Student Support: Disability Services
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If you are a student with a disability, it is in your best interest to see what Disability Services at Morrisville State College has to offer, because according to Dave Symonds, Coordinator of Disability Services, it can be the difference between success or failure in college.
Symonds states that up to this point in a student’s academic life, their parents, teachers and doctors were their personal advocates for getting the help they needed to overcome disabilities. In college, the only advocate for a student is, well, the student.
“Mom and dad are back home,” Symonds says. “But the student is here; they are the ones who have to do the talking.”
In the Spring semester, nearly 200 students looked to Disability Services at Morrisville State College to help them navigate their classes successfully, and those services are not one-size-fits-all, according to Symonds.
Accommodations are available for all majors, including ones more technical and hands-on in nature. This is where Disability Services is an extension of the faculty. Students with disabilities in Auto Tech, for example, would split test times between their professors during the technical portions of a test, and with the Disability Services area for written segments. Other services include extended time to take test, note-taking options and study sessions. These accommodations may seem simple, but to students with disabilities, they can be a life saver, if they put in the work.
“Do we guarantee success? No. But we give students with disabilities equal opportunities to be successful,” Symonds says.
It really is up to the student to set up and utilize Disability Services. With the proper documentation, students can set up an accommodation plan to help them through their class load. Students can decide to use or not use accommodations, but Symonds says that students who used disability services in high school would likely be better served having the services in place once they arrive on campus. He suggests, even if a student wants to try their classes without aid, it is better to have the accommodations in place, just in case.
If you are in the decision phase of your college search, Symonds says you should not send your disability documentation to a school unless you plan on attending, as those documents are kept on file for seven years, per law. Disability is not considered when admissions is making an enrollment decision, so Symonds says it’s best to let them know about your disability after acceptance, so you can get your services in place.
Disability services are available at Morrisville State College campus, as well as the Norwich campus.
For more information on what Disability Services has to offer, click here or contact the office:
Coordinator of Disability Services
EOP/ISP Advisor & Disability Services Coordinator, Disability Services Assistant
Patrica M. Davis
Senior Staff Assistant, Student Services Advisor