- Student Experience
- Student Support Services
- Griff Center
- Accessibility Support
- Accommodations and Services
Accommodations and Services
In order for students to receive academic or non-academic accommodations, students must self-identify and register with The Griff Center for Academic Engagement, Accessibility Support office by completing the apprpriate Accessibility Support Intake Form, and providing current documentation from a licensed or certified official that states the disability. In the case of most disabilities, the documentation should be no more than three to four years old and the assessment should be given at an adult level. Included in the written assessment should be a description of the current impact of the disability as it relates to the accommodations requested. A brief statement written by a physician on a prescription pad is not sufficient documentation.
The student must meet with a professional in the Griff Center, Accessibility Support office to discuss the accommodations, and to become familiar with the procedures. Through consultation and evaluation of the documentation, each student’s needs are identified on a case-by-case, course-by-course basis. If documentation is outdated or further documentation is needed, Accessibility Support requires that the student obtain the needed information or assessment to receive services. No diagnostic testing is provided through Accessibility Support. There is a psychologist referral list available that highlights cost, locations, and insurance accepted.
Students may register with the Griff Center, Accessibility Support office at any point throughout their academic career. Documentation provided to that office is not considered part of a student’s permanent academic record. Accessibility Support will keep files for a minimum of seven years, and then at that time will destroy the content, unless the student requests the information be returned.
Review the Documentation Guidelines for submitting paperwork to be considered for services provided by the Griff Center, Accessibility Support office.
A college student, living with a disability, who is in need of an auxiliary aid, must provide the Griff Center Accessibility Support office with proper documentation. It is important that the student do this on his/her own behalf first and foremost to verify the student’s eligibility as well as to ensure that the documentation adequately supports requests for auxiliary aids on the basis of a learning disability that currently substantially limits one or more major life activities. Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations. In the K-12 school setting, teachers and/or counselors may have arranged support services for students with disabilities. In the college setting, the students themselves must identify the need for an auxiliary aid and give adequate notice of the need to the Griff Center Accessibility Support office . Appropriate aids are selected after discussion with the student and Accessibility Support professional . Colleges are not required to provide the most up-to-date sophisticated auxiliary aids available; however, the aids provided should meet the needs of a student with a disability. Colleges have flexibility in choosing the specific aid or service it provides to the student, as long as the aid or service selected is effective.
Examples of Auxiliary Aids
Some of the various types of auxiliary aids and services may include:
-Sign Language Interpreters
-Braille Calculators, Printers, or Typewriters
-Open and Closed captioning
-Specialized Gym Equipment
-Calculators or Keyboards with enlarged buttons
-Raised-line Drawing Kits
-Assistive Listening Devices
-Assistive Listening Systems
-Telecommunications Devices for Deaf Persons
Auxiliary aids include:
Sign Language Interpreters or other effective methods of making orally delivered materials available to students who are deaf or hard of hearing; readers for students with visual impairments; classroom equipment adapted for use by students with manual impairments; and other similar services or equipment.
While funding for accommodations to ensure equal access is available from Canisius College, funding for auxiliary aids is often the responsibility of state vocational rehabilitation agencies and the student. The college does not provide prescription devices, or devices and services of a personal nature.
The need for auxiliary aids and services is deemed appropriate by the Griff Center Accessibility Support office based on the documentation provided by the student. The student must follow these procedures in order to request auxiliary aids and services:
1. The student must initially contact the Griff Center, Accessibility Support office to request auxiliary aids and services as early as possible each semester.
2. The student must provide the office with documentation of the disability, which supports the need for auxiliary aids and services. The Griff Center, Accessibility Support office will then determine which auxiliary aids and services are appropriate accommodations.
Loan of Adaptive Equipment
The college may loan some types of adaptive equipment and devices to qualified students free-of-charge. Equipment is loaned out on a daily, weekly, or semester basis depending on need and demand for equipment by other students.
The need for adaptive equipment is deemed appropriate by the Griff Center, Accessibility Support office based on the documentation provided by the student. The student must follow these procedures in order to request adaptive equipment:
1. The student must initially contact Accessibility Support to request to borrow adaptive equipment.
2. The student must sign an equipment release agreement. The student will be instructed in the use and care of equipment by a qualified staff member. The student is held responsible for the equipment which must be returned to the Griff Center, Accessibility Support office in the same condition in which it was loaned. The student will be responsible for replacing stolen, damaged (outside of normal wear), or lost item(s). Failure to return loaned equipment will result in a “hold” being placed on the student's registration until the student has returned or otherwise satisfactorily accounts for the equipment.
3. Students must meet with professors to inform them of in-class needs, preferably at the beginning of the semester.
Students may be encouraged to apply for funding from outside sources for auxiliary aids and adaptive equipment (e.g. Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR), New York State Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped, and/or NYS Readers Aid Program).
Students with print disabilities, such as visual impairments and certain learning disabilities, may require textbooks and material in an alternative format. The following policy has been created to provide information and direction regarding the alternative text services the Griff Center, Accessibility Support office provides, as well as guidelines relative to how these services may be obtained from this office. This policy is reviewed and modified on a regular basis to meet the ongoing needs of students with print disabilities at Canisius College.
Policy and Procedure
- Alternative text accommodations are provided to students who are registered with Accessibility Support and have been approved for this accommodation by the Director.
- Students requesting alternative text must be enrolled in the course for which the alternate text is being requested.
- In order to secure a request for alternate text (i.e., Braille, tactile graphics, e-text, large print, etc.), the Request for Alternate Text Format form must be completed and submitted to the Griff Center, Accessibility Support office.
- Requests for alternative text must be received with each new semester as well as each new class. It is recommended that requests be made at least 4-6 weeks in advance of classes starting. If the student has trouble obtaining this information from the course instructor, the student must contact Accessibility Support as soon as the delay is known. The student is still responsible for purchasing the textbook(s) appropriate for each class.
- In order to receive alternate text materials, the student must verify that the instructional materials have been purchased and/or ordered. Accessibility Support will then order materials on behalf of the student.
- Alternate text requests should be submitted as soon as the student enrolls in a course. Late requests will be honored with the understanding that Accessibility Support will attempt to complete the work in a timely fashion. Turn-around times for alternate text requests are determined on a case-by-case basis. Upon review of material to be formatted and converted, Accessibility Support will notify the student of the projected completion date.
Textbooks Previously Recorded
• Each student requiring an electronic version of their text will be encouraged to sign up with Learning Ally and/or other agencies as suggested by Accessibility Support. The student is responsible for the lifetime membership fee.
• Each student will be encouraged to contact Learning Ally or other agencies immediately to inquire if required textbooks are available on cassette tape or computer disk. If so, the student will be encouraged to order the books from Learning Ally or other agencies.
• Accessibility Support will explore the feasibility of having the textbook recorded on campus or make other accommodations. While the student’s preferences will be taken under consideration, the College reserves the right to make the final determination regarding which accommodation is most appropriate.
• If there is enough time to send the book out to be recorded, the Accessibility Support office will obtain the required copies of the book, if possible with funding from Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (VESID). The Accessibility Support Office will arrange for or another agency to record the book and send the CDs directly to the student as they are recorded.
Options for Obtaining Information in Multi-Media Form
An option for Accessibility Support students may be to request to have materials scanned and burned onto a CD ROM. Provided that the student’s computer has enough memory (ideally 28 Megs of RAM), the student may request, to obtain a copy of a speech program that will read the materials burned onto the CD ROM. A mini disc player is also a possible option. Interested students should contact the Griff Center Accessibility Support office.
- Defective CDs: If for any reason a CD is faulty, or not of good quality, the student should tell Accessibility Support immediately. If needed, Accessibility Support will arrange for the CD to be fixed or re-recorded as soon as possible. If a reader's speaking voice is not clear for any reason, the student should explain the problem to Accessibility Support immediately.
- Copyright issues: Because Accessibility Support does not have copyright clearance for books, tapes and discs, they cannot be distributed to students unless they own a print copy of the material.
- Returning Materials: The student will return all materials, including CD's, CD players, etc. borrowed from Accessibility Support by the end of the semester in which they were used.
- When students choose to request unformatted e-text (text in its native format from the publisher), hard copy materials will not be required. Accessibility Support's ability to deliver unformatted text is directly impacted by the student’s timing of request to Accessibility Support and the publisher’s response to the request for e-text.
- Accessibility Support will make every effort to work with publishers to receive e-text in a timely manner and in a useable format.
- All requests for unformatted e-text will be made for a preferred and useable format. Requests for formatted e-text will require the student to submit the Request for Alternative Text Format form.
- Students may also have a need to request formatted/edited text. Requests for formatted e-text will require the student to submit the Request for Alternative Text Format form
- Alternate text production for formatted text will begin when Accessibility Support has received the Request for Alternative Text Format form, the hardcopy textbook and the instructor's course syllabus. Students will not have their hard copy materials returned to them from Accessibility Support upon completion of the conversion to alternative text.
- Accessibility Support will request e-text directly from publishers for all requests. If the alternate text request is for formatted text and there is no response from the publisher, the College will scan the hard copy materials and begin production. The time frame will be established on a case-by-case basis dependent upon student need.
- In order to meet the immediate needs of as many students as possible, formatted alternate text may be provided in gradual stages based on the course syllabus and direction from the student making the request.
- Students can produce hard copy alternate text such as Braille, from electronic files provided by Accessibility Support or large print by using the copy machine.
- In the event that a student drops the class, or there is a change in the alternate text need, the student is to notify Accessibility Support so the office can respond accordingly by either discontinuing or modifying the current and future job(s) in progress.
If further information is necessary or in the event of a complaint, please contact the Griff Center for Academic Engagement at 716.888.2485.
The Griff Center for Academic Engagement and Student Life at Canisius College work to promote academic excellence and personal growth for all Canisius students. Appropriate housing assignments enable students to build a foundation for academic success and create an environment that fosters healthy lifestyles. Special-Need Housing Accommodations are based on medical, psychological, or other disability-related needs.
All students are expected to complete the Residence Life Housing Application, meet the appropriate housing deadlines, and pay the housing deposit. In addition, students requesting special-needs housing accommodations must register with the office, complete the Accessibility Support intake form, as well as the special-need housing accommodation form, and provide proper documentation by a licensed or certified official. A new housing form must be submitted to Accessibility Support at the beginning of each academic year. It is recommended that students requesting special housing make an appointment with the Accessibility Support at least two weeks prior to the housing application deadline to discuss the requested accommodation(s). Accessibility Support will only facilitate special-need housing accommodations for Canisius students living in buildings/houses owned by Canisius College. Housing rates are set on the basis of the building, type of room, and occupancy of room. Rates are the same for all students regardless of a disability and a list of the rates are available in the Student Life Office. All information regarding special-need housing accommodations is kept in The Griff Center for Academic Engagement and is strictly confidential.
To assist in fully and fairly evaluating each request and ensuring that the prior accommodation(s) are made, Accessibility Support requires:
- Documentation of the disability/condition, the functional limitations, and the treatment or - prognosis (if applicable) that are the basis for the request
- A clear description of the recommended housing accommodation
- An explanation of how the request relates to the impact of the disability/condition
- An indication of the level of need for the recommended accommodation
- A statement of the level of need for (or the consequences of not receiving) the recommended accommodation
- Possible alternatives if recommended accommodation is not possible
In order to fully evaluate your request, students need to provide current documentation as is appropriate for their disability. The type-written documentation should be provided by a licensed physician or psychologist that describes the student’s medical disability/condition and provides support for special housing accommodation(s). The documentation should include:
- A diagnostic statement including the date of the most recent evaluation
- The current impact of (or limitations imposed by) the disability/condition with a description of the level of severity, duration, and frequency of the above medical or psychological disability/condition
- Description of the current medical or psychological treatment plan, medications, devices or services currently prescribed or used to minimize the impact of the disability/condition
- Description of how the current medical or psychological condition may require special housing accommodations
- Alternatives in the event that the requested accommodation is not possible
Accessibility Support evaluates all requests for special-need housing accommodations carefully. Below is a summary of the factors considered when evaluating special-need housing accommodations.
Severity of the Disability
- Is the impact of the disability life threatening if the request is not met?
- Is there a negative health impact that may be permanent if the request is not met?
- Is the request an integral component of a treatment plan for the disability?
- What is the likely impact on academic performance or social development if the request is not met?
Timing of the Request
- Is the request made with the initial housing request or before the housing application deadline?
- Is the request made as soon as possible after identifying the need? (Based on date of diagnosis, receipt of housing application, change in status, etc.)
Availability and Feasibility of Special-Need Housing Accommodation
- Is space available that meets the student’s needs?
- Is the student in special interest housing — can the requested accommodation be met within that area?
- Can space be adapted to provide the requested accommodation without creating a safety hazard (electrical load, emergency egress, etc.)?
- Are there other effective methods or housing accommodations that would achieve similar benefits as the requested accommodation?
- How does meeting this request impact housing commitments to other students?
- Is the cost of meeting the request prohibitive?
If a student with a documented disability believes that he/she has not been provided with a reasonable housing accommodation, the student should direct his/her concern to the Dean of Students or designee. The student must provide in writing the nature of the concern and any other relevant information. The decision of the Dean of Students or designee is final.
The Griff Center for Academic Engagement Accessibility Support Office at Canisius College serves as an advocate for students with registered disabilities. With appropriate documentation regarding a student’s disability, the office is responsible for facilitating the necessary academic and non-academic accommodations.
In certain cases, students registered with the office require a personal aide to assist/support them on campus throughout the day. As a result, students and/or aides are provided with a Canisius College Temporary Parking Permit which allows them to park in lots that best accommodate the student they are assisting.
The Griff Center issues temporary parking passes for permanent as well as temporary disabilities. It is the responsibility of the student and/or aide to meet with the Griff Center to obtain the parking pass, park in the appropriate parking lots, display the parking pass properly, and let the Griff Center know if there are any changes in regards to the disability or pass.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact The Griff Center for Academic Engagement at 716-888-2476.
Accessibility Support coordinates note taking services for students with a disability who are registered with the office. Based on the documentation of the disability, Accessibility Support will determine on a case-by-case/course-by-course basis the use of note takers as an appropriate accommodation. Students who receive this accommodation typically have a visual or hearing impairment, physical disability, traumatic brain injury, or learning disability. The note taker service is free to qualifying students with disabilities, and it is a paid position to the note taker.
How the Service Works
Accessibility Support approves note taker accommodations, and like all disability accommodations, are based on the student’s disability documentation, the current nature of their disability, and the specific requirements of the course or program. The service is meant to supplement class attendance and not replace it. Students eligible for this accommodation are asked to make a formal request every semester and for each class in which there is a need. It is strongly encouraged that students attend the first two classes to determine which classes are appropriate for use of a note taker. It is the student's prerogative whether or not to disclose their identity to their note taker. Students are also encouraged to recommend classmates who they know are responsible, take good notes, and attend class reliably.
Student information shared with the Accessibility Support is considered confidential. Therefore, note takers may not know the identity of the person for whom they are taking notes. However, there may be instances where the student will want to share their identity in order to collaborate with their note taker. In this case, the note taker is expected to keep shared information confidential. The relationship, whether anonymous or not, between the student and their note taker(s) is important.
How to Use the Notes Effectively
For students utilizing the services of Accessibility Support, the note taking service is effective if you attend class regularly, actively engage in the class, and use the notes in a proactive manner. Below are some steps you may choose to take to make the most out of the note taker service.
Three Ring Binders: Using a three-ring binder can be an effective way of keeping your notes organized. Weekly notes can be hole-punched and organized as they are received along with your own notes.
Reviewing the Notes: Read your notes within two hours or less of receiving them. Once you have read over the notes, try to paraphrase important points that the professor made in the lecture, fill in gaps as you remember points heard but not recorded, and find answers to any questions remaining unanswered. Answer the following questions:
- Are the notes readable?
- Is important information from the lecture, including blackboard, overheads or Power Point included?
- Is the note taker using headings, bullets, indentations, and underline or star (*) major points and key words? Do they leave white space for later additions?
- Do I understand the note taker's abbreviations?
If you, as a student using the note taking services feel that you are not receiving quality notes, please contact Accessibility support as soon as possible at 716.888.2485.
Being a Student Note-Taker
Accessibility Support coordinates note taking services for students who are registered with the office and who due to a disability, or disabilities, are either unable to take notes or need notes to supplement their own note. Students who receive this accommodation may have a visual or hearing impairment, a physical disability, a learning disability or traumatic brain injury.
Note taking services are effective for the student with a disability if the note taker attends class regularly and is actively engaged in the class. Students interested in being a note taker should:
- Attend class regularly
- Have strong note taking skills
- Have legible handwriting or be able to provide typed notes in Word format, and
- Email notes at a maximum of 24 hours after class to Accessibility Support email (email@example.com) using ScanBot App.
Notes Should Include
- Main points of the lecture and presentations
- Explanations, examples, and comments given by the professor
- Information from the blackboard, overheads and Power Point
- Dates and details for upcoming exams, quizzes, papers, and other assignments
- It is not necessary to provide personal notes from readings or notes that you have created for studying or writing papers.
- Use a black or blue pen
- Keep your notes within the margins of the page and leave a blank line at the bottom of each – page
- At the top, please include the date, class # and page # in the upper right hand corner of every page. For example, 9/3/16, ENGL 101 A, pg. 1 of 5.
If a note taker would like to provide notes in an electronic format and the student wishes to remain anonymous, please send as Word attachment to Sierra Bonerb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Apply to Be a Note taker
Contact Accessibility Support to apply for a note taking position that has been announced in one or more of your classes. We also encourage past note takers to contact the office during the first week of classes to let us know of the classes that you are available to take notes for. We will either let you know at that point if there is currently a class available, or we will phone you when one becomes available. Accessibility Support is located in Old Main 317 and is open during the academic semester Monday through Thursday 8am-7pm; Friday 8am-5pm. Intersemester and Summer hours are 8:30am to 4:30pm.
Effective Note Taking
Note taking is a skill which takes practice and involves effort. Note taking is meant to provide a written record for review. This requires an active effort on the part of the listener to condense, rephrase and organize information in a short period of time. Below are several steps that may help note takers improve note taking skills:
- Sit in the classroom where hearing and seeing are better for you, and where there are fewer distractions.
- Review the previous class notes and think through what has happened in class to date.
- Be alert for speaker emphasis through tone or gesture, repetition, and use of cue words such as remember, first, finally, usually, however, but, most importantly, etc.
- Don't try for a verbatim transcript, but do get down all of the main ideas and record some details and illustrations.
- Paraphrase and develop a suitable system of shorthand - be consistent in its use
- Leave plenty of white space on the page for later additions
- Use an outline format, indentation, underlining, circles, etc. to indicate relative importance of information
- Underscore or "*" major points
Accessibility Support provides a shuttle service to students who are registered with the office. The shuttle is offered as a service to our students, but is not considered an accommodation based on the Americans with Disabilities Act. This service is available for students that are permanently or temporarily registered with the Accessibility Support.
The Accessibility Support Shuttle runs Monday through Friday during the academic year when classes are in session only. Arrangements for the Accessibility Support Shuttle should be made through the office. For registrations please call the office at 716.888.2485 or stop in the office at Old Main 317. When making arrangements be advised that schedules must be coordinated with the schedule of other students already using this service. Students may need to be flexible with their pick-up and drop-off times. This may mean that your scheduled pick-up may be earlier than you would like or need, especially during high traffic hours. Also, all Canisius College vehicles must adhere to traffic laws, consider weather conditions and/or may need to respond to emergencies that may cause a delay in service.
Students who need shuttle service beyond the hours available through the Accessibility Support should call Public Safety dispatch 716.888.2330 and arrange for a ride. The Public Safety shuttle runs until 2am The Public Safety vans have enough space for a student with a mobility issue to be able to access the van. In cases where the student is unable to access the van, the student should call the Public Safety dispatch 716.888.2330 to arrange for an alternative method of transportation.
For students in wheelchairs, shuttle service for afternoon and evening classes/events may be arranged through the Accessibility Support with at least two days notice. In case of an emergency, please call Public Safety 716.888.2330 and they will assist with the situation.
If you should need to cancel, or reschedule a pick-up, please phone The Griff Center for Academic Engagement at 716.888.2485.
The Griff Center Proctor Site is a designated area for students that need testing accommodations due to a disability or to make up a missed exam. Test accommodations are determined on a case-by-case/course-by-course basis after review of a student’s official documentation. These accommodations include (but are not limited to) the following:
Each student is unique, and accommodations may vary from student-to-student, and may include accommodations that are not listed here.
- "Test," as used in this context, refers to quizzes/examinations taken during the semester including final exams in conjunction with an academic class. A student should discuss his/her specific needs for testing accommodations (e.g., extended time, separate location, use of a computer, etc.) with Accessibility Support in a timely manner before tests are to be administered.
- Extended Time – a factor in reading testing material, processing information, or writing answers. [The amount of time allotted is based on the student’s official documentation.]
- Reader – questions may have to be read to the student by a proctor due to visual difficulties or cognitive problems.
- Scribe – proctor will write or type the student’s answers for them if they have a physical disability where their own writing capabilities are affected.
- Adaptive Equipment – screen enlargers, talking computers, word processors, or Braille printers can be used during the test if needed.
- Modification of Test Response Format – enlarging answer sheets or transcribing answers onto a computer scan sheet are techniques that may be used.
- Environmental Control – a separate quiet testing room and earplugs to eliminate any additional noise or interruptions. This helps to relieve anxiety and encourage concentration.
Testing Environment and Academic Integrity
Accessibility Support and the Griff Center enforces the highest level of academic integrity while administering exams. The Griff Center requires that students maintain the same level of academic integrity and respect that is conveyed within the classroom - in the Griff Center Proctor Site. If the proctor suspects that a student is cheating, the exam will be confiscated and the incident will be reported to the professor.
To create a positive academic environment that is conducive to test taking, we ask that the student adhere to the following guidelines:
- The following items are not allowed in the testing rooms: electronic devices (unless permitted by the course instructor), book bags, notebooks/books, purses, jackets, etc.
- All materials – including scrap paper – must be returned to the proctor upon completion of the exam.
Scheduling an Exam
At least 2 to 3 days prior to the exam, the student is responsible for contacting The Griff Center Proctor Site (OM 317) to schedule the day and time for the exam. It is important to notify the office of any special needs, such as a scribe, reader, separate room, or the use of a computer. This helps prepare sufficient accommodations for each student. Room reservations for exams may be completed in person or by calling the office at 716.888.2485.
The student is responsible for providing the professor with a Testing Proctor Form with the top portion filled out at least 2 to 3 days prior to the exam. Deliver the form to your professor in person. This allows for open communication and allows you and your professor to ask questions. It is NOT recommended to place proctor forms in professor mailboxes. The forms are often overlooked or lost by accident.
The student should be present at least ten (10) minutes prior to the scheduled start time. If the student is late to the exam, the professor will be notified and the exam will be held in the office until further direction is given. An exam will not be administered past the scheduled time.
Submission Process for Professors
Professors are responsible for filling out the bottom section of the Testing Proctor Form that was given to them by the student(s). This completed form should be attached to the exam upon submission.
Professors should supply enough copies of the exam to cover the number of anticipated test takers. If an unknown number of students will be taking the exam, please supply two copies per exam.
Delivery of all materials to The Griff Center Proctor Site is the responsibility of the professor. The exam and completed Testing Proctor Form is to be delivered to The Griff Center Proctor Site (Old Main 317) prior to the scheduled exam time. Exams will be secured in the office. Professors are encouraged to personally deliver the exams to The Griff Center Proctor Site in order to possibly clarify and questions or concerns. However, delivery of the test in a sealed envelope from an individual authorized by the faculty member will be accepted. Tests can be emailed to ACCESS@canisius.edu or emailed directly to Sierra Bonerb, email@example.com, as long as the completed Proctor Form has been handed into the office beforehand. Campus interoffice mail is not encouraged.
The Griff Center Proctor Site will keep an exam for up to two weeks after the scheduled exam date. Please remember to indicate on the Proctor Checklist Form if the un-used exam will be picked up or if it should be shredded. The professor will be notified if the student arrives late or does not show up to the scheduled test.