Students with disabilities are entitled to certain rights and accommodations at universities under federal law. Some of these rights include:
The right to equal access to academic programs and facilities.
The right to reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access.
The right to confidentiality regarding their disability and accommodations.
The right to file a complaint if they believe their rights have been violated.
In order to receive accommodations, students with disabilities are also responsible for:
Providing documentation of their disability to the university's disability services office.
Requesting accommodations in a timely manner.
Communicating with their professors and disability services office about their needs and any necessary accommodations.
Many resources exist at Lehman to help you on your academic journey, but you must advocate for yourself in order to use those resources. Below you will find a summary of some of the accessibility features of online technologies you may encounter at Lehman, as well as general guides on how to enable some accessibility features, such as those on your personal computer. We have also included some information about the process with Student Disability Services and information on programs to help improve your online learning skills.
Student Disability Services (SDS) Application Process
While the Office of Online Education does not provide assistance with accessible technologies directly, Student Disabilities Services can help you with obtaining and using accessible technologies and accommodations.
The application for disability services can be found on their website. All the relevant information is sent via email. Note that you don’t need disability documentation at the time of application for disability services in the event you don’t have it yet. Once your application is received, you’ll meet with Gabriella Kohler, Director of Student Disability Services, via Zoom to discuss your accessibility needs and what Lehman SDS has to offer. If applicable, after you meet with Gabriella you’ll then meet with Pedro Laureano, Assistive Technology Specialist, to discuss how to use the new technologies that will assist you.
In the event that you do not yet have disability documentation, you can still submit an application for disability services, and Gabriella will assist you! SDS will get you started with accommodations, and give you free or low cost CUNY and outside resources for obtaining the documentation you need.
Relatedly, on the application it is not required that you list medications you’re taking for your condition, if any, although you’re free to list them if you wish.
After your meetings for accommodations, evaluation letters explaining your accommodations will be sent out to your instructors. These letters include: details about your accessibility needs, information on the law, how to provide these accommodations. The nature of your disability is not disclosed. A copy of the letter will be sent to you.
You don't need to reapply every semester nor year; once you’re in the SDS system, you’re in for good! This is not to be confused with accommodation requests; while you don’t need to reapply, you do need to submit an accommodation request each semester.
Accommodation letter requests must be filled out every semester. About two weeks before the semester starts a reminder email will be sent out, and you simply list which accommodations you’re requesting for that semester.
Even if you're not registered with SDS and something happens and you require accommodations, even in the middle of a semester, such as a sudden hospitalization or new condition,you can still contact them and they'll advocate for you regardless of registration status.
Further information on technologies Student Disability Services (SDS) supplies
Pedro Laureano, Assistive Technology Specialist, can help you learn how to use the technologies in person or online.
Dragon software is only available on computers on the Lehman campus and cannot be downloaded to student computers.
When proctoring occurs for students with private testing accommodations, the testing will be held either in Shuster 238 or Library 146 when held in person. The proctors aren’t directly in the testing room; they watch outside via cameras.
When online proctoring occurs, the proctor just sits on video as well as the student.
Programs & Tools for Online Learning Skills
The Instructional Support Services Program provides some Excel sheets for task prioritization & time management, including versions for daily/weekly and semester. Download at this link.