Documentation Guidelines and Procedures for Requesting SSD Authorizations for Academic Accommodation

Students seeking disability-related accommodations in academic courses should request such adjustments through the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office.

Students who do not already have valid SSD Authorizations for Academic Accommodations must follow the Preliminary Application and Assessment Procedures before completing an Academic Accommodations Request Form.

Preliminary Application and Assessment Procedures

  1. Submit current, comprehensive disability documentation from a professional licensed or certified to diagnose and treat your disability(ies).  Please go to the following links for documentation guidelines relavent to various disabilities:
  2. Schedule and participate in an Intake/Needs Assessment Appointment with the SSD Director or Learning Disabilities Specialist.

Based on the documentation submitted and the information gained during the Intake Appointment, the Director or Learning Disabilities Specialist will determine and authorize academic accommodations appropriate to your needs and the requirements of the courses in which you are registered that semester.

In subsequent semesters, students approved for such assistance will receive a written invitation and reminder to request "SSD Academic Accommodation Authorization Letters" for specific courses, along with a Request Form for completion and submission to the office.

Procedures for Requesting SSD Authorization Letters for Academic Accommodations in specific courses:

  1. Meet with the SSD Director or Learning Disabilities Specialist to complete the Preliminary Application and Assessment Process.
  2. Complete and return the "Request Form for Academic Accommodation Authorization Letters" to SSD as soon as you have finalized your academic schedule.
  3. As an SSD-registered university student, you are responsible for picking up your accommodation letters from the SSD office and sharing them with professors.  (In respect for your privacy, proof of personal identity will be required before the letters are released to you.)

SSD's Timeline for Processing Completed Requests:

  • Request Forms received by the indicated due date will be processed prior to the beginning of the semester. Late requests will be processed in the order in which they are received.
  • Request Forms received after the start of the semester will be processed within seven (7-10) working days.

Utilizing SSD Authorizations For Academic Accommodation As Tools for Effective Self-Advocacy

Binghamton University is committed to equal access and to the provision of academic accommodations that ensure an equal playing field for students with and without disabilities within the parameters of established academic standards. The effective implementation of appropriate academic accommodations requires active involvement and collaboration by the students needing them and the faculty responsible for teaching their classes.

As a student who has received SSD Authorizations for Academic Accommodation for one or more of your courses, you are responsible for sharing them with your professors and for meeting with them to clarify your mutually agreed-upon implementation responsibilities. We strongly recommend that you:

  • Pick up the Accommodation Authorizations you requested from SSD as soon as they are available
  • Personally deliver the Authorizations to your professors and schedule appointments with them early in the semester to review course expectations, discuss your needs, and clarify accommodation arrangements. Do not wait until your first exam.
  • During your scheduled appointment with your professor:
    • Demonstrate your interest in the course.
    • Openly and knowledgeably discuss your disability-related needs and the accommodations listed in the Accommodation Authorization from SSD.
    • Address faculty questions or concerns honestly and openly, with as much information as you are comfortable sharing.  
    • Ask the professors about procedures and timelines for ensuring the implementation of your academic accommodations. Be polite but persistent in arriving at a clear understanding regarding your mutual responsibilities for implementation.
    • If you are unable to arrive at a satisfactory agreement regarding accommodations and implementation responsibilities, request that the professor call the SSD Director or Learning Disabilities Specialist -- and provide him or her with our phone number (x72686). Then call or come by the office to let us know you need assistance resolving the situation.  
    • If your accommodations involve testing modifications (e.g. extended time, separate testing space, etc.) you should communicate with your professors one week prior to each exam to confirm the plans for accommodations on the upcoming test.  Professors have a multitude of academic teaching and research responsibilities.  By taking active responsibility for keeping track of your test accommodation needs and routinely providing them with friendly reminders sufficiently in advance of the test dates, you demonstrate mutual respect, facilitate a smooth working relationship, and exert more effective control over your academic endeavors.
    • During your follow-up conversations, you should ask the professors to review and confirm for you how your accommodations will be provided and whether you need to take any actions other than arriving at the agreed-upon times and locations.

If you have any concerns or would like to practice your self-advocacy approach before making appointments with your professors, we encourage you to make an appointment with the SSD Director or Learning Disabilities Specialist. We are happy to work with you and support you in all your academic pursuits.

Last Updated: 6/11/15