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The photo shows a teacher reaches past a student to point to specific text.


The City University of New York (CUNY) prides itself on serving an impressively diverse community of students with disabilities, approximately 10,000 of whom are served annually throughout the University. This breadth of service does not take into consideration the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of students who choose not to disclose their disability status or who have temporary disabilities.

Access for students with disabilities means more than the removal of architectural barriers and the provision of auxiliary services. Reasonable accommodations must also be made in the instructional process to ensure a full educational opportunity. This principle applies to all teaching strategies and modes, including online and other electronic modes of instruction as well as to institutional and departmental policies. The means of achieving these ideals involve an understanding of disability and the myriad tools available to both students and educators for meeting the educational needs of students with disabilities.

Reasonable Accommodations: A Faculty Guide to Teaching College Students with Disabilities was last published in 2009 by CUNY’s Council on Student Disability Issues (COSDI) to assist faculty in successfully carrying out their central role in relation to the University’s commitment to providing access to students with disabilities. In this updated version faculty will find the latest information about various types of disabilities, the functional limitations of students with these disabilities, recommended accommodations, and helpful suggestions on how to successfully meet students’ needs in the classroom and other college settings.

To help find relevant information quickly, we have identified and addressed each important topic in a separate chapter. For further access, we have included a list of sources and resources after each chapter and a glossary of disability-related terminology at the end of the booklet.

We have also added the COSDI directory (CUNY’s offices of disability services) in the appendices. We encourage you to contact and consult with the network of professionals who regularly provide guidance and help resolve problems associated with implementing accommodations.

The offices of disability services throughout CUNY play a significant role in assisting students and faculty in the development of accessible academic programs. But without your support, which is essential for the creation of an environment that values and welcomes diversity, our work would be incomplete.

CUNY Council on Student Disability Issues (COSDI)