Getting Started/Intake/Procedure

Services for students with disabilities at Upstate Medical University are coordinated by the Office of Disability Support Services (a subsection of our Student Success Center). Mary Ann Grandinetta, Director to Student Success Initiatives/Coordinator of Disability Support Services, is the primary contact for all student disability issues. Please feel free to get in touch with her if you are a:

  • Person with a disability who is considering Upstate
  • Current student with a disability or suspected disability
  • Concerned faculty/staff member

Any student who believes he or she has experienced discrimination on the basis of disability is urged to contact the Director of Student Success Initiatives or another member of the Student Success Center.

Procedure for Requesting Accommodation and Registering as Student with Disabilities

Step 1: Students with Disabilities Information Form

Please fill out and return the Student with Disabilities Information FormPDF Icon, as well as specific documentation for each category of disability, to the Student Success Center, Office of Disability Services as soon as possible after your acceptance to SUNY Upstate Medical University, or at least one month prior to classes to ensure timely accommodations.

Step 2: Qualifying for Accommodations

To qualify for accommodation, a student must identify him/herself to the Director of Student Success Initiatives/Coordinator of Disability Support Services, declare the disability or suspected disability in writing, and request accommodation. It is also the student's responsibility to obtain a thorough written evaluation from an appropriate professional, documenting the presence, extent, and ramifications of the disability. In addition, the documentation should explain what specific types of accommodation the evaluator believes might be most helpful in offsetting the effects of the disability to an acceptable extent in a medical school environment. Our goal is to provide equal opportunity without undermining the integrity of any course, clerkship, or program.

The student must obtain this evaluation at his/her own expense and arrange to have the evaluation form and all supporting documentation forwarded to the Director of Student Success Initiatives/Coordinator of Disability Support Services. If an evaluation has been conducted in the past, the Director will determine if it is recent enough. An evaluation performed more than three years earlier may not be acceptable, and there are instances in which an evaluation must have been completed more recently. The Director of Student Success Initiatives/Coordinator of Disability Support Services can provide evaluation guidelines and forms before the student meets with an evaluator, or the student may refer to the documentation guidelines. All documentation must conform to these guidelines.

There are specific documentation requirements for each kind of disability, download the appropriate paperwork (Disability Forms) or contact the Office of Disability Support Services at: 315 464-8855 and we will send you the appropriate forms, stuserve@upstate.edu.

Step 3: Schedule Your Intake Appointment

Once your paper work has been received, you will be contacted to schedule an intake appointment. During your intake appointment, you will meet with a Disability Support Services staff member and the process regarding your request for accommodations will be initiated.

Step 4: Notification of Faculty

Once you have completed Steps 1 through 3, you will be given a letter that indicates you have registered with the Office of Disability Support Services as a student with a documented disability and are requesting accommodations. The letter will also outline the specific accommodations for which you have been approved. When requesting accommodations from faculty/staff member, a student must present the letter. Faculty/Staff members are informed not to give students accommodations without documentation from the Disability Support Services Office.

Step 5: Requesting Accommodation in a Timely Manner

Students are responsible for requesting accommodations in a timely manner so professors/staff members may plan for those accommodations. For each class you choose to use these accommodations in, it is essential that you give the faculty member a copy of this letter during the first week of classes so that he/she can accommodate you properly. The Office of Disability Support Services does not discuss a student's disabilities or accommodations with faculty/staff member without written approval from the student.

For Additional Information:

Mary Ann Grandinetta
Director of Student Success Initiatives/Coordinator of Disability Support Services
SUNY Upstate Medical University
Student Success Center
Weiskotten Hall, Library Room 125
750 E. Adams St.
Syracuse, NY 13210
(315)464-8855
stuserve@upstate.edu

Disclaimer:  Decisions made by the Disability Support Services Office may not translate to other institutions or be applicable for high-stakes or licensure exams such as the USMLE step exams, GRE, MCAT, etc.

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