Accommodations & Accessibility
SUNY Jefferson
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Accommodations & Accessibility

The College provides access to reasonable accommodations for each qualified student with a disability through individualized services, specialized equipment, and a supportive environment. An accommodative specialist acts as a liaison between you and Jefferson staff/faculty as you pursue your educational goals. At the same time, the College also hopes to foster your self-reliance and independence.

A disability is defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act as "any mental or physical condition that substantially limits an individual's ability to perform one or more major life activities."

You must initiate a request for eligibility review by completing the application linked below and following the stated College policies and procedures when requesting access to reasonable accommodations. It is strongly recommended that you contact us well in advance of classes. Accommodations for placement testing cannot be provided until eligibility has been determined.

Disability services are provided through the first floor of the Collaborative Learning Center at Jefferson. The office provides the academic support and assistance that students need to achieve success in college and beyond.


Students with disabilities are ensured that written records will be kept confidential and made available only to the Disability Specialist. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) protect the confidentiality of student medical and disability records. Once submitted, disability-related information becomes the property of Jefferson Community College and is kept in separate files with access limited to the Disability Specialist. FERPA protects a student's record from being shared (without the student's permission) with faculty, administrators, other students, the press, or anyone without a legitimate (educational) reason for seeing the record. If consent is given by the student, only the diagnosis will be shared, not the documentation.

In order for parents or legal guardians to speak with the College staff regarding any information on the student (grades, services, attendance, etc.), the student must complete a release of information form.

Disability records do not follow the student upon transfer to another college or university and are not shared with employers. Students may request access to their documentation on file by notifying the first floor Collaborative Learning Center office in writing using the Request for Release of Documentation. Copies of documentation will be available within 2 business days of receipt of the request.


Accommodative services regularly offers the following services for students in need of:

  • admissions placement testing
  • accommodations process orientation
  • campus faculty and staff liaison
  • classroom accommodations
  • notetaking coordination
  • assistive technology
  • exam/quiz accommodations
  • academic coaching
  • academic advising
  • supplemental tutoring referral
  • advocacy
  • local, state, and federal agencies liaison
  • high school resource
  • assistance with voter registration


LEGISLATION Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 New York State Human Rights Law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (Amendment Act of 2008 – ADAAA)
BASIS FOR PARTICIPATION Entitlement Eligibility:
“otherwise qualified” for postsecondary academic work
WHO’S RESPONSIBLE? School District and Parents Student and College
GOAL High School diploma
College degree
45-50 minute classes
Graded tests
1-3x per week or 1-2x per week
1-6 hours per class
2-4 tests/exams
Research papers
SKILLS Textbooks
Blackboard notes
Homework completion
Time Management Study Skills
Academic Proficiency in Math, Reading and Writing
ACCOMMODATIONS Extended time for tests
Readers Resource Room
Determined on a case by case and course by course basis.
May include: adaptive equipment, modified test administration, note takers, tape recorders, recorded textbooks
ASSISTANCE Classroom Teachers Resource Room Teacher/Parents Instructor Disability Office
Staff Tutors
Academic Skills Center Staff

Mark each item below as you finish the task.
I applied to JCC through the regular admissions or continuing education process.
I contacted the Learning and Success Center (LSC) to request information on accommodative services.
I submitted my disability documentation. (Check all that apply)
  • Current IEP
  • Current Psycho-educational Evaluation
  • Medical Documentation
  • Neurological Documentation
  • Psychological Documentation

I sent my documentation to:

Tanya Hoistion
Jefferson Community College
1220 Coffeen St.
Watertown, NY 13601
I kept a copy of my disability documentation for my files.
I have scheduled a contact appointment with the Accommodative Specialist.
  • Date
  • Time
I have a scheduled my placement test.   
  • Date
  • Time

Here are some key factors that are a must if you want to be successful:
  • Level of Interest
  • Motivation
  • Independence
  • Self-Direction
  • Self-Advocacy Skills
  • Knowledge About Self
  • Academic Abilities
  • Acquiring Information About College Programs and Services
  • Utilizing Appropriate Resources for Support

IN ORDER TO SUCCEED in postsecondary education, you need to know yourself and be prepared in the following ways:

  • Understand and be able to describe their strengths and capabilities
  • Understand their disabilities and the accommodations they need
  • Develop academic and career goals
  • Practice using accommodations and devices that help them learn and succeed
  • Develop and use effective strategies for studying, test preparation, and time management
  • Collect and maintain a file of current school records and disability documentation information

NEW COLLEGE STUDENTS MUST do the following to receive services and accommodations:

  • Identify yourself as a student with disabilities to the Learning Specialist
  • Provide the required disability documentation (link to eligibility page) before class begins
  • Must have up to date testing with Adult Norm Testing after the age 16.5
  • Request services each semester
  • Comply with the college’s student code of conduct
  • Complete any follow-up activities required by the campus to ensure services

PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCEPT to grasp is that you need all the same competencies as any college student PLUS whatever special skills or strategies are needed to cope with your disability. It is better to start acquiring skills in an environment you know well (i.e., high school) rather than wait until you arrive on the college campus. Starting college when you are comfortable with yourself and your academic skills, and knowing your accommodative needs can make the difference between success and failure.


Classroom Preparation

  • Self-advocacy skills
  • Note taking skills
  • Adequate study habits/ test taking skills
  • Being prepared for class
  • Importance of homework
    • writing name/date correctly on paper
    • organizing work (use of folders, etc.)
    • neatness of work
    • turning work in on time
  • Classroom etiquette
    • stay in seat
    • raise hand/ don’t interrupt
    • stay in the room
  • Importance of being on time for class

Necessary Social Skills

  • How to interact appropriately with teachers/mentors/other students
  • How to introduce yourself to someone
  • How to let someone know you like them (dating etiquette)
  • How to interact with people in social situations
  • Dealing effectively with peer pressure (drinking, drugs, and sexuality)
  • How to deal appropriately with rejection
  • Ability to use the telephone effectively
  • Problem-solving and decision-making skills

Living Independently for the First Time

  • Structure of environment (or lack of structure ) – more choices, more freedoms
  • Transportation to and from campus, job, internships
  • Ability to use leisure time effectively
  • How to locate the help and assistance needed
  • Adequate knowledge of medical needs in regard to medication and health problems and being able to articulate these needs to others
    • Basic independent living skills – money management, survival cooking, laundry, shopping



  • Work with others to inform and sensitize the student body, faculty, administration, and staff about disabilities. Organize public lectures, student panels, and films. Write articles for the student newspaper on your campus.
  • Become a student member of and/or provide input to policy-making university committees.
  • Find out if there is a support group for students with disabilities on your campus and become an active member in this group. At such group meetings you will find out you are not unique nor are you alone in your struggles. In addition to the comfort that provides, you will learn studying and test taking strategies and about instructors whose teaching style will be most compatible with your learning style.
  • Provide peer counseling and support to other students with disabilities on an individual basis or through a support group on campus.
  • Join professional organizations as a student member advocating for rights of adults with learning disabilities. The Learning Specialist on your campus can put you in touch with local, regional, state, and national organizations.



Building self-confidence is not an easy task. Many people benefit from the assistance of a counselor or therapist on a one-to-one basis or in a support group. You should explore options available through the campus Counseling Center. In addition, the following strategies may prove helpful:

  • After preparing as well as you can, tell yourself as you go in to take an exam or to make a presentation that you will succeed and you are well prepared.

  • Identify a realistic goal and work toward it. When you succeed in accomplishing it, identify the strategies that you developed that contributed to your success. Building self-confidence is a step-by-step process in which you meet increasingly difficult challenges and take credit as you accomplish each one.

  • If you don’t achieve your goal on the first attempt, sit down with a friend, faculty, or counselor and analyze and refine your strategies. Identify new strategies and intermediate goals that will prepare you better to achieve your final goal. Tell yourself, “Next time I know I’ll do better.”

  • Develop a time line to accomplish each goal. Build in extra time for the unexpected. Remember, there is no point rushing toward failure. Take a long-range perspective on your life, rather than focusing on just one semester.

  • Keep a list of your past successes and accomplishments and read this list over frequently.

  • Take credit for your achievements and work well done. Accept compliments with a simple “thank you.” A compliment is like a gift. When you reject a compliment, you are rejecting not only the compliment but also the person giving it. How would you feel if you bought a gift for someone and it was rejected? If your performance did not meet your expectations, you can critique it at a later time with your faculty, counselor, or friend.

  • Identify your strengths and keep expanding the list of things you do well. Your disability gave you some special talents as well as difficulties. Identify your talents, develop them and enjoy them.

  • Keep disappointments in perspective; a “D” on one quiz does not mean you will fail the course; a “D” in one course does not mean you will be dismissed from college.

  • If you do poorly on a paper or exam, find out why rather than condemning yourself or rejecting the good along with the ineffective strategies that you may have used. By analyzing what went wrong, you will be better able to avoid such mistakes in the future.

  • Look at your friends. What do you admire and respect in them? Because they also chose you as a friend, you share in their attributes and have other qualities that they admire and respect in you as well.

  • Dress for success. IF you are unsure of the appropriate dress for a specific occasion, setting or social event, check ahead with a knowledgeable person.

  • Smile. People who smile send a message to others that they are comfortable with themselves and are self-confident. Smiling is contagious. You will find people will reflect your facial expression, be much more pleasant, and have confidence in you when you smile.

  • Look at those who have expressed confidence in you, provided you with opportunities and given you responsibilities. These people know you well, have observed your past performance, and have confidence in your abilities and potential to succeed. As you accept new challenges, keep them and their confidence in you clearly in mind.

Contact us

Tanya Hoistion
Coordinator - Student Accommodations and Testing Center

Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
(Summer: Monday - Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)

Jefferson complies fully with Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which states, "No otherwise qualified handicapped individual in the United States…shall, solely by reason of his/her handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."