Student Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights:

A student with a disability is entitled to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 if:

  • he or she has disclosed that disability to AccessAbility Services in the Center for Student Success,
  • provided appropriate documentation to AccessAbility Services,
  • requested accommodations in a timely manner, and
  • is "otherwise qualified" to participate in the college's programs and activities.

A "student with a disability" is defined as one "who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such person's major life activities, has a record of such impairment, or is regarded as having such impairment". A "qualified" student is one who meets the requisite academic and technical standards required for admission to the college.

Reasonable accommodations may include:

  • test accommodations such as extra test time, distraction-reduced environment, alternative formats;
  • assistive technology devices;
  • audio taped lectures;
  • peer notetakers/readers/scribes;
  • alternatives to print materials, e.g. books on tape, electronic text;
  • physical accessibility arrangements;
  • sign language interpretation for deaf students;
  • course substitutions or waivers;

Hartwick College is not required to provide requested or preferred accommodations, but rather reasonable, appropriate and effective accommodations for disabilities that are adequately documented and for which a request is made. While an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan may help identify services that were effective for a student in high school, the college is under no obligation to duplicate such services if it is determined that they are not appropriate to the current classroom environment and academic standards.

Hartwick College is not required to provide personal assistants, individual personal tutors or personal assistive technology. Whenever possible, AccessAbility Services will refer students to agencies that may provide personal assistance of that nature. Hartwick College is not required to provide accommodations that are unduly expensive or substantially disruptive, pose a hazard to others or would fundamentally alter the nature of a program.

Students who participated in special education programs while in elementary, middle, or high school may have received modifications to the school's behavior code. This option is not available at the college level. All students, regardless of disability, are responsible for adhering to the Code of Conduct and other college policies as published in the Hartwick College Catalog and Student Handbook.

The request for accommodations should be initiated by speaking with an AccessAbility Services representative in the Center for Student Success. Staff can also assist if students are uncertain about the appropriateness of an accommodation or if guidance is needed in determining if additional accommodations might be needed.

Student Responsibilities:

Students with disabilities are expected to develop good self-advocacy skills and to have full knowledge of the impact of their disability and be able to verbalize them to faculty. All students are expected to comply fully with the academic standards as well as the codes of conduct established by the College.

Below are some helpful suggestions for academic success:

  • Set realistic goals and priorities for course work
  • Meet your instructors early in the semester to review course requirements
  • If you need to tape a lecture, first ask permission of the instructor and listen to the tape soon after class to refresh your memory and to fill in any gaps
  • Keep a calendar for relevant dates, assignments and appointments
  • Sit toward the front of the classroom to maximize your contact and reduce distractions
  • Review class notes as soon as possible after class
  • Generally plan on studying/reviewing/assignments 2-3 hours of outside class for every hour in class
  • Seek academic or counseling assistance before you feel overwhelmed
  • Get involved with campus clubs and activities to meet new people.