SUNY Cortland has ranked number 42 on a national list of disability-friendly colleges for students with disabilities. Cortland was only one of three in the state recognized by Intelligent.com, which analyzes data for potential college students.
Intelligent.com says up to 20% of undergraduate students in the country have a reported disability, but support for those students can vary between schools. Rankings were based on data on specific initiatives and programs which would support students with either physical or learning disabilities, along with the schools cost, credits required to graduate, online and on-campus availability and accreditation status.
“We want students with disabilities to have equal access to their education, programs and activities of choice and not experience discrimination on our campus,” Director of Cortland’s Disability Resources Office, Sue Sprague said. “Our office staff want to make sure that students with disabilities feel part of the community at SUNY Cortland, welcomed with their differences, given respect and ability to have access to accommodations when needed.”
Sprague continued on to say her office’s goal is to make improvements in accessibility that are felt in the day-to-day life at the school. This can include campus housing and service animals and online learning and note-taking technologies.
A new position will also be added to the Disability Resources Office which will help neurodivergent students with executive functioning strategies which include time management, and focus and planning, according to a release by SUNY Cortland.
“Accessibility and inclusion are the responsibility of the entire institution – not just our office,” Assistant Director Jeremy Zhe-Heimerman said. “This ranking is a testament to the great work that folks are doing across campus. We hope our office is doing a good job of welcoming students with disabilities, ensuring they get equal access to SUNY Cortland, and educating the campus on disability and accessibility. But it takes a community of caring, like we have at SUNY Cortland, to create an accessible campus where students with disabilities feel a sense of belonging.”