The First Step – Office of Accessibility

Requests for Accommodations
Siena Heights University welcomes students with disabilities who meet academic admission requirements, and will work toward meeting their needs by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations to those students with documented disabilities.

To be eligible for disability related services, students are responsible for identifying themselves and disclosing information about the disability to the Office of Accessibility staff during the enrollment process. Students are also responsible for supplying written documentation of the disabling condition.

The process of requesting accommodations should begin here, or in-person at the Office of Accessibility (OA).   

“Disability” under the ADA is a very broad term that encompasses visible and invisible disabilities—everything from mobility differences to mental health to dorm needs to modified testing spaces.  There are even provisions for temporary disabilities, such as broken bones, surgeries, mental health, chronic illness flare-ups, and longer lasting acute illnesses like mono, or influenza.

The process at Siena is an interactive process that is designed to tailor your accommodations to your needs, not a cookie cutter blueprint.  With this in mind, the following is required to complete the process:

  • Verification/Documentation of disability
  • Any relevant information, that is not in the documentation, that you think I need to make accommodation decisions
  • Schedule a meeting

Documentation of disability is required to establish the nexus between disability and barriers created in a higher education setting. To assist with this process, Office of Accessibility requires students and their providers complete one or more forms. These forms should be signed by a licensed physician, psychologist, or other mental health or medical professional with experience in diagnosing the disability for which the student is requesting accommodations (e.g. A Cardiologist could speak to heart related disabilities, but a Chiropractor could not; a licensed therapist, social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist could address mental health related disabilities, but a GI specialist is not likely qualified). A complete Individualized Education Plan (IEP) signed by the student’s school psychologist may also be considered documentation of a disability.  Documentation provided by the student’s physician, psychologist, or school psychologist should include information regarding the onset, longevity and severity of symptoms, as well as the specifics describing how it has interfered with educational achievement. ​These documents can be emailed or faxed but should be given only to the Office of Accessibility and not another person on campus.

Each student who requests accommodations must meet with the Accessibility Coordinator to discuss his/her individual needs. This staff member can provide a variety of services for the student including:

  • Creation of a Letter of Accommodation for faculty
  • Assistance in obtaining accommodations on campus, if needed
  • Guidance and counseling related to coursework and career options, which take into account the impact of the disability (disability management)
  • Referral to on-campus and community agencies for assistance with disability related needs not directly associated with participation at SHU (see “Resources” page). 

The following accommodations are some of the accommodations available to Siena students with documented needs:

  1. Special testing conditions such as extended time for exams, distraction-free exam locations, a scribe or reader
  2. Permission to record lectures and discussions (audio only).
  3. Permission to use a calculator on math tests.
  4. Peer Note-takers.
  5. Peer tutoring.
  6. Study skills classes and workshops.
  7. Class substitution for degree completion, as long as the substitution does not substantially alter the requirements of the student’s degree program, as determined by the program coordinator.

The university is not required to provide accommodations until the student has provided documentation of a disability (HIPPA-secure fax, 833-413-4849, or via email