Tompkins Cortland Community College

Baker Center for Learning

Academic Accommodations

Students with qualifying, documented disabilities are entitled by law to have necessary and reasonable academic accommodations provided by the college. Accommodations may not lower academic standards, substantially alter a program or a course's essential requirements, pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, or place undue financial hardship on the institution.

It is important to understand that accommodations do not guarantee academic success, nor do they provide an advantage to a student. They serve to "level the playing field" and provide equal access to the College's programs, services, and activities.

There is no general accommodation plan that is appropriate for all students or for a particular disability. Students may require different accommodations in different courses. The most appropriate plan provides equal access coupled with consideration of the disability and documentation, student preferences, program and faculty requirements for a particular course, and applicable laws.

Accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

        • Test-taking modifications

        • Print materials in alternative formats

        • Auxiliary aids, such as calculators, word processors, specialized computer software or hardware

        • Special classroom seating

        • Note-taking assistance

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To receive accommodations, students must:

Identify the disability. Students may self-identify at any time. Carolyn Boone, Coordinator of Access & Equity Services, is the designated campus contact for students with disabilities. If identification is made to another staff or faculty member, he or she should notify the Coordinator and advise the student to contact the Coordinator.

Provide the Coordinator of Access and Equity Services with current, appropriate documentation of the disability by a qualified professional. Guidelines for documentation are available in the Baker Center for Learning. In addition to individual requirements for a specific disability, all documentation must identify the nature of the disability, how the disability will limit participation in course, programs, services, student employment, or activities, and the need for specific accommodations. Secondary school Individual Education Plans (IEPs) often are not sufficient by themselves as documentation at the postsecondary level. Depending on the information contained, an IEP may provide a portion of the necessary documentation and may serve to identify previously utilized accommodations.

Work with Baker Center for Learning staff and classroom faculty to develop an appropriate and reasonable plan for accommodations. Each semester, following a meeting with an appropriate BCL staff member, students will be given copies of a Memorandum of Academic Accommodations identifying recommended accommodations. Students are responsible for providing a copy of the memo to the instructor of each course in which he or she plans to use any accommodations.

The college encourages students to meet with faculty members early in the semester during office hours to discuss specific needs and method(s) for accommodation of those needs within a particular course.

The need for accommodation is not negotiable, but there may be alternate ways to accommodate a particular impairment. If a student and faculty member are unable to agree on the method of accommodation, consult with Carolyn Boone, Coordinator of Access & Equity Services, or Marilyn Webb, Coordinator of Tutoring and Accommodation Services. The college is committed to providing all reasonable accommodation for students while maintaining academic standards of excellence.

If a faculty member believes that an accommodation will substantially alter the fundamental objectives of a course or program, he or she should immediately consult with Carolyn Boone.

The Baker Center for Learning maintains a variety of adaptive equipment and specialized software for student use including Premier Accessibility Suite, Window-Eyes screenreaders, Kurzweil 1000, ZoomText, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Smart Pens, AlphaSmart Pro keyboards, Inspiration, and other software.

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Students with disabilities have the right to:

  • full and equal access to and the opportunity to participate in all programs, services, and activities of TC3
  • be evaluated based on ability, not disability
  • reasonable accommodations and academic adjustments
  • appropriate auxiliary aids and services determined on a case-by-case basis
  • privacy: no confidential information will be released without consent except as permitted or required by law
  • information and course materials readily available in accessible formats.

Students with disabilities have the responsibility to:

  • identify their disability in a timely manner to Carolyn Boone, Coordinator of Access and Equity Services and, when an accommodation is desired, seek information, counsel, and assistance as needed
  • provide Carolyn Boone, Coordinator of Access and Equity, current, relevant, appropriate documentation from a qualified professional in a timely manner
  • follow published procedures for obtaining reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids and services
  • meet college, course, and program qualifications and maintain essential institutional standards for academic standing, courses, programs, services, employment, and activities
  • abide by the Student Code of Conduct.

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Security and Emergency Procedures

All medical and emergency problems that occur on campus are handled by the Campus Security Office. If a student has a disability that may result in a medical emergency (or the perception of one) or if the student will require assistance in the event of emergency evacuation, he/she should notify the Office of Public Safety, Room 118, 607-844-6511. Additional information is available in a brochure titled "Emergency Evacuation Procedures for Persons with Disabilities."

For additional information contact

Carolyn Boone
Coordinator of Access and Equity Services

ADA/504 Compliance Officer
607.844.8222, Ext. 4283

Marilyn Webb
Coordinator of Accommodation Services

607.844.8222, Ext. 4416

Sharon Clark
Affirmative Action Officer
607.844.8222, Ext. 4440

If you believe your rights have been violated, you may file a grievance under the college's student grievance policy or you may file a complaint with the college's affirmative action officer.

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