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Info for Current Students

Be sure to have registered with AccessABILITY Resources (AR), provided documentation of a disability and developed an accommodation plan for each semester.

On the following web links, AccessABILITY Resources has posted information and forms that may be helpful in accessing your accommodations at SUNY Cobleskill. Here are some frequently used forms:

New Student's Forms:

Helpful Resources:

Premier Literacy Tools

These tools are available campus-wide on the network as a toolbar containing a variety of programs to improve reading comprehension, help with written tasks, and assist in studying.

With Premier you can:

  • Read and study using electronic documents and computer voices
  • Scan and read your tests
  • Have a program read anything on your computer screen to you
  • Use a talking dictionary
  • Write essays you can hear
  • Create condensed study files
  • Search for e-textbook data easily
  • Use word prediction
  • View training videos to help get you started

To access Premier on any college computer:

  1. Click the Start icon at the lower left of your screen
  2. Click on “All Programs”
  3. Scroll down and click on “Premier Assistive Technology”
  4. Click on “Premier Tools”

To access Premier over the network:

  1. Click the Start icon at the lower left of your screen
  2. Click “Run”
  3. Type or copy the following: //mystique.cobleskill.edu/academicmenu and click “OK”
  4. Open the “Start Menu” folder
  5. Open the “Programs” folder
  6. Find and open the “Premier Assistive Technology” folder
  7. Open the “Premier Tools” toolbar

If you have any questions about accessing the Premier programs, contact ITS at 518.255.5800.  For more information about Premier Assistive Technology, visit their website at www.readingmadeez.com.


Adaptive Technology Workstation

Located on the main floor of the Van Wagenen Library and in Warner Hall 23.  At the workstation you can find Dragon, a dictation, or speech-to-text, program.  There is also an enlarger in the testing room at CASE in the lower level of the library.


Other Technology

The Van Wagenen Library loans out tape recorders, spell masters, Alpha-Smarts (word processors that can be used to take notes in the classroom or assist with other written assignments, and have the capacity to upload the information to your computer), hand-held magnifiers, reading pens, and Premier Literacy Tools “Key to Access” and “Premier To Go” (portable Premier programs on a USB flash drive).

Premier Assistive Technology is the “reader” program we use here at SUNY Cobleskill. Click on the link to see video tutorials and learn how to use the program before you get to campus.

What is a smartpen?

Livescribe has two smartpen product lines – Echo and Pulse. Smartpens capture everything consumers hear and write and provide quick and accurate access to important information by simply tapping directly on the written notes either on Livescribe paper, on a computer or a mobile device. The Livescribe smartpen is a multi-modal computer, which includes an ARM-9 processor, an OLED display, micro-USB connector, audio jack, microphone and the ability to add additional java-based applications. For a detailed overview of what comprises the Echo smartpen, visit http://www.livescribe.com/en---us/smartpen/echo/

Many students have found this tool useful, however SUNY Cobleskill will not purchase the LiveScribe Smartpen, as it is considered an individual use item.

Transitioning from High School to College

Congratulations on making the decision to attend college. Be sure to talk early with the disability services provider at any college you are considering attending. This person will be happy to meet with you and help you prepare for a successful transition from high school to college.

What does the transition really mean for you?

At SUNY Cobleskill, it means you must be your own advocate. Your parents and Resource Room will not be on campus to advocate on your behalf. AccessABILITY Resources will provide some assistance, but in college you will have the primary responsibility to explain your needs and advocate for any assistance you may need.

Remember - you will need the same skills as any other college freshman PLUS the ability to compensate for your disability. You can't do that unless you understand your disability, know how it affects you, and know your own strengths and challenges.

You will decide whether to attend class, do your reading and homework, etc.; no one is checking on you. There is no resource room in college. You must be independent and you are responsible for seeking assistance. If you need help, you will need to ask for it. Therefore, you must be able to explain your needs to others including faculty, tutors, and other service providers.

You will need to develop compensating strategies and to assess your need for accommodations, as well as the effectiveness of specific accommodation strategies. You will need to know what services you need for success.

Accommodations in College

There is no general accommodation plan that is appropriate for all students or for a particular disability. One student may need different accommodations in different courses. The most appropriate plan provides equal access coupled with consideration of the disability and the documentation, the student's preferences, program and faculty requirements for a particular course, and applicable laws. Note that tutors and personal attendants are not accommodations that a college must provide.

Arranging for Accommodations

Requested accommodations must be supported by documentation that spells out the disability itself and the need for the requested accommodations.

Merely providing a particular diagnosis, IEP or 504 Plan is, by itself, not sufficient documentation. Common problems with documentation include currency (how recently was the testing done), sufficiency, and qualifications of the examiner. As early as possible, make sure your documentation is sufficient to support the accommodations you will need.

Some students are declassified under IDEA during high school. This does not automatically mean that the student can't be considered as a having a disability at college, however, the appropriateness of declassification should be looked at carefully in light of the transition needs for success in the college environment.

What do colleges see as the most common reasons students with disabilities fail?

Don't become one of those statistics. Your success is dependent on your planning. Get actively involved NOW.

Does this sound daunting? The trick is to start early and be actively involved in your planning for success in both high school and college. Use the resources available to you, including:

If you have an IEP, the law requires, beginning at age 12, that the plan be based on adult education, career, and independent living goals. If you want to go to college, that should be clearly reflected and your annual plan should address your needs for appropriate coursework, understanding of your disability, development of self-advocacy skills, and development of independent living skills. Be involved in the creation of those plans, discuss them with your parents and teachers, and go to the Committee on Special Education meetings.

When considering the strategies and accommodations you will need for success at the postsecondary institution, don't look only to what you have used in the past. What is expected of you in terms of independent reading and writing and the volume of work expected will be much greater in college than it was in high school. Your strategies and appropriate accommodations will probably also need to change. Talk to teachers, parents, siblings, and friends; find out what they had difficulty with in college. Then consider how you will tackle those challenges.

Connect with appropriate adult services agencies, e.g. ACCES VR, CBVH, Learning Disabilities Association. Learn about adaptive technology, both hardware and software, that may help you work independently.

MOST IMPORTANT: you can't make good decisions without good information. So ask questions and find out what you need to know!


The resources linked below are valuable resources to help make the smoothest transition possible.