For Students

I'm a student with a disability. How do I find out about accommodations and supports through SSD?

Step One: Submit Documentation

  • The first step in connecting with our office is to submit documentation related to your disability.
  • The documentation should share information related to the present functional impact of your disability.
  • This link will provide our documentation guidelines: Disability Documentation Guidelines
  • Documentation may be sent to our office via:
    • Fax (607-777-6893)
    • Mail (Services for Students with Disabilities, Binghamton University, P.O. Box 6000, Binghamton, NY 13902-6000)
    • Or as an e-mail attachment (ssd@binghamton.edu).

Step Two: Schedule Intake Appointment

  • The next step is to call our office (607-777-2686) and schedule an intake appointment with the SSD Director or Learning Disabilities Specialist.
  • During the intake appointment, you will learn about available supports, as well as policies and procedures regarding equal access accommodations at Binghamton University.

I think I might have a disability, but i'm not officially diagnosed. How or where do I get tested?

The Services for Students with Disabilities office does not conduct testing for learning disabilities. Your insurance company or former school district may be able to recommend providers in your area who conduct learning disability evaluations.

You may wish to inquire from your former school district if you were ever tested during your K-12 years for a learning disability. Your school district's special education office or elementary/middle/high school "child study" team may have this information.

If you did not experience difficulties during your K-12 years of schooling, but are only now noticing you are struggling to process information, it could be for a variety of reasons. For some students, it is the manner of study that impacts learning.

  • Often, students find it hard to restrain from electronic distractions such as cell phone texting and internet surfing to allow for three to four hours of study each day.
  • Other students may need additional repetition of the material in order to process the information. For example, reading (and taking notes on) a chapter before it is discussed in class, recopying the class notes within 24 hours of a lecture, and creating flash cards may provide this needed repetition.
  • Taking advantage of campus tutoring may also be a helpful resource.

Still other students struggle with learning due to medical reasons. Depression, anxiety, stress, sleep disorders, and other medical ailments may affect learning, so consultation with a physician or therapist may be helpful.

What is the difference between supports in high school and college?

In the K-12 school system, supports for students are offered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. In college, the Americans with Disabilities Act (and its amendments) and the 1973 Rehabilitation Act (section 504) protect students with disabilities from discrimination and provide for reasonable accommodations to insure equal access in all its programs. At the college level, students in need of equal access accommodations are responsible for self-identifying to the Services for Students with Disabilities office and for obtaining and submitting disability documentation from a professional who is qualified to assess their particular disability.

I was exempt from taking a foreign language in high school. Will I be exempt in college?

If a student was waived from taking a foreign language in high school, this does not automatically mean he or she will be eligible for a substitution of the Binghamton University general education foreign language requirement.

The faculty of the foreign language departments and the staff of Services for Students with Disabilities stand ready to assist students in their efforts to meet the general education foreign language requirement. Students with disabilities who anticipate they will have disability-related difficulties successfully fulfilling the general education foreign language requirement should identify themselves and their concerns to Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) immediately upon enrollment at Binghamton University. SSD staff will work with the student to explain the possible options which may include, but are not necessarily limited to,  accommodations such as extended time on exams, spelling dispensation, and repeating orally presented test questions.

The University recognizes that in some cases, even with reasonable accommodations, a student with a disability may not be able to learn a foreign language. In these cases, a student may petition for consideration of substitution courses in lieu of the general education foreign language requirement. Petitions are available in the Services for Students with Disabilities office (University Union room 119, 607-777-2686).

For more information, please visit this webpage: Course Substitution Policy.

Does SSD offer tutoring support?

The SSD office does not offer tutoring services. However, tutoring is available to students at several campus locations including:

University Tutoring Services
Located in College-in-the-Woods Library.
Phone: 607-777-9235
This is the campus tutoring center. Students may sign up for peer tutoring through their website: http://www.binghamton.edu/clt/tutoring-services/

Writing Center
Located in Library North 2412.
Phone: 607-777-6725
English majors assist students with their writing assignments. Appointments are strongly recommended and may be scheduled by phone or e-mail. http://www.binghamton.edu/writing/writing-center/index.html

Math Help Room
Library North Room 2408A and 2408B.
Math majors provide tutoring for many math classes. The tutoring schedule is available at: www.math.binghamton.edu

Computer Science Tutoring
Engineering Building Room T1.
CS honor society students are available for tutoring.
Visit http://harvey.binghamton.edu/~upe/index.php for the schedule.

Chemistry & Organic Chemistry Help Room
Science 2 Building Room 126
The tutoring schedule is available online at: http://www2.binghamton.edu/chemistry/undergraduate-program/instructional-lab-center/office-hours.html

Student Support Services/TRIO
Location: SSS Lounge, Appalachian G16 and G17, and back corner study rooms of Hinman Library.
Phone: 607-777-2024
SSS provides free tutoring support for all of its TRIO program participants in a number of different subjects. The schedule is available at http://www.binghamton.edu/student-support-services/tutoring.html. More information on eligibility for the TRIO/SSS program is at their website: http://www.binghamton.edu/student-support-services/eligibility.html.

The Tutorial Center for EOP
Location: UU-263
Phone: 607-777-4062, or visit http://www.binghamton.edu/eop/
Tutors are available for students in the Educational Opportunity Program. Visit their website for information on program eligibility: http://www.suny.edu/attend/academics/eop/

I am taking a summer class at another college. How do I let the college know about my disability and accommodations?

Contact the Student Disability Services office at the college where you plan to take a summer course. Ask them about their procedures in order for you to receive disability-related accommodations at their college. They will likely ask you to send them a copy of your disability documentation.

Does SSD offer organization coaching and time management assistance?

Yes, although the frequency of assistance will vary depending on staff availability and the number of interested students each semester.

I am a student veteran. Where can I find information?

Veterans with disabilities who are in need of equal access accommodations are encouraged to submit documentation related to their disability to the Services for Students with Disabilities office. We are happy to meet with veterans and discuss available supports.

Other campus resources include the Veterans Services office located in the University Union, room UU-257. http://www.binghamton.edu/veterans/. They can be reached by phone at (607) 777-2021. The University Counseling Center also offers individual and often group counseling for veterans. The Counseling Center is located in Library North room 1202. Their phone number is 607-777-2772. www.binghamton.edu/counseling

For Faculty

Are all students with disabilities registered with SSD?

No. It is up to individual students with disabilities to self-identify themselves to the Services for Students with Disabilities office and provide documentation related to their disability(ies) if they wish to request equal access accommodations or academic support services.

How do I know if a student is registered with SSD?

If a student in your class would like to use his/her SSD-authorized accommodations in your classroom, the student will meet with you during office hours and give you his/her official accommodation letter from the SSD office.

Who is eligible for disability services?

A student with a disability must self-identify with the Services for Students with Disabilities office and provide documentation related to the present functional impact of his/her disability.  The student also meets with an SSD professional staff member for an intake appointment to discuss his/her disability-related needs.  SSD staff consider the documentation and information learned in the intake appointment in determining and authorizing accommodations and/or supports necessary and appropriate to "evening the playing field" for the student and insuring equal access.

What exactly is an accommodation?

Accommodations are designed to "even the playing field" so that a student with a disability has equal access to a college class. The most common accommodation for a student who takes longer to read than his or her peers is extra time on an exam to allow time to finish reading it.

Who is responsible for providing accommodations?

The University is responsible for making sure its classes and services are accessible to all its students.  A professor's role is to implement the accommodations authorized by the SSD office and take steps to insure the course materials including websites and Blackboard are accessible.

How do I make my website or Blackboard content accessible?

Please visit the Creating Accessible PDFs webpage for information on how to make sure online materials are accessible to students with print-reading or vision impairments.

Contact SSD for advice or collaborative support in insuring access of audio material to students with hearing or auditory processing disabilities.

What is the policy on confidentiality?

Information related to a student's disability is confidential and should not be discussed in the presence of other students. If a professor needs to share information about the disability with his/her staff, it should be limited to what staff members need to know in the course of their jobs. For example, a professor may need to inform a T.A. that he or she will be proctoring an exam for two students authorized for extra time on a test, but it may not be necessary to share the nature of the disability with the T.A.

A student came to me in the middle of the semester and said she or he has a disability, but I never knew that. What do I do?

You may ask the student if he or she has a letter from the Services for Students with Disabilities office which explains the impact of the student's disability and authorized accommodations. If the student does not have such a letter, you may wish to inquire, "How may I help?" Since there are many types of learning disabilities, the student may be struggling for a wide variety of reasons. Not all these reasons will require a student to connect with the SSD office. The student may simply need the same guidance you might offer to any student.

At other times, specific accommodations authorized by SSD may be required to insure the student's equitable access and provide him/her with an "even playing field".  In these cases, the professor should encourage the student to connect with our office.

Please see SSD's webpage entitled "Information for Faculty" for further information.

Last Updated: 8/21/14