Reasonable Accommodations and Appropriate Adjustments

We work closely with faculty and external resources to provide appropriate and effective academic accommodations to students. Below are some examples of campus accommodations that registered students may receive based on their individual needs.

  • Testing Accommodations
    • Extra time and alternate testing locations
    • Use of a reader and/or scribe, use of a calculator,
    • Use of Assistive Technology and/or enlarged print or alternate text formats
  • Accessible Computer Lab, also known as the Assistive Technology Lab
  • Use of a SmartPen for notetaking and recording lectures/class discussions
  • Use of a Laptop, iPad, or other personal device in class for notetaking
  • Reading Software (Kurzweil, Zoom Text, Read and Write Gold, JAWS, Dragon)
  • Large-print or other alternate text formats for assignments
  • FM systems/hearing aids
  • Sign language interpreters: Disability Services Office can provide eligible students who are deaf or hard of hearing with sign-language interpreters. Students requiring this service must be registered with Disability Services and provide the office with at least 4 weeks advance notice to guarantee services.  Please meet and discuss with your Disability Services counselor to request Sign-Language Interpreters prior to start of each semester.
  • Accessible Classrooms: Students requesting accessible classrooms need to register with Disability Services Office and provide any necessary documentation. Once a student is determined eligible and accommodations are approved, the office makes every effort to relocate necessary classrooms.  Relocations require significant time and coordination between various campus facility resources and offices.  As each student’s disability indicates level of physical mobility and limitations, every semester the student has to request in writing each class that student wishes to have relocated.   To guarantee necessary relocations and minimize missed classes, requests should be made at least 3 weeks prior to start of semester (Notify Disability Service Office of any changes in schedule such as course additions or withdrawals).  Late requests after the start of a semester should be discussed with Disability Services Office for available options as relocations cannot be guaranteed and due to needed time to coordinate, student may miss classes, impacting course requirements.
  • Notetaking Services: Students requesting notetaking services need to register with Disability Services Office, provide necessary documentation, and discuss available options with the counselor. Once a student is determined eligible and accommodations are approved, we make every effort to recruit staff notetakers. The office needs at least 4 weeks prior notice to recruit staff notetakers and as such students are encouraged to request notetaking services prior to the start of the semester.  Each semester, as soon as student is registered for classes, the student should request in writing each class where staff notetaker is needed and provide class schedule (notify the counselor of any changes in your schedule, including course additions, withdrawals, or room changes, as well as any notetaking needs).  In the event of late requests and the office not being able to secure a staff notetaker, the student or class professor can identify and recruit a peer notetaker—a fellow student in the same class—to take notes on student’s behalf. The student should let Disability Services know if a peer notetaker will be utilized and the peer notetaker must complete an application form with the Disability Services Office.  Peer note takers receive a stipend for their service at the end of the semester.

Scholarships for Students with Disabilities

CUNY LEADS and Assistive Technology

CUNY LEADS (Linking Employment, Academics, and Disability Services) is a program established to facilitate successful academic and career outcomes for students with disabilities who are enrolled in CUNY programs.

This exciting program is free of charge for eligible candidates and available on all CUNY campuses. Each campus has a LEADS Advisor who collaborates with various departments, agencies, and businesses both on and off campus to provide career guidance and support to students.

What is the mission of LEADS?

CUNY LEADS is a unique, individualized career development program that aims to empower students with disabilities to acquire the skills and confidence to define their own paths and launch successful, fulfilling careers.

What services does LEADS provide?
  • Academic advisement
  • Career counseling
  • Resume preparation
  • Interview preparation
  • Internship assistance
  • Advocacy skills
Do I need to be registered with ODS if I want to be part of LEADS?

No. But you will need to provide documentation of your disability. This could include:

  • IEP
  • Medical records that state your disability and the accommodations you would benefit from
  • Disability Award Letter
What is the difference between LEADS and Career Services?

LEADS Advisors help students consider how their disability may impact their transition into and experience of the world of work. Topics could include:

  • Disclosing disability (when and how to do disclose strategically)
  • Internship and job-seeking strategies
  • Formal and natural support systems
  • Requesting accommodations at work
If I need help with something related to my disability but it does not concern employment, can I still talk to the LEADS Advisor?

Of course! The LEADS Advisor is a fully integrated staff member in ODS and is available to assist students with any questions related to their services.

Contact the Student LEADS Support Specialist, Preston Burger, by phone at 718-289-5100, ext. 3143, via email at preston.burger@bcc.cuny.edu, or stop by Loew Hall, 213

What is Assistive Technology (AT)?

According to the Assistive Technology Industry Association, Assistive Technology (AT) is, “any item, piece of equipment, software program, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of persons with disabilities.”

What Do You Have In Your AT Lab?

Our Assistive Technology Lab has a combination of hardware, software, and portable devises that help our students level the playing field.

Software:

Our Windows-based computers have the latest versions of ZoomText Fusion (includes Jaws and ZoomText), Dragon Naturally Speaking, and Kurzweil 3000.

Our Mac-based computers have Dragon DictateKurzweil 3000, and other built-in accessibility features.

All of our computers have 27-inch monitors to accommodate students with visual impairments and are available to all students registered with ODS.

Hardware:

Below are some examples of the hardware available to our students.

  • An adjustable table with a computer that can run both Windows and Mac OS programs
  • Scanners that allow students to upload documents onto a computer and utilize the software
  • SARA CE Document Reader, which will automatically read documents placed on it

Portable Devices:

Will I be able to keep the Assistive Technology once it is in my accommodation plan?

Unfortunately, no. Students may borrow AT devices on a semester-by-semester basis.

If AT is part of your accommodation plan, one of our Assistive Technology specialists will guide you through the procedure for borrowing and returning the device.

What if I do not know how to use the Assistive Technology listed?

Not a problem! Staff in our Assistive Technology Lab will meet with you one-on-one and teach you how to use your AT for optimal performance.

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