Center for Student Accessibility

Center for Student Accessibility

Welcome to the Center for Student Accessibility!

Manhattanville recognizes disability and neurodiversity as an integral part of our community’s overall diversity. The Center for Student Accessibility is committed to removing barriers and fostering an accessible and inclusive community for all Valiants.

Hours of Operation
8 AM to 5 PM

Last Tests begin at 3 PM

Library 134

Register with Our Office Schedule a Test Report a Barrier


Access and Accommodations Resources

The Center for Student Accessibility at Manhattanville University works to provide reasonable accommodations and support services to students with disabilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Amendments Act (ADAAA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. In order to receive a documentation review and put accommodations in place, students are required to self-disclose to the Center for Student Accessibility.
Looking Ahead

Prospective Students and Families

Students diagnosed with a disability that request services or reasonable accommodations must provide appropriate and current documentation. These services and accommodations will be determined on an individual basis, based upon documentation review and an in-person intake interview with the Director or Assistant Director of the Center for Student Accessibility. During this intake, the student will have the opportunity to share his/her academic history and to request specific accommodations. Students may be asked to obtain updated documentation if no recent documentation exists. Disabilities change over time and documentation should support current needs.

Accommodations are determined on an individual, case by case basis through an interactive intake interview process and review of provided documentation.

Intake interviews can be scheduled via phone or e-mail. Please note that intakes will not be scheduled and documentation will not be accepted or reviewed until the student is enrolled at Manhattanville University.

Here is a comparison of the differences between Accommodations in High School (IDEA) and those in College (ADAAA)

Activating Accommodations

A student’s accommodation plan will remain in place for the duration of their time at Manhattanville University. In the event that a student would like to request a change to their accommodation plan, they may email the Director, Joseph Gaines, to schedule a meeting.

It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the process of reactivating accommodations at the beginning of each semester. Students can do this by providing their accommodation letters to their instructors. A letter can be accessed by navigating to the Student Health and Accommodations Portal and accessing the Term Request page.

Students who have been enrolled previously to the 2020 semester can access their letters by completing the Academic Accommodation Disclosure Process Agreement formwhich provides permission to the Center to communicate with professors and other relevant faculty and staff. This communication might be to request exams on a student’s behalf or discuss strategies for implementing other accommodations within the student’s respective plan.

It is the student’s responsibility to deliver signed accommodation letters to their professors in a timely manner. Please note that accommodations are not retroactive therefore professors are not required to implement academic adjustments until the date that the signed accommodation letter is received.

Specialized Supplementary Programs

PAC Coordinator Claudia Goicochea with Valiant mascot

The Pathways and Connections Program (PAC) is an innovative, comprehensive, fee-based program designed to assist college-ready, neurodivergent students (i.e. autism spectrum disorders, non-verbal learning disorder, pragmatic language disorder, sensory processing/integration disorders, or other neurological differences) with their transition and integration into the Manhattanville community. 

The PAC Program components include the following:

  • Individual, Customized Meetings with PAC Coordinator
  • Weekly Group Sessions
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Social Events: On and Off-Campus

Please note that there is a separate application to be considered for both the Pathways and Connections Program and the Valiant Learning Support Program. Please see the link to the accommodation application process in order to learn more. Students must be enrolled and deposited at Manhattanville University before being eligible to apply.

$3,000 per semester

Combined with VLSP
$5,550 per semester*

*There is a $100 fee for the first semester of VLSP.

*Rates subject to change

Students gathered around advisor

The Valiant Learning Support Program (VLSP) is a fee-based program designed to assist college-ready students to navigate the academic challenges of the University curriculum. This program offers students customized learning strategy sessions with highly trained, professional Learning Specialists.

Learning Specialists provide each student enrolled in the program with 3 hours of 1:1 academic support on a weekly basis which may include working with the students on writing skills, reading comprehension skills, executive functioning skills such as time management and prioritization, and study skills. Students also have the option of adding a fourth hour at an additional fee.

Learning Specialists use the student's own coursework to support students in their efforts to take ownership of their own learning and partner with students to promote self-advocacy and self-determination.

Please note that this program is not content driven.

$3,500 per semester*
($4,500 per semester for the fourth hour option)*

Combined with PAC

$5,550 per semester combined with PAC*

$6,550 combined with PAC and the fourth hour*

*There is a $100 fee for the first semester of VLSP.

*Rates subject to change


Guidelines, Procedures, and Resources

  • Students should submit any prior assessments and evaluations conducted by a qualified professional. These assessments and/or evaluations should provide the name, title, and other credentials of the aforementioned professional. 

  • Evaluations should include a diagnostic statement as well as be signed and dated. 

  • Documentation should include a description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results. 

  • Documentation should provide information on how the disability or disabilities currently limit one or more major life activities. 

  • Recommendations of the qualified professional provider will be considered as part of the comprehensive intake process; however, these recommendations do not guarantee the granting of requested accommodations. 

  • Prior accommodations, such as from high school or another University setting, help determine appropriate accommodations, but do not guarantee the same accommodations being granted. As such, Individualized Education Programs and/or 504 Plans may or may not provide sufficient information to determine reasonable accommodations, dependent upon their contents. 

Registering with Our Office
Manhattanville University's Center for Student Accessibility works to provide reasonable accommodations and support services to students with disabilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Amendments Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Below, please find how you can request services and reasonable accommodations.

To request accommodations, please refer to the following procedure:

  1. Log in to the Health and Accommodations Portal using your Manhattanville University username and password.  

  2. Hover the “Accommodations” tab in the top-bar and then select “Application” from the drop down menu. 

  3. Proceed to complete the application as listed on Page 1. 

  4. Upload any supporting documentation that you have on Page 2 (please note – you can submit the application without uploading documentation, but it will be incomplete until you either upload it at a later time, or deliver it to a Center for Student Accessibility staff member). 

  5. Fill out the Valiant Learning Support Program and Pathways and Connections Program Application on Page 3. 

  6. Submit your application. 

  7. Schedule an intake interview with a staff member at CSA by calling 914.323.7127 or emailing Please note that your application is incomplete until this intake interview is completed. 

Please do not delay your meeting or your application for accommodations out of concern for not having documentation readily available. It can be submitted at a later date for review while a CSA staff works with you on temporary or provisional accommodations. 

Manhattanville University provides housing accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1978, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 to ensure equal access to programs, activities, and facilities. While ADA requires that student requests are considered, it does not imply that a particular accommodation must be granted if it is not deemed reasonable, or if other appropriate options are available. Only students with documented disabilities are eligible for consideration for housing accommodations.

The ADA defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Students wishing to apply for medical housing accommodation(s) must be registered with the Center for Student Accessibility (CSA). An intake interview must be conducted prior to submitting your housing accommodations application; the committee will not review your application until you have completed the interactive intake process with CSA.

Medical Housing Applications will be evaluated by a committee comprised of members of the University’s professional staff. Each application is provided individualized consideration. Students must submit an ‘authorization for release of information’ form which will permit the application information to be reviewed and discussed by the aforementioned committee members. Submission of a Medical Housing Application, supporting documentation, and a diagnosis from a physician/licensed mental health professional does not guarantee approval of requested accommodations.

This application must be completed by a qualified, licensed medical practitioner, and approval is dependent upon the nature and the severity of the disability. The diagnostician completing this application must be an impartial individual who is not socially acquainted (family, friend, etc.) with the student. The provider must be licensed to practice in the field related to the reason for the request (i.e.: medical needs can only be recommended by a physician and/or medical specialist and psychological needs can only be recommended by a licensed mental health professional).

The application for a Medical Housing Accommodation can be found on the Student Health Portal upon request. Please navigate to the Accommodations Application to complete the accommodations application and have the Medical Housing Accommodation Application released to you on the portal.

Please note that you will also need to schedule an intake interview and complete the online application to register with the Center for Student Accessibility. 

The Testing Center

  • The Testing Center is located in the Library Room 134 and is open Monday to Friday, 8AM to 5PM.
  • The Testing Center provides a separate location for students who are registered with the Center for Student Accessibility and receive testing accommodations.
  • CSA asks students who are planning on taking an exam at the Testing Center to fill out a Test Request Form (there is a link "To Schedule a Test" at the top of this page) at least three days prior to the date of the exam. This ensures that our staff have adequate time to contact your professor and receive the exam promptly. If you require additional accommodations for your exam, please let us know at the time of scheduling so that we can confirm that we have a staff member or equipment available for you.

Exam Information, Scheduling Conflicts, and Adjustments to Exam Scheduling

  • If you wish to take an exam in the Testing Center but you have a scheduling conflict due to extended time granted for the exam, please speak with a staff member at the Center for Student Accessibility and we will work with you and your professor to find an alternate time for you to take your exam.
  • If your exam is being given in class earlier than 8:00am, the start time will be no earlier than 8:00am as that is when the Testing Center opens. Similarly, if your class starts later than 3:00pm, the start time of your exam will be no later than 3:00pm, as the Testing Center closes at 5:00pm.
  • If you have any questions regarding testing, please email or call 914.323.7127 to receive clarification. 

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Any student who believes that reasonable accommodations have been denied should first contact the Director of the Center for Student Accessibility who will attempt to resolve the situation expeditiously. If a resolution cannot be reached, please view the Grievance Procedure (ADA Grievance Procedure Manhattanville.pdf). 

Accessible course materials benefit many learners. Course materials that are accessible/compatible with screen readers, for example, can of course benefit students with visual impairments, students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities as well. In addition, student athletes traveling can also benefit from being able to have course materials read aloud while they are on a bus ride to or from a game. Generally, students that are auditory learners and English Language Learners can all benefit from this as well.

Your support in working to make course materials more accessible helps us to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To further accommodate your course materials for all learners, including those with disabilities, please review the Faculty Resource and Tips Guide. In it, you will find some helpful tips on how to best make your course resources accessible for all learners.

Please consider including the suggested syllabus statement below from the Center for Student Accessibility.

Suggested Syllabus Statement

Manhattanville is committed to creating a learning environment that is equally accessible and participatory for all students. Students facing accessibility barriers who are seeking accommodations must register with the Center for Student Accessibility (CSA) in order to engage in the intake process. Students choosing to use their approved accommodations must renew their letter every semester with CSA. In addition, students are responsible for providing their professors with their approved accommodation letters and discussing their needs. For more information, please contact the Center for Student Accessibility:

Joseph Gaines, Director
Library Room 134

Please note that the Center for Student Accessibility will be available for contact from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Monday through Friday, either by email, phone, or Microsoft Teams.

The Center for Student Accessibility has created some tutorials to help faculty with creating and providing access to accessible course materials. Please see our Faculty Accessible Resource Guide, as well as our Blackboard Ally Tutorial. We hope these are of assistance when creating and uploading your materials.

The Lavelle – Brother Kearney Scholarship aims to help make quality undergraduate and graduate education affordable for financially needy U.S. residents who are legally blind.

Eligible candidates must:

  • be legally blind or severely visually impaired (as determined by a functional vision assessment).
  • be a legal resident of the United States.
  • demonstrate financial need as defined by the student’s FAFSA data.
  • be enrolled full-time toward a degree or valid professional certificate at one of 12 participating colleges and universities.
  • be in academic good standing, not on probation or suspended.

For further information, contact Kate Morris, Lavelle-Brother Kearney Scholarship Program Coordinator at




Mission Statement

The Center for Student Accessibility recognizes disability as a valuable aspect of diversity that enriches Manhattanville’s community. CSA collaborates with students, faculty, and staff to make the University accessible for students with disabilities. We facilitate academic and residential accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Amendments Act of 2008, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  

The Center further strives to increase positive dialogue surrounding disabilities. While our office defaults to “person-first” language for campus-wide communications, we understand that many students view disability as an integral part of their identity and thus respect individual preferences. Our office further promotes the social model of disability, viewing disability as a result of inaccessible environments.   

Office Goals

Collaborate with students, staff, and faculty to identify and remove barriers so that Manhattanville University is accessible for people with disabilities. 
Foster an environment that celebrates disability as a valuable aspect of diversity.  
Promote self-determination and self-advocacy skills to empower students with disabilities to take ownership of their academic journey.  
Strengthen the sense of community and belonging by promoting the social model of disability, which views disability as a social contract created by inaccessible environments.  
Engage the Manhattanville community with programing that helps promote equity and access for people with disabilities. 

Legal Statement

The Center for Student Accessibility works to remove barriers and provide full and meaningful access to all Manhattanville University programs. The University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, The Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act (2008), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Report a Barrier




Center for Student Accessibility Upcoming Events

Contact Us

  • Joseph Gaines, Director Center for Student Accessibility

    Kate Shannon
    Assistant Director

    Samantha Healy
    Accommodations Coordinator