves the peer note-taker service as an accommodation, the Office will obtain a peer note-taker for the student as soon as reasonably possible.  Where no peer note-taker can be obtained within a reasonable time frame, the Office will take other steps to ensure that a note-taker is obtained, including but not limited to providing additional incentives to student volunteers, coordinating with College faculty members, or contracting with an outside vendor.  The student may also request other substituted note-taking services, including but not limited to those services described above, while the Office works to obtain a peer note-taker.

If a student is unsure of the optimal type of note-taking assistance and needs guidance, the student should contact the Office.

Students eligible for note-taking services are prohibited from sharing recorded class lectures or a peer note-taker’s class notes with students who are not eligible for note-taking services.

e. Texts and Course Materials in Alternative Format

Students with visual impairments, learning disabilities or physical disabilities that significantly diminish their capacity to read standard print may be eligible to receive texts and course materials in alternative format, including, but not limited to: qualified readers; taped texts; audio recordings; brailed materials and displays; screen reader software; magnification software; optical readers; secondary auditory programs (“SAP”); large print materials; accessible electronic and information technology; or other effective methods of making visually delivered materials available.

The appropriate alternate format is best determined by conversations with the student.  The College is not required to provide the format according to the student’s preference, so long as the accommodation meets the student’s needs.

All new and continuing students requesting materials in alternative formats must submit their required reading lists to the Office at least fourteen (14) days prior to the start of each semester.

f. Sign Language Interpreting Services

Sign language interpreting services are arranged for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.  Continuing students requiring sign language interpreting services must notify the Office at the time of registration of interpreting needs or interpreters to be assigned to the student’s classes.

Students requiring sign language interpreting services must notify the Office in the event that the student is unable to attend class due to illness or other reasons, class scheduling changes, and classroom location changes.

Requests for sign language interpreting services for campus events should be made at least two (2) weeks prior to the date of the event.

g. Other Accommodations

The College will consider requests for other accommodations on a case-by-case basis.  Some of the various types of auxiliary aids and services may include:

  • taped texts
  • interpreters
  • readers
  • videotext displays
  • television enlargers
  • talking calculators
  • electronic readers
  • Braille calculators, printers, or typewriters
  • telephone handset amplifiers
  • reduced credit load
  • extended hours in a student’s applicable field placement*
  • closed caption decoders
  • open and closed captioning
  • voice synthesizers
  • specialized gym equipment
  • calculators or keyboards with large buttons
  • reaching device for library use
  • raise-line drawing kits
  • assistive listening devices
  • assistive listening systems
  • telecommunications devices for deaf persons

Licensure Requirements. *Please note that students with accommodations are still required to meet all relevant program and profession-specific New York State licensure requirements including, but not limited to observation, student teaching, and clinical placement hours, and exams.

Technological advances in electronics have vastly improved participation by students with disabilities in educational activities.  The College is not required to provide the most sophisticated auxiliary aids available; however, the aids provided must effectively meet the needs of a student with a disability. The College has flexibility in choosing the specific aid or service it provides to the student, as long as the aid or service selected is effective.  These aids will be selected after consultation with the student who will use them.

3. Academic Success Center

The Academic Success Center is located on the 2nd floor of Saint Joseph’s Hall and can be reached at 518.454.5299.  In addition to accommodations, the services outlined below are available to all students and do not require registration with Disability Services:

  • Tutoring is available in five (5) content areas: Accounting/Business, Computer Information Systems, Math, Natural Sciences, and Spanish.  Other content areas can be added as needed.  Tutors are on duty various times throughout the week.  Students can visit whenever the Academic Success Center is open – no appointment is necessary.
  • Study clusters are tutor-led study groups for a specific course at the College.  Study clusters typically meet once a week in the Academic Success Center.
  • Academic Workshops are scheduled periodically during the academic year on various topics.  Updated workshop schedules can be found at: https://www.strose.edu/student-development/student-success/academic-success-center/
  • The Writing Center is staffed by graduate students.  Tutors will work with students at any stage of the writing process.  Appointments are necessary because the tutoring is individual in nature.  The Writing Center is open at various hours throughout the week, including night and weekend hours.
  • Students who have not passed the math placement can come to the Academic Success Center to re-take the exam and also to set up a plan for strengthening of math skills.

III. Service Animal and Emotional Support Animal Accommodations

The College complies with the ADA and HRL in allowing use of service animals and emotional support animals for students.

1. Definitions:

Service Animal: An animal that is specifically trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of normal living.  A service animal means an animal, such as a guide dog, signal dog, miniature horse, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.  A service animal meeting this definition is not required to be licensed or certified by a state or local government or animal training program.

The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler’s disability.  Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to: assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.  The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship does not constitute work or tasks as a service animal.

Emotional Support Animal: An animal that is recommended as necessary by a healthcare or mental health professional to provide emotional support or other assistance for a person with a disability, to alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person’s disability.  In contrast with a service animal, an emotional support animal does not need to be trained to perform a particular task.  The use of an emotional support animal may be allowed as a reasonable accommodation.  An emotional support animal, unlike a service animal, may not accompany a person with a disability beyond the residential setting (e.g., to academic buildings, libraries, dining halls, etc.) without prior authorization from the Office.

Pets: An animal that is not a service or emotional support animal, as defined above.  Students are not permitted to have non-fish pets in the residence halls.  A student may make a request to the Director of Residence Life to keep small fish in a small fish tank in their residence hall room with the approval of all roommates.  While the College understands the importance of pets, the 24-hour nature of pet care, and the commitment to taking care of a pet is a distraction from taking full advantage of every opportunity that College offers.

2. Approved and Restricted Areas on College Property

a. Service Animals

Service animals are generally permitted throughout campus.  However, the College may prohibit presence of Service Animals in certain locations due to health and safety restrictions (e.g., where the animals may be in danger, or where their use may compromise the integrity of research).  Restricted areas may include, but are not limited to: custodial closets, boiler rooms, facility equipment rooms, research laboratories, classrooms with research/demonstration animals, areas where protective clothing is necessary, wood and metal shops, motor pools, rooms with heavy machinery, and areas outlined in state law as being inaccessible to animals.

Service animals may be granted access to restricted areas on a case-by-case basis by contacting the Office and the appropriate department representative.

The Service Animal must be under the control of the handler at all times.  The Service Animal must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the Service Animal’s work or the person’s disability prevents the use of these devices.  In that case, the person must use voice, signal, or other effective means to maintain control of the animal.

b. Emotional Support Animals

Approved Emotional Support Animals are only permitted in a privately assigned living space in College housing.  Approved Emotional Support Animals are prohibited from all other College buildings without prior authorization from the Office.  The College generally only permits a student to have one emotional support animal, except in extraordinary circumstances where the need for more than one animal is documented by a licensed healthcare provider.

3. Request for Service and/or Emotional Support Animal

a. Service Animals

  • For a student to qualify to have a service animal on campus:
    • The student must have a disability as defined by the ADA and HRL; and
    • The accompanying animal must be trained to do specific tasks for the qualified individual.
  • In situations where is is not obvious that the animal is a Service Animal, College staff may ask only two specific questions: (1) Is the Service Animal required because of a disability? and (2) What work has the Service Animal been trained to perform?
  • College staff may not request or require proof that the Service Animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a Service Animal, require that the Service Animal demonstrate its task, or inquire about the nature of the student’s disability.
  • Students who require the use of a Service Animal on campus are encouraged to contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (the “Office”), via mail at The College of Saint Rose, 432 Western Ave., Albany, NY 12203, in person at 985 Madison Ave, Saint Joseph’s Hall 2nd floor or via email at disability@strose.edu.
  • The Office will provide assistance in navigating the campus, including the selection of housing if the student plans to live on campus and arranging for mobility training.  Information provided to the Office is confidential.  Disability information will not be released without the signed consent of the student.
  • This policy only applies to use of a Service Animal on campus.  The College does not have control over the use of Service Animals at other locations, including external field placements.  If a student has a dispute regarding the use of a Service Animal at another location, the student should notify the Office as soon as possible.  The Office will attempt to assist with such issue, but ultimately, access is controlled by the outside entity.
  • If denied, the student may file a complaint under the Grievance Procedure (see Appendix A).

b. Emotional Support Animals

  • If the definition of a Service Animal is not met, then the use of the animal may be allowed as a reasonable housing accommodation.
  • Application for Approval
    • If an Emotional Support Animal is required as a housing accommodation, the student must contact and notify the Office.  The Office will require that the student complete The College of Saint Rose Emotional Support Animal Registration Form.  The student must complete and submit The College’s Emotional Support Animal Registration Form and Support Animal Agreement in order to be considered for approval for an Emotional Support Animal.
    • If a student’s disability or need for an Emotional Support Animal is not readily apparent, the College may request that the student provide confirmation from a licensed healthcare provider that the student has a disability and supporting documentation from a licensed healthcare provider to the Office.
    • Documentation from a licensed healthcare or mental health provider should set forth the following:
      • The credentials of the person completing the form;
      • The nature of the student’s disability;
      • That the animal is necessary to afford the student an equal opportunity to participate in campus housing and college programs;
      • That there is a relationship between the student’s disability and the support the animal provides.
    • The College reserves the right to reject documentation from any provider associated with an internet-based service whereby the availability of documentation for an Emotional Support Animal or other housing accommodations is advertised and such documentation can be purchased online.
    • If approved, the student must agree to comply with all of the terms of The College’s Support Animal AgreementIf the student violates the terms in the Support Animal Agreement, the student’s approval for the Emotional Support Animal may be revoked.
    • If having an Emotional Support Animal requires a student to be placed in a single room, the student will be charged the single room rate.
    • If denied, the student may file a complaint under the Grievance Procedure (see Appendix A).

To ensure that emotional support animal requests can be reviewed and addressed in a timely manner, the College encourages students to comply with the following deadlines:

The College will continue to consider requests for emotional support animals after these dates, but under such circumstances, there may be a delay in implementing accommodations based on space and availability.

4. Other Helpful Information

a. What are some basic etiquette rules when around Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, and their handlers?

  • Do NOT pet, touch, or otherwise distract a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal when it is working.  Doing so may interfere with its inability to perform its duties.
  • Do NOT feed a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal.  These animals’ work depends on a regular and consistent feeding regimen that the handler is responsible to maintain.
  • Do NOT attempt to separate the handler from the Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal.
  • Do NOT harass or deliberately startle a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal.
  • Avoid initiating conversation about the student’s disability.  Some students may not wish to discuss their disability.

b. Under what circumstances can a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal be asked to leave or not allowed participation on campus?

  • If a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take immediate and effective action to control it.
  • If the Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal is not housebroken and the animal’s handler does not take immediate and effective action to control it.
  • If an Emotional Support Animal causes damage or disruption that creates an undue hardship for the College.

c. What needs to happen if a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal behaves aggressively towards their handler or others, or if a handler or other students behave aggressively towards a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal?

  • Report any Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal who misbehaves or any handlers (or others) who mistreat their Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal to the Office.

d. What if another student or a faculty or staff member has severe allergies?

  • With regard to Service Animals, another student’s or faculty member’s allergies will generally not be a valid reason for excluding the Service Animal from the College’s premises.  If the presence of the Service Animal creates an access issue for another student with a disability (e.g., life limiting animal allergies), the handler is expected to work with the Office to address the access concerns in a manner that allows both students to be appropriately accommodated.

e. What should a handler do if the have concerns about their ability to use a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal to access campus facilities and programs?

  • Handlers who have concerns about any matter affecting their use of a Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal should contact the Office and review the disability accommodation process described and grievance procedure.

The College considers information regarding a student’s disability highly confidential.  The College maintains such information in separate, secure files with limited access that is only shared on a need-to-know basis.

New York State Law prohibits any individual from misrepresenting an animal as a Service Animal when that animal has not been individually trained to perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.

IV. Housing Accommodations

The College is committed to working with students to identify housing options to address their disability-specific needs.  Reasonable housing accommodations are available to eligible students with disabilities who: (1) have met all eligibility requirements and payment deadlines for housing; and (2) have given the College notice of a disability and demonstrated a need for reasonable housing accommodations.

In accordance with applicable federal, state, and local disability laws, the College will make every effort to provide reasonable housing accommodations for students who have a qualifying disability.

1. Procedure for Requesting Disability-Related Student Housing Accommodations

a. Step 1: Apply for Campus Housing

Students who are seeing housing accommodations for the first time shall first complete the College’s Housing Application process through the MyHousing link on the Secure Site at https://bannerweb.strose.edu to secure housing on the College’s campus, even if they may have require disability-related housing accommodations.

b. Step 2: Request Disability-Related Housing Accommodations

As soon as the student has completed the Housing Application process, the student shall make requests for disability-related housing accommodations using the College’s Housing Accommodation Request Form (the “Housing Form”).  If a student’s need for an accommodation does not change, a student will not need to submit a new Housing Form each year.  Instead, the student will work with the College to update any housing information annually as necessary.

To ensure that housing accommodation requests can be reviewed and addressed in a timely manner, the College encourages students to comply with the following deadlines:

  • February 1: Due date for Continuing Students to submit a new or updated Housing Form for the following Fall Semester
  • June 1: Due date for New Incoming Students to submit the Housing Form for the following Fall Semester
  • December 1: Due date for New and Continuing Students to submit the Housing Form for the following Spring Semester

The College will continue to consider requests for accommodations after these dates, but under  such circumstances, there may be a delay in implementing accommodations based on space and availability.

In requesting a housing accommodation, the student shall complete Part I of the Housing Form.  Students should submit the Housing Form to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (the “Office”), via mail at The College of Saint Rose, 432 Western Ave., Albany, NY 12203, in person at 985 Madison Ave., Saint Joseph’s Hall 2nd floor, or via email at disability@strose.edu.  In the event that a student’s disability or need for a housing accommodation is not known or readily apparent, the College may request that a qualified licensed healthcare professional complete Part II of the Housing Accommodation Request Form.  The licensed healthcare provider may also provide the information requested in Part II of the Housing Accommodation Request Form on separate professional letterhead.

The College’s goal is to understand how a student’s disability impacts the student so that an appropriate plan can be developed.  In addition to the Housing Form, any form of documentation or information that you can provide to our office may be helpful in working with you to develop an accommodation plan.  The more information you can share with us, the more it will help us in working with you.  Examples of helpful documentation or information include, without limitation:

  • Educational records, such as high school accommodation plan (IEP, 504 plan, etc.)
  • Neuropsychological or education evaluation
  • Statement from a health, mental health, or other service provider
  • Medical records
  • Audiology report
  • Vision assessment

The College does not “medicalize” the process of seeking housing accommodations.  While supporting medical documentation can be helpful, the College recognizes that there are a variety of factors that can impact a student’s ability to obtain it.  The College is committed to engaging in an interactive process and working with students to find appropriate and creative ways to support their access at the College.

In the case of an emergency situation (e.g., injury) where a student requires a housing accommodation, the student should follow the process outlined in this policy.  The College will make an emergency housing accommodation based on housing availability at the time of the student’s request.  In such circumstances where an emergency housing accommodation is necessary, the College may prioritize that student’s accommodation request over other students’ requests.

c. Step 3: Await Communication from the Office and/or Housing Accommodation Committee

The Office will forward the accommodation request to the Housing Accommodation Committee (the “Committee” – Director of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, Director of Counseling Services, Director of Health Services, Director of Residence Life) for review and, if appropriate, identification of specific accommodation.  The Committee may request additional information from the student as necessary.  Such additional documentation provides a complete and current picture of the student’s functioning as it relates to living in a residential setting.

In the event that the Committee requires more information, the Committee may ask the student to sign a release allowing a Committee member to contact the healthcare professional who completed the Housing Form.  Inquiries to licensed healthcare providers will be limited to the need to address the student’s specific housing accommodation request, including, but not limited to, determining disability status, rationale for the request, and discussion of other potential alternative accommodations.  The College considers information regarding a student’s disability highly confidential.  The College maintains such information in separate, secure files with limited access that is only shared on a need-to-know basis.

The Committee will make every effort to meet students’ needs.  However, a large number of high priority needs, limited residence hall spaces, and availability may mean that not all requests will be met immediately.

Listed below are some of the factors considered when evaluating housing accommodation requests:

  • Severity of the Condition:
    • Is there a negative health impact that may be permanent if the request is not met?
    • What is the likely impact on academic performance if the request is not met?
    • What is the likely impact on social development if the request is not met?
    • What is the likely impact on the student’s level of comfort if the request is not met?
  • Qualifications of the Provider (if applicable):
    • Does the provider have an established and on-going treating relationship with the student?
    • Is the provider associated with an internet-based service whereby the availability of documentation for an emotional support animal or other housing accommodations is advertised and such documentation can be purchased on-line?
  • Feasibility and Availability:
    • How does meeting this request impact housing commitments to other students?
    • Is space available that meets the student’s needs?
    • Can space be adapted to provide the requested need without creating a safety hazard?
    • Are there other effective accommodations that would achieve similar benefits as the requested accommodations?

Examples of common housing accommodation requests, include, but are not limited to:

  • Low occupancy single in a suite
  • Single studio
  • Proximity (students may request to be housed near class/school)
  • Physical Modifications
    • Examples of modifications include wheelchair accessibility and modifications for hearing impaired students.  It is important that the student indicate such needs at the onset of the reasonable housing accommodation process.
  • Furniture
    • The College provides student furniture which meets certain space and fire safety requirements.  A student with a qualified disability who wishes to bring non-College furniture related to their special needs must submit the request to the Office.  The student may be required to provide documentation that demonstrates a need for non-College furnishings.
  • Air Conditioning
    • Some residence hall do not have air conditioning units.  If air conditioning is a critical accommodation for a student with a qualified disability, this should be reflected in the student’s request for an accommodation.  Students may not bring window AC units into Saint Rose residence halls unless prior approval has been granted.
  • Carpeting
    • If no carpet is a critical accommodation for a student with a qualified disability, this should be reflected in the student’s request for an accommodation.

2. Notifying Student of Housing Accommodation Decision

The Committee will make a decision regarding a student’s request for housing accommodation within 5 to 7 business days of its receipt of the student’s accommodation request.  If the Committee reviews the request and determines that the student does not meet the criteria for accommodation, the Committee will notify the student of the Committee’s decision.  The student may file a grievance and/or appeal the Committee’s decision in accordance with the Grievance Procedure (see Appendix A).

If the Committee approves the request, the Committee will inform the Office of the Committee’s approval and the appropriate housing accommodation for the student.  The Office will then communicate with the student regarding the student’s housing placement and housing accommodation arrangements.  The Office will contact students at their Saint Rose email address.

Please note that there may be circumstances in which a qualified student with a disability requests a housing accommodation (e.g., single room) that is not currently available at the time of the request.  In such circumstances, the College may prioritize the qualified student’s accommodation request over other students’ requests.

V. Accommodations for Pregnant Students

The College is committed to engaging in an interactive process and creating a welcoming, accessible, and inclusive environment for pregnant students.  This policy provides a brief overview of pregnant students’ rights and available accommodations.  For more information regarding your rights and responsibilities, the College encourages students to review https://www.strose.edu/student-development/policies-important-info/title-ix/documentation/title-ix-grievance-policy/.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the College does not discriminate against any student, or exclude any student from its education or activity, including any class or extracurricular activity, on the basis of such student’s pregnancy, childbirth, false pregnancy, termination of pregnancy or recovery therefrom, unless the student requests voluntarily to participate in a separate portion of the program or activity.  Absences due to pregnancy or childbirth must be excused for as long as is deemed medically necessary by the student’s doctor.  When the student returns to the College following an absence due to pregnancy or childbirth, they must be reinstated to the same academic and extracurricular statuses they held before their medical leave began.  In certain circumstances, the College may require pregnant students to submit medical certification for College participation only if the same requirement exists for all students with physical or emotional conditions requiring the attention of a physician.

A student cannot be penalized for pregnancy or related conditions.  If a professor awards specific “points” or other advantages to students based on class attendance, the student must be given the opportunity to earn back the credit from classes they miss due to pregnancy, so that they can be reinstated to the status they held before the medical leave.  The College must provide the student with the opportunity to make up the work they missed while they were on medical leave due to pregnancy or related conditions, including recovery from childbirth, even if it is for an extended period of time.

Students may request reasonable accommodations as a result of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.  To request an accommodation, contact Kateeka Harris, Title IX Coordinator, titleix@strose.edu.

Accommodations will vary based on the specifics of the students’ needs.  Examples of accommodations include, but are not limited to:

  • A larger desk;
  • Designated refrigerator to store breast milk;
  • Excused absences for as long as deemed medically necessary;
  • Breaks during class, as needed;
  • Course policy adjustments, such as modified attendance, flexibility in assignment submission, and making up work and/or exams to the extent reasonable and in conjunction with the course instructor;
  • Permitting temporary access to elevators; and
  • Temporary accessible parking.

In addition, the College provides a private, convenient, and secure lactation room for nursing students to express breast milk.  (See https://www.strose.edu/student-development/policies-important-info/title-ix/campus-community-resources/lactation-rooms/)

VI. Student Voluntary Leave of Absences

The College recognizes that students may experience situations that significantly limit their ability to function successfully or safely in their role as students.  In such circumstances, students may require a level of care that exceeds the care the College can appropriately provide and should consider requesting a leave of absence.

A voluntary leave of absence permits students to take a break from the College and their studies, so that they may address the issues that led to the need for the leave and later return to the College with an enhanced opportunity to achieve their educational goals.  The decision to take a leave of absence may have long term implications on a student’s academic and financial situation. The College is committed to working with the student to address any academic and financial implications.  A student can request for a voluntary leave of absence at any time by submitting a request to the Associate Vice President (“AVP”) for Student Development.  To request a voluntary leave of absence, the student:

  • Must meet with the Dean of their respective school and the AVP for Student Development where the academic and financial impacts of the decision will be discussed
  • May bring an advisor or someone they have a close, trusting relationship with for guidance;
  • Should consider having their parent, guardian, or emergency contact involved, if relevant

These requests are reviewed by the Chief of Staff, AVP for Student Development, the Provost, the AVP For Financial Aid, and the Director of Counseling Services.  As each student’s financial aid package is unique to them, the AVP for Financial Aid will work directly with the student regarding any refund or remaining balance.

Implications of a Leave of Absence:

a. Student status.  Students on a leave of absence generally retain their admitted student status; however, they are not registered and therefore do not have the rights and privileges of registered students.

b. Effective date(s) of leave.  A student must leave the College within the timeframe set forth by the Provost.  The leave will remain in effect until (1) it is determined after an individualized assessment that the student is able to return to the College with or without reasonable accommodations and (2) the student has complied with any College requirements applicable to all students returning from a leave and all of the conditions mandated by the Provost.

c. Notification.  Any time during the leave process, the Associate Vice President for Student Development may notify a student’s parents, legal guardian, emergency contact, or other individual, consistent with the law, if notification is deemed appropriate.

d. Association with the College while on leave. Unless expressly permitted by the Provost in writing, students on a leave of absence are not permitted to be present at the College and are not permitted to engage in College-related activities, including on-campus employment.

e. Financial Aid.  The impact of a leave of absence on a student’s financial aid will vary depending upon the facts and circumstances of the individual student.

f. Housing.  If a student is a resident, the student must move out of College housing within the timeframe set forth by the Provost.  Unless expressly permitted by the Provost in writing, students on a leave of absence are not permitted to be present at the College of in the residence halls.  A prorated housing refund will be provided, if applicable, based on the housing refund policy.

g. Meal Plan.  If the student is currently on a meal plan, the meal plan will be cancelled immediately and will be prorated based on the time in the semester.

h. Student ID Privileges and Student Email Account.  While on a leave of absence, the student’s ID card will be turned off.  The student will retain their Saint Rose email unless the situation deems otherwise.

i. Tuition and Fees.  In accordance with the College’s Academic Calendar and Withdrawal Schedule , students granted a voluntary leave of absence who withdraw from their courses may be charged a prorated amount for tuition and fees, if applicable, based on the time they are enrolled.

j. Visa Status.  If a student is on a leave of absence, it will be reported to the necessary government officials and the student must return to their home country.

For more specific information regarding the College’s policy and procedure for adding, dropping, and/or withdrawing from courses, students should refer to the College’s Add, Drop, Withdraw Policy.

A student’s progress toward their degree may be impacted by the availability of sequenced courses and required internships or field work.  This should be discussed with the Dean at the time of the request for the leave of absence and with academic advising when the student is ready to resume their studies.

VII. Student Development Accommodations

The College is committed to ensuring that all qualified individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in all of the College’s programs, activities, and services on an equal basis, including any and all of the College’s student development programs, student clubs, and student organizations.  This Student Accommodation Policy is applicable to all of the College’s Student Development areas.

The College encourages any students with a qualifying disability who may require an accommodation related to Student Association or Student Life to contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities, via mail at The College of Saint Rose, 432 Western Ave., Albany, NY 12203, in person at 985 Madison Ave., Saint Joseph’s Hall 2nd floor or via email at disability@strose.edu to discuss possible accommodations.

APPENDIX A

STUDENT DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE

A. Reporting Prohibited Discriminatory Practices

The College of Saint Rose (the “College”) has adopted an internal grievance procedure providing for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging discrimination based on disability and perceived disability, including denials of reasonable accommodations.  Any individual who believes they have been denied a reasonable accommodation or otherwise subject to discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on the individual’s disability or perceived disability (“Disability Discrimination”) should make a report to the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities (the “Director”), or if the complaint concerns the Director, the Section 504 Coordinator (“Coordinator”).

  • Contact information for the Director is as follows: Lynn Cantwell, 518.454.2336, cantwell@strose.edu
  • Contact information for the Coordinator is as follows: Jeffrey Knapp, 518.458.5374, knappj@strose.edu

The College encourages any students who believe that they have experienced Disability Discrimination to attempt to resolve the issue informally with the Director or Coordinator.  Students who remain dissatisfied with the resolution of their concerns or wish to forgo informal resolution may elect to file a formal complaint pursuant to this procedure.

Any student who wishes to file a formal complaint alleging Disability Discrimination may do so by submitting it to the Director (or Coordinator if the complaint relates to the Director).  The complaint must set forth specific facts in support of the allegation(s).  A complaint should be filed as soon as reasonably possible, but no more than three years following the alleged incident of discrimination.

Even if an individual chooses not to file a complaint with the College, if the College knows or reasonably should know, about a suspected incident of Disability Discrimination, the College may choose to investigate the alleged conduct as a complaint under this Policy based on the circumstances.  In addition to or instead of filing a complaint with the College, individuals who believe they are the victim of Disability Discrimination may file a complaint with federal, state or local agencies as explained in detail in Section H. below.

B. Initial Assessment of the Complaint

Once a complaint of Disability Discrimination has been made either in writing or orally, the Director will make an initial assessment regarding (1) whether the complaint is facially valid (e.g., does it contain erroneous information, failure to state a claim, mistaken identity, etc.); (2) whether the complaint falls within the scope of this Policy, and (3) whether the complaint must be handled under the Title IX or Sexual Misconduct Policy, rather than this Policy.

If the complaint falls within the scope of the Policy, is not invalid, and is not covered under the Title IX or Sexual Misconduct Policies, the Director will select a designee to investigate the complaint.  The Director may choose to designate an individual outside of the College to conduct the investigation under appropriate circumstances.

If the alleged conduct may constitute sexual harassment under Title IX, the Chief Diversity Officer inform the complainant of his or her right to file a Formal Complaint under the Title IX Grievance Procedure.  If a Formal Complaint is filed the Title IX Grievance Procedure will apply, and this Complaint, Investigation, and Disciplinary Procedure DOES NOT apply.  However, if the Formal Title IX Complaint is dismissed, the College may still choose to investigate the alleged Discriminatory Practices under this Policy, if the College determines that the alleged Discriminatory Practices may potentially violate this Policy.  If a complaint alleges conduct that could constitute Sexual Misconduct, as defined under the Sexual Misconduct Policy, the Investigation and Disciplinary Procedures for Sexual Misconduct Cases Handled Outside of the Title IX Grievance Procedure will apply, and this Complaint, Investigation, and Disciplinary Procedure DOES NOT apply.  However, if the Sexual Misconduct investigation is dismissed, the College may still choose to investigate the alleged Discriminatory Practices under this Policy, if the College determines that the alleged Discriminatory Practices may potentially violate this Policy.  If a complaint alleges a suspected violation of law, rule, regulation, or College policy, but does not allege Discriminatory Practices, the College’s Whistleblower Policy will apply, and this Complaint, Investigation, and Disciplinary Procedure DOES NOT apply.

C. Interim Measures

As soon as the College is aware of a complaint of Disability Discrimination, interim measures will be available to the complainant.  Interim measures may include:

  1. support services (victim advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, counseling, health and mental health services, legal assistance);
  2. changing living arrangements, course schedules, assignments, or test schedules (for students);
  3. providing increased monitoring, supervision, or security; and
  4. providing an escort.

No complainant is required to take advantage of these interim measures, but the College provides them in an effort to offer help and support.  Such interim measures can be requested by a complainant or respondent, by contacting Lynn Cantwell, Director of Services for Students with Disabilities, 518.454.2335, cantwell@strose.edu.  The College will protect the confidentiality of accommodations or protective measures provided to a complainant or respondent, to the extent that doing so will not impair the College’s ability to provide the accommodations or protective measures.

D. The Investigation

Once an investigator is designated, the investigator will conduct a complete, thorough, and impartial investigation to determine whether, by preponderance of the evidence, the alleged Disability Discrimination occurred.

In investigating the complaint, the investigator shall:

  • Meet with the appropriate individuals and review all appropriate records that relate to the case;
  • Discuss the allegations in the complaint with the complainant and respondent at separate meetings, and provide the complainant and respondent with equal opportunities to identify witnesses and present evidence supporting their respective positions at these meeting;
  • Provide the complainant and the respondent with the same opportunities for a non-attorney support person or non-attorney advisor of their choice throughout the process, including any meeting, conference hearing or other procedural action;
  • Interview any identified or known non-party witness(es);
  • Attempt, where appropriate, to resolve the complaint by exploring and suggesting possible alternative solutions to the problem with all involved parties, provided, however, that the complainant will not be required to participate in a mediation with the respondent;
  • Create a written report of the investigation which contains the following:
    • A summary of the complaint;
    • A summary of the respondent’s response;
    • A summary of the statements and evidence obtained during the investigation;
    • A list of all documents reviewed, along with a detailed summary of relevant documents;
    • A list of names of those interviewed, along with a detailed summary of their statements;
    • A timeline of events;
    • A summary of prior relevant incidents, reported or unreported;
    • A recommendation on whether or not this Policy was violated with an explanation to support that recommendation;
    • If the investigator believes that a violation occurred, a statement about the severity of the violation; and
    • A recommendation with respect to any disciplinary action that should be taken, together with any corrective action(s), and/or ongoing remedial measures.
  • Keep the written documentation and associated documents in a secure and confidential location.

The time necessary to complete an investigation will vary depending upon the facts of a particular case.  In most cases, investigations will be completed no later than ninety (90) days (excluding holidays) from the receipt of a complaint.  If the investigation will take longer than ninety (90) days, the investigator will inform the parties of the delay and the expected date when the investigation will be concluded.

E. Following the Investigation

Following the investigation, the investigator will inform the parties, in writing, of the outcome of the investigation, including the finding, the recommended sanctions (if any) and the rationale therefor.

The College takes complaints of Disability Discrimination with the greatest seriousness.  For that reason, if, following the investigation, the investigator concludes that is it more likely than not that the respondent violated this Policy, the College will pursue strong disciplinary action through its own channels.  Further information regarding internal disciplinary proceedings for students can be found in the Community Standards, Policies, and Procedures.  Further information regarding internal disciplinary proceedings for employees can be found in any applicable employee handbook or contract and/or in any applicable collective bargaining agreement with the College.  If the respondent is a third party, it may result in the respondent being barred from the College’s campus, which may prohibit any future employment and/or educational opportunities.

F. Right to Appeal

The complainant or the affected department/unit may request reconsideration of the investigator’s findings and/or resolution by filing a written request with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs (“Provost”) Margaret T. McLane, Ph.D., mclanem@strose.edu, 518.485.3334, or if the complaint concerns the Provost, the Chief of Staff Lisa Haley Thomson, thomsonl@strose.edu, 518.454.5121.

The party seeking reconsideration must set forth with particularity the irregularities of the investigator’s determination such as inaccurate findings of fact or incorrect conclusions of law, the correction of which would likely change the outcome of the determination of an investigation.  The request for reconsideration must either be postmarked or received within 14 calendar days of the date of the receipt of the determination.  The Provost (or designee) will accept or deny reconsideration and issue a final written determination to the complainant and the affected department/unit within 15 working days of the Provost’s or the Chief of Staff’s receipt of the request.

G. No Retaliation

Retaliation against any individual who initiates a complaint, participates in an investigation, pursues legal action, or opposes a discriminatory education practice or policy is strictly prohibited.  The College has a zero-tolerance policy for such retaliation against anyone who in good faith complains or provides information about suspected harassment or discrimination.  This includes behavior in the part of the respondent or other related persons, including acquaintances, friends, and family members.  Anyone who retaliates against anyone involved in a discrimination or harassment investigation will be subjected to disciplinary action.  All individuals who believe they have been subject to retaliation should report this conduct to the Director or Coordinator as soon as possible.

H. Legal Protections and External Remedies

Disability Discrimination is not only prohibited by the College, but may also be prohibited by state, federal, and where applicable, local law.  Aside from the internal process at the College, students may also choose to pursue legal remedies with the following governmental entities.  While a private attorney is not required to file a complaint with a governmental agency, you may seek the legal advice of an attorney.

a. New York State Human Rights Law (HRL)

The Human Rights Law (HRL), codified as N.Y. Executive Law, art. 15, § 290 et seq., applies to all colleges in New York State with regard to discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, and protects students, regardless of immigration status.  A complaint alleging violation of the Human Rights Law may be filed either with the Division of Human Rights (DHR) or in New York State Supreme Court.

Complaints with DHR may be filed at any time within one year of the Disability Discrimination.  If an individual did not file at DHR, they can sue directly in state court under the HRL, within three years of the alleged Disability Discrimination.  An individual may not file with DHR if they have already filed an HRL complaint in state court.

Complaining internally to the College does not extend your time to file with DHR or in court.  The one year or three years is counted from the date of the most recent incident of Disability Discrimination.

You do not need an attorney to file a complaint with DHR, and there is not cost to file with DHR.  DHR will investigate your complaint and determine whether there is a probable cause to believe that sexual harassment has occurred.  Probable cause cases are forwarded to a public hearing before an administrative law judge.  If sexual harassment after a hearing, DHR has the power to award relief, which varies but may include requiring the College to take action to stop the harassment, or redress the damage caused, including paying of monetary damages, attorney’s fees, and civil fines.

DHR’s main office contact information is: NYS Division of Human Rights, One Fordham Plaza, Fourth Floor, Bronx, New York 10458.  You may call 718.741.8400 or visit https://www.dhr.ny.gov.  Contact the Division via TDD/TTY at 718.741.8300.

Contact DHR at 1.888.392.3644 or visit https://www.dhr.ny.gov/complaint for more information about filing a complaint.  The website has a complaint form that can be downloaded, filled out, notarized and mailed to DHR.  You may not also email a complaint form to complaints@dhr.ny.gov or fax it to 718.741.8322.  The website contains contact information for DHR’s regional offices across New York State.  The contact information for the DHR office covering Albany County is as follows:

New York State Division of Human Rights (“DHR”)
Agency Building 1, 2nd Floor
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12220
Telephone 518.474.2705 (or 2707)
eFax 518.473.2955
Director Victor DeAmelia
Email: infoalbany@dhr.ny.gov
Online: https://dhr.ny.gov/complaint

b. Office of Civil Rights

In addition, students who believe they are victims of Disability Discrimination may file a complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”).

The contact information for OCR’s headquarters is as follows:

United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-1100
Customer Service Hotline 1.800.421.3481
Fax 202.453.6012
TTY 1.800.877.8339
Email ocr@ed.gov
Online https://www.ed.gov/ocr

The OCR office with jurisdiction over New York State can be contacted as follows:

United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”)
New York Office
Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
32 Old Slip, 25th Floor
New York, NY 10005-2500
Telephone 646.428.3800
Fax 646.428.3843
Email ocr.newyork@ed.gov
Online https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html

Complaints may be filed to OCR by:

  • Mail or Facsimile: Complainants may mail a letter or send a complaint by facsimile to the New York Office address and fax listed above.
  • Email: Complainants may file a complaint to the following email address ocr@ed.gov.
  • Online: Complainants may file a complaint with OCR using OCR’s electronic complaint form at the following website: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintintro.html.

Information about how to file a complaint in other languages can be accessed here: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/howto-index.html.

c. Local Protections

Many localities enforce laws protecting individuals from harassment and discrimination.  An individual should contact the county, city or town in which they live to find out if such a law exists.