Student Accessibility & Advocacy office – Albright College

Student Accessibility & Advocacy office

Albright College ensures that people with disabilities have equal opportunity to participate in its programs and activities, in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) and encourages qualified students to request impairment-related accommodations for which they qualify. Impairment-related academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and services are offered through the Student Accessibility & Advocacy office, which handles all requests for academic accommodations and makes referrals to other college units as needed.

The Director of Student Accessibility & Advocacy, Sherry Young, is committed to providing individual assessment of student needs and promotes self-advocacy and intentional learning among students with disabilities. The department endeavors to foster independent learning by students with disabilities through a strengths-based approach and by providing faculty with consultation and resources. Impairment-related accommodations are provided to students with disabilities, while maintaining the academic standards of the college. Students, including prospective students, are encouraged to use their strengths and develop a growth mindset to nourish their commitment to lifetime learning.

Requesting Accommodations

Student Health Portal

Accommodation requests should be made via the Accommodations section of the Student Health Portal.

This presentation provides tips and information on services for students who learn differently at Albright.

Students can learn more about the ADAAA and regulations for students with disabilities in higher education via the Transition Guide from the Department of Education.

Differences between High School and College Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Office Location and Contact Information

The Student Accessibility & Advocacy office is located in the Student Center Conference Room, down the hall from the Dining Hall. The office can be reached by phone at 610-921-7503 or by email at

Director’s Contact Information

Sherry Young, M.A.
Director of Student Accessibility & Advocacy
Albright College

We understand that self-disclosure of a disability, symptoms, or condition is confidential and a deeply personal matter. Students who wish to have a confidential conversation about their previous history of using accommodations, their eligibility for services, or any referrals for a disability related evaluation are encouraged to request an appointment at their earliest convenience. We recommend that students self disclose to the Student Accessibility & Advocacy Office (SSA) as early as possible so that we can work together on a proactive approach to their learning and academic experience. In order to speak to parents about a student’s request for  accommodations, students will need to sign a release form with SAA and discuss their communication preferences with the Director. Students should directly inform their parents about their choice to use services for students with disabilities.

All disability records are kept separate from a student’s educational record and utilization of accommodations will not be cited on transcripts, applications, or other permanent records. Further, the SAA has a responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of a student’s clinical documentation. Without a student’s informed consent, no records will be released to a third party. Should a student submit a written request for release of documentation, the SAA will process this request within 5-7 business days for current students and 7-10 business days for former students.

Contact Information:
Sherry Young, M.A.
Director of Student Accessibility & Advocacy
Albright College
fax: 610-929-6793

Albright College has established documentation guidelines that require students to provide current and comprehensive information by a credentialed professional or medical practitioner. A student’s high school IEP or 504 plan may be helpful but these documents rarely provide information needed to make an accommodation decision in college.  In addition, some clinical evaluations can be too old to be of current use. It is important that the disability be understood in relation to the College’s courses, programs and activities.

A diagnosis in and of itself may not be a sufficient rationale for accommodations, and diagnosis or documentation of a specific disability does not necessarily translate into having a particular accommodation.

Our evaluation of documentation may include consultation with clinical professionals, and, with the student’s written permission, we may need to consult with the original evaluator when documentation guidelines have not been followed or information is otherwise unclear. Please click on the link below to access our documentation guidelines.


Contact Information:
Sherry Young, M.A.
Director of Student Accessibility & Advocacy
Albright College

Verification Forms are being provided as a tool to assist you in obtaining appropriate documentation for your accommodation.   These forms will give your provider precise questions and therefore S(he) can clearly answer them objectively.  This will greatly assist the director of SAA in assessing your request.  Verification forms should be supported with testing or other diagnostics from your provider.  Documentation from providers often does not clearly define the accommodations they feel are necessary to address any functional limitations that you may have in the classroom setting.  Verification forms were developed to support you in the process of meeting Albright’s documentation standards.  Whether you choose to use the verification form or not, you are responsible for making sure that Albright receives all of the documentation required in those standards.   Please click on the links below for your relevant accommodation request.   If you need assistance in determining which form(s) would be most appropriate for you, please contact our office and we can assist you.

Autism Spectrum (ASD)
Attention Impairments
Hearing Impairments
Learning Disorders
Mobility Impairments
Neurological Impairments
Physical Health Impairments
Psychiatric Impairments
Vision Impairments

Housing Verification Forms
Understanding the Process for Requesting Reasonable Housing Accommodations
Housing Accommodations Supplemental Verification Form

Accommodated testing will continue to occur in the Academic Learning Center.  Please complete the Accommodated Test Administration Form.

This PowerPoint can guide you through completing the form. However, you can also stop by the office and we will help you. The office secretary and student workers can assist you with the form. If you need Ms. Young’s help, she is available during office hours for drop in questions or by appointment.

Information for Faculty:

When possible, please complete your portion of the form and return it to students one week before the exam.

SAA requests that you provide them with the exam 24 hours before the exam.

Exam Delivery:

  • Emailed to (only professional staff have access to this email)
  • Hand delivered to the Accommodated Testing Center (in the drop box next to Teel 301)
  • Hand delivered by student (exam must be in a signed, tape-sealed envelope)

Questions regarding testing accommodations, can be directed to Sherry Young at 610-921-7503


Contact Information:
Sherry Young, M.A.
Director of Student Accessibility & Advocacy
Albright College

Albright College has a language requirement and the following information from the Department of World Languages and Cultures explains its purpose.

“A liberal arts education is not complete without a familiarity with another language that serves as a gateway to another culture and history and provides a greater knowledge of the world in which we live. Undergraduate students should be introduced not only to practical experience in a second language but also to an understanding of another culture through the study of that culture’s language.

The language requirement is part of the College’s general education goal that you know the world more fully. Learning another language courses provide a foundation for more intensive exploration of international issues and other peoples and an understanding of the nature of responsible, engaged global citizenship. You gain the linguistic and intellectual benefits of learning a second language and begin to prepare for living as a citizen of an increasingly interdependent world.”

Students who have further questions about the requirement and placement testing can find the language requirement on the World Language and Cultures webpage.

Students who are interested in going through the process to request a language accommodation should read the policy statement and contact Sherry Young at

Please note that this accommodation decision is not just made through the Student Accessibility & Advocacy Office and the decision process will take more time than the standard accommodation process.

Students with disabilities who have not previously taken a language or who are concerned about completing a language should speak with the Director of Student Accessibility & Advocacy before scheduling language classes.

Contact Information:
Sherry Young, M.A.
Director of Student Accessibility & Advocacy
Albright College

What services do you offer to students with disabilities?
Students with disabilities can receive reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids, and services, per the ADAAA.  Accommodations are created for each individual student based on their documentation and are provided on a case-by-case basis.  The best way to determine what a student’s accommodations will be is to provide documentation, which meets the documentation standards, to the Director of Student Accessibility & Advocacy, Sherry Young.

The most common accommodation is extended time for exams.  However, this accommodation is not ideal for all students and recent research suggests that this accommodation may not be the “fix all” for all students with disabilities. Other accommodations include FM systems, access to ADA bathrooms for residential students, permission to record lectures, and access to text to speech software.

Albright does not provide personal attendants, devices, or services.  “Institutions are not required to provide personal devices and services such as attendants, individually prescribed devices, such as eyeglasses, readers for personal use or study, or other services of a personal nature, such as tutoring.” Copied from number 6 of the Transition Guide from the Department of Education

Do you offer a program for students with disabilities?   Who works with students with disabilities?
Albright does not currently offer a program for students with disabilities. The Director advocates for students with disabilities and ensures the provision of reasonable accommodations. She is a full-time staff member with a Master’s degree in Psychology. She has experience with the assessment and management of disabilities (psychoeducational and DSM assessment) and has been working with students with students and persons with disabilities since 1994.

Who counsels students with learning disabilities during registration, orientation, and course selection?
Students are encouraged to share their accommodations with their advisor so that their needs can be carefully considered when selecting courses.  Students can meet with Sherry Young to discuss course selection after schedules have been created.

Whom can parents contact if they have concerns during the academic year?
Parents are encouraged to assist their sons and daughters to develop self-advocacy skills.  Students who are building self-advocacy skills can ask their parents to participate in some conversations with Ms. Young.  However, the student must always be involved in the conversation. This ensures that the student is an active participant in the process.

Is tutoring an available accommodation? What kind of tutoring is available?
Tutoring is not an ADAAA accommodation.  However, Albright offers tutoring through the Academic Learning Center and the Writing Center for all students!  Students should contact the Academic Learning Center or the Writing Center directly for more information.  The staff members of the ALC and the WC are kind, helpful, and dedicated to student success.  Please see their websites for further information.

Contact Information:

Sherry Young, M.A.
Director of Student Accessibility & Advocacy
Albright College
fax: 610-929-6793

The transition to college can be rewarding and challenging for you and your student.  With regards to the challenges, it is important to keep in mind that in a few years your student will earn a college degree.  As a higher education professional, I have observed high school seniors growing into mature, successful college graduates.  This process is not easy and your student will frequently ask you for help, guidance, and support.  Fortunately, Albright offers an array of academic and support services for students, through a variety of campus departments.

Some students with disabilities are often reluctant to request support or accommodations.  Many students tell me that they don’t want to be labeled again and that they want to try things on their own at first. If your student is reluctant to receive accommodations, please ask them to speak to me.  Students often feel relieved when they learn that receiving accommodations in college is vastly different from their IEPs and 504s.  For example, students with disabilities are not required to take specific courses or go to a resource room.  Students pick up an Academic Accommodation Letter (AAL) and choose to provide that letter to their professors. They choose how often to use their accommodations.

Students with disabilities, like all students, face an increase in their freedoms and responsibilities.  I am happy to meet with incoming or current students, answer questions, and provide guidance.  I will partner with your student and teach them how to self advocate and navigate academic accommodations in college.  However, your student is the primary communicator and person responsible for ensuring they receive support, guidance, and all the resources that Albright offers. The process starts with your student self-identifying and sharing appropriate and confidential documentation with the Student Accessibility & Advocacy Office.

If you are interested in learning more about students with disabilities and their transition from high school to college, please read the transition guide from the department of education.

Please encourage your student to make an appointment to meet with me.

Contact Information:
Sherry Young, M.A.
Director of Student Accessibility & Advocacy
Albright College

Institutions of higher education have the obligation to make informed decisions about accommodations. These decisions may not always agree with recommendations from outside professionals or with prior Individualized Educational Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans.

Students who do not agree with the accommodation decisions of the Student Accessibility & Advocacy Office should follow the process outlined below.

A student who disagrees with the appropriateness of a decision regarding accommodations should speak with the Director of SAA to resolve the issue. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, the student should appeal academic accommodation requests to the Enrollment Development Committee (EDC), via a letter to the Associate Dean, Julia Matthews. The student should appeal Student and Campus Life accommodations, via letter, to the Senior Vice President of Student and Campus Life, Samantha Wesner.  If, however, the accommodation decision under appeal was one that originated with the EDC, for example denial of a foreign language substitution, then the next appeal should instead be directed to the Provost, again via a letter to Associate Dean. If a satisfactory resolution is still not reached, the student should then request an appointment with the College’s Affirmative Action Officer, who is the Director of Human Resources, for a final determination. All letters of appeal must be written and submitted by the student.

Working with/Teaching Students with Disabilities
Suggestions for Faculty and Staff

General techniques that can be helpful for many students with disabilities:

  • Ensure that films and videos have captions
    • The student workers in the Student Accessibility & Advocacy Office can assist you
  • Turn in book orders EARLY so students who need them in an accessible format have the time to acquire them or request them. Use a sans serif font such as Arial or Veranda. It is easier for many individuals with disabilities to read
    • This si wdat a leaming bi sadleb qerson frepuehtly hasto conteub with when attemqting ot nead a dook.
      • This is what a learning disabled person frequently has to contend with when attempting to read a book.
    • If the publisher does not have the textbook in an audio accessible version, the Disability Services Office will create an accessible version of the book by scanning and converting each page. This process requires about 2-4 weeks.
  • Summarize others/students’ statements in a discussion
    • Helpful for students with hearing impairments, Autism Spectrum Disorder, students with slow processing speed, and other impairments
  • Allow more time for others/students to respond to questions or to initiate discussion. Face the class/audience when speaking, as much as possible, especially for those students with hearing impairments
    • Helpful for students with ASD, students with slow processing speed, students with anxiety disorders, and other impairments
  • Post outlines of course lectures, PowerPoint slides, or other notes on Canvas
  • Ensure that assignments have enough lead time and provide them with clear deadlines
  • During testing, be aware of the noise in the room and encourage all students to be quiet (no tapping pens, whispering, foot tapping etc)
  • Make sure your syllabus has the following statement on it: Syllabus Statement. Albright College welcomes students with disabilities into the college’s educational programs. If you have a disability related need for reasonable academic adjustments in this course, please contact Sherry Young, Director of Student Accessibility & Advocacy, by email at, by phone at 610-929-6639, or in her office, located in the Student Center Conference Room. For further information regarding services for students with disabilities, please visit the web site at  Students who use accommodations should meet with course instructors privately and in a timely manner to discuss their Academic Accommodation Letter (AAL).  Please note that previous IEPs and 504 plans do not apply to college level courses.

Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

For further information about creating an inclusive climate for individuals with disabilities please contact the Student Accessibility & Advocacy Office at or 610-921-7503. You can also visit the office in the Student Center Conference Room, located down the hall from the Dining Hall.