Policies and Procedures

Academic Adjustments

To receive academic adjustments, students must:

Identify the disability. Students may self-identify at any time, but it is advisable to do so at the beginning of the semester. The Coordinator of Access and Equity Services for Students with Disabilities is the designated campus contact for students with disabilities. If identification is made to another staff or faculty member, he or she should notify the Coordinator and advise the student to contact the Coordinator.

Provide the Coordinator with current, appropriate documentation of the disability, prepared by a qualified professional. If you need more information about requirements, please see Documentation Requirements. In addition to individual requirements for a specific disability, all documentation must identify the nature of the disability, how the disability will limit participation in course, programs, services, employment, or activities, and the need for specific academic adjustments. Secondary school Individual Education Plans (IEPs) may serve as documentation at the postsecondary level; some IEPs provide more information than others. Depending on the information contained, an IEP may provide a portion of the necessary documentation and may serve to identify previously utilized academic adjustments.

Two weeks prior to each semester, a contract will be sent to the student's email. Once returned from the student's email address, students will be sent their access letter. Students are responsible for sending the letter to their advisor and instructor of each course in which he or she plans to use any academic adjustments.

Any recommended academic adjustments, such as electronic books, should be requested at the start of every semester to ensure students have the necessary tools for classes. We will do our best to obtain the books requested within a 15-day time frame. If, for some reason, we cannot obtain the text from the publisher, we may ask for your copy of the text to cut and create electronically in house.

The college encourages students to meet with faculty members early in the semester during office hours to discuss specific needs and method(s) for accommodation of those needs within a particular course. For online courses,  please refer to online student services.

The need for academic adjustment is not negotiable, but there may be alternate ways to accommodate a particular need. If a student and faculty member are unable to agree on the method of accommodation, consult with the Coordinator of Access and Equity Services. The college is committed to providing all equitable academic adjustments for students while maintaining academic standards of excellence.

If a faculty member believes that an academic adjustment will substantially alter the fundamental objectives of a course or program, he or she should immediately consult with the Coordinator of Access and Equity Services.

Students with disabilities have the right to:
  • full and equal access to and the opportunity to participate in all programs, services, and activities of SUNY Delhi;
  • be evaluated based on ability, not disability;
  • academic adjustments, modifications, and appropriate auxiliary aids and services determined on a case-by-case basis;
  • privacy, and to not have confidential information released without consent, except as permitted or required by law;
  • information and course materials readily available in accessible formats.
Students with disabilities have the responsibility to:
  • meet college, course, and program qualifications and maintain essential institutional standards for academic standing, courses, programs, services, employment, and activities;
  • identify, in a timely manner, as a person with a disability to the Coordinator of Access and Equity Services when an academic adjustment is desired and to seek information, counsel, and assistance as needed;
  • provide, in a timely manner, current, relevant, appropriate documentation from a qualified professional;
  • follow published procedures for obtaining academic adjustments, modifications and/or auxiliary aids and services;
  • abide by the Student Code of Conduct in the same manner as all students.
Course Substitutions

Course Substitution Policy for Students with Disabilities

Gaining approval for a course substitution places responsibility upon the student. Therefore, it is recommended that the student initiate the request early in his/her academic career. Course requirements for degrees granted by SUNY Delhi are designed to provide a comprehensive education in the student's major field of study. In awarding a degree, SUNY Delhi is recognizing the satisfactory completion of a set of courses it deems representative of the academic standards it upholds. In addition, all admitted students are regarded as otherwise qualified to participate in any program of academic study with or without reasonable accommodations. Therefore, students with documented disabilities are not excused from degree or specific program or curriculum requirements (see Academic Policy 1.34-3).

However, in some limited circumstances, substitution of a course requirement may be determined to be an equitable academic adjustment for a student with a properly documented disability. An academic adjustment of this nature is considered only when it has been confirmed that the student's disability makes completion of the requirement impossible. Consideration of a course substitution is done on a case-by-case basis.

It will be necessary for the student to have declared a major before the request can be considered. This will allow a determination to be made as to whether or not the requested course substitution represents a fundamental alteration in the chosen field of study. SUNY Delhi retains the right to revoke a substitution in the event that the student changes majors.

The final decision regarding a course substitution will rest with the appropriate Academic School Dean/Department Chair.

A student with a disability who wishes to request a course substitution as an academic adjustment is expected to:

  • Submit the appropriate written documentation verifying a disability that substantially limits the skills required for the successful completion of the required course. The documentation should be submitted to the Coordinator of Access and Equity Services, Resnick Academic Achievement Center. The Coordinator will communicate a student's verification of a disability to the student's academic advisor.
  • Consult with their academic advisor, to identify an appropriate course of action - course substitution or waiver - and to complete a Substitution or Waiver Form.
  • Submit completed Substitution or Waiver Form to their Academic School Dean/Department Chair for approval.
  • The student's Academic School Dean/Department Chair will provide the student with a determination of their decision within thirty days of submission. If a student's request is denied for any reason, the Academic School Dean/Department Chair must complete the Statement of Justification for Denial on the Substitution or Waiver Form.
  • If the petition is not considered to be an equitable academic adjustment and, as a result, is denied, the student has the right to appeal the decision by following the Redress of Student Complaint process (Academic Policy, 1.367).
Service Animals

SUNY Delhi complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in allowing use of service animals for students, staff and visitors. Service animals are animals specifically trained to assist people with disabilities in the activities of normal living. The ADA, as amended in 2008, defines a service animal as: "any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler's disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, . . . retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal's presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition."

For an individual to qualify for having a service animal on campus:

  • he or she must have a disability as defined by the ADA and
  • the accompanying animal must be trained to do specific tasks for the qualified individual.

A service animal meeting the above definition is not required to be licensed or certified by a state or local government or animal training program. Pets, comfort animals and therapy animals are not allowed in any campus buildings under the Pets on Campus Policy. (See University Policy 2.8, Pets on Campus.)

Students who require the use of a service or assistance animal on campus should first contact the Coordinator of Access and Equity Services for Students with Disabilities to register as a student with a disability.


Service Animal
A guide dog or signal dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, as defined earlier in this document.

A person with a service or therapy animal. (The term Handler will be used in this document to reflect any of these terms.)

A domestic animal kept for pleasure or companionship. Pets are generally not permitted in any university-controlled buildings. While on university-controlled property, pets must be attended and restrained at all times.

Comfort Animal
An animal that provides comfort, reassurance, social interaction and other emotional benefits. The animal does not have to be trained to provide comforting. A comfort animal is not considered a service animal.

Therapy Animal
An animal that provides affection and comfort and is specifically trained to be gentle and stable in stressful situations. Therapy animals are most often used in hospitals, nursing homes, mental health facilities and children's settings. The use of a therapy animal may be incorporated into the treatment process, as prescribed by an appropriate health care professional. A therapy animal is not considered a service animal.

A service animal in training, including puppies in training once they are old enough to remain under the control of the handler. The animal must be accompanied by a person who is training the service animal and the animal must wear a leash, harness or cape that identifies the animal as a service animal in training.



  • Is responsible for following procedures for submitting the necessary documentation to verify the need for having a service/assistance animal on campus.
  • Is responsible to attend and be in full control of the service animal at all times. A service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether unless: a) the handler is unable to use a harness, leash or tether, or; b) using a harness, leash, or tether will interfere with the animal's ability to safely and effectively perform its duties.
  • Is responsible for ensuring that the service animal is wearing a leash, harness or cape that identifies the animal as a service animal when on duty anywhere on campus.
  • Is responsible for the costs of care necessary for a service animal's well-being. The arrangements and responsibilities with the care of a service animal are the sole responsibility of the owner at all times, including regular bathing and grooming, as needed.
  • Is responsible for independently removing or arranging for the removal of the service animal’s waste.

University Community:

  • Must allow service animals to accompany their handlers at all times and everywhere on campus where the general public (if accompanying a visitor) or other students (if accompanying a student) are allowed, except for places where there is a health, environmental, or safety hazard. The appropriate way to ascertain that an animal is a service animal is to ask (only if it is not apparent) if the animal is required because of a disability and what tasks it has been trained to perform. Specific questions about the individual's disability may not be asked.
  • Contact the Coordinator of Access and Equity Services if faculty/staff have any additional questions regarding visitors to campus who have service animals.
  • Report any service animals who misbehave or any handlers (or other individuals) who mistreat their service animals to University Police.


What are some basic etiquette rules when around service animals and their handlers?

  • DO NOT pet, touch or otherwise distract a service animal when it is working. Doing so may interfere with its ability to perform its duties.
  • DO NOT feed a service animal. Their work depends on a regular and consistent feeding regimen that the handler is responsible to maintain.
  • DO NOT attempt to separate the handler from the service animal.
  • DO NOT harass or deliberately startle a service animal.
  • Avoid initiating conversations about the student's disability. Some people do not wish to discuss their disability.

Under what circumstances can a service animal be asked to leave or not allowed participation on campus?

  • If a service animal is found by the university to be out of control and the animal's handler does not take immediate and effective action to control it.
  • If the animal is not housebroken.
  • If a service animal is physically ill.
  • If the service animal is unreasonably dirty.
  • If a service animal attempts to enter a place on campus where the presence of a service animal causes danger to the safety of the handler or other students/member of campus.
  • If a service animal attempts to enter any place on campus where a service animal's safety is compromised.

What needs to happen if a service animal is behaving aggressively towards its handler or others, or if a handler or other students are behaving aggressively towards a service animal?

  • Report any service animals who misbehave or any handlers (or others) who mistreat their service animals to the University Police.

What if another student or a faculty or staff member has severe allergies around animal dander?

  • The final determination of how circumstances will rule out will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Please notify the Coordinator of Access and Equity Services at 607-746-4744 for further information if a situation of this nature occurs.

What should a handler do if he/she has concerns about his or her ability to use a service animal to access campus facilities and programs?

  • Handlers who have concerns about any matter affecting their use of a service animal should contact the Coordinator of Access and Equity Services at 607-746-4744 and review the disability accommodation process.
  • Department of Justice Revised ADA Regulations Implementing Title II and Title III, Federal Register, September 15, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 178).

Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

An "emotional support animal" (or comfort animal) is an animal that provides emotional or other support that ameliorates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. Unlike service animals, support animals are not required to be trained to perform work or tasks, and they include species other than dogs and miniature horses.

ESA are generally not allowed to accompany persons with disabilities in any public areas of SUNY Delhi as a service animal is allowed to do, but an ESA may reside in the Residence Halls, including accompanying such individual in all public or common use areas of the Residence Halls, when it may be necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy housing. Before an ESA can move into the Residence Halls with a person with a disability, a request must be submitted to the Associate Director of Residence Life and approval must be granted (preferably at least 30 days prior to move in). The request must include documentation from a licensed physician or mental health provider, including without limitation a qualified psychiatrist, social worker, or other mental health professional, to provide sufficient information for SUNY Delhi to determine the nexus between the ESA and the individual's disability based on the following criteria:

  • The individual qualifies as a person with a disability (i.e., has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities); and
  • The ESA may be necessary to afford the person with a disability an equal opportunity to use and enjoy residential living (i.e., that the animal would provide emotional support that ameliorates one or more symptoms or effects of the disability).

The request will be reviewed by a committee that is composed of representatives from the Office of Residence Life, Health and Counseling Services, and Access and Equity Services. Appeals of the decision of this committee may be directed to the Director of Residence Life and Director of Health and Counseling Services.


  • SUNY Delhi is not responsible for the care or supervision of service or emotional support animals. People with disabilities are responsible for the cost, care, and supervision of their animals, including:
    • Compliance with any laws pertaining to animal licensing, vaccination, and owner identification;
    • keeping the animal under control and taking effective action when it is out of control; and
    • feeding and walking the animal, and disposing of its waste.

People with disabilities who are accompanied by animals must comply with the same campus rules regarding noise, safety, disruption, damage and cleanliness as people without disabilities.


SUNY Delhi may impose restrictions on, and may even exclude, an ESA in certain instances. Any animal may be excluded from an area in which it was previously authorized to be if:

  • it is out of control and effective action is not taken to control it;
  • it is not housebroken (or in the case of a support animal that deposits waste in a designated cage or litter box, the owner fails to clean such cage or box such that the cleanliness of the room is not maintained); or
  • it poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others that cannot be mitigated by reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures, or the provision of auxiliary aids or services;
  • it causes damage to college property or another student's personal property.

If you have a disability that may be affected by the presence of animals, please contact the Access and Equity Office. SUNY Delhi is committed to ensuring that the needs of all people with disabilities are met and will determine how to resolve any conflicts or problems as expeditiously as possible.

Housing Accommodations
Please visit the Medical Accommodations page for more information about the process for . 

Application for Requesting a Medical Accommodation
in the Residence Halls or Release from Housing Obligation

SUNY Delhi Service and Assistance Animal Policy 
Office of Admissions

118 Bush Hall