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Mission Statement:

The Office of Disability Services (ODS) assists in creating an accessible campus environment at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) where students with disabilities have equal access to educational programs and the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of campus life. Through partnerships with students, faculty and staff members, ODS works to promote students' independence, self-advocacy and development, and ensures that students are recognized for their abilities—not their disabilities.


Disability Law and Academic Accommodations for Accessibility

Disability Laws as they apply to Private Higher Education Institutions

Higher education institutions adhere to different disability laws than high schools.  At the college level, accommodations are only provided when the student has self-identified as having a functional impairment that substantially limits major life functioning. Students attending high school are protected by IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) which allows schools to make curricular changes for students with disabilities.  At the college level, all students with disabilities must be “otherwise qualified”; therefore, they are required to meet the academic and technical skills for their respective program. It is important that all students understand that SVA will not modify exams or curriculum, and standards for grading are determined by the instructor. The American's with Disabilities Act and Amendments govern the decisions pertaining to accommodations for disabilities at the SVA.  

For more information on the transition process from high school to college, please refer to the document, Making the Transition, which you can download on the right hand side of this page.

Reasonable Academic Accommodations

Disabilities vary on how they impact a person’s major life functions. Due to the varying differences in disabilities, ODS can only provide academic accommodations based on the history of the disability, reported limitations, and/or respective documentation from a qualified professional. There must always be a correlation between the impact of the disability and the requested accommodation.  Accommodations are adjustments, changes or alterations to a program, service, activity or policy, in order to permit equal access. 

Please note: personal services such as: content specific tutoring, personal aides, or assistance in bathing, grooming, food preparation, housekeeping, and assistance ambulating are not deemed reasonable accommodations. Additionally, individually prescribed devices, such as hearing aids, glasses, braces, wheelchairs, and other mobility devices are to be purchased by the student.

Arranging Accommodations

Once students have completed the registration process, they are responsible for working collaboratively with ODS in coordinating their accommodations  (i.e., delivering the Accommodation Verification Letter to instructors, submitting forms for exam accommodations, etc.).  For more information on accommodation policies, procedures, and forms, please refer to my.sva.edu/departments/disability services.

New Students

Congratulations on your acceptance to SVA.  We look forward to meeting with you and discussing how our office might be able to help you during your time as a student.  

Please review the section: "Registering with The Office of Disability Services" to find out how you can obtain accommodations through the Office of Disability Services.

If you are an accepted student in need of accommodations, please contact our office ASAP at disabilityservices@sva.edu or 212-592-2396. Some accommodations take time to implement and arrange so please do not wait until the semester has already started before contacting us.  

Registering with The Office of Disability Services

Students who wish to receive accommodations at the School of Visual Arts must register with the Office of Disability Services by completing the New Student Registration form below.



Please also download the following documents from the right side menu of our homepage.

How to Get Accommodations at SVA

Authorization for Release of Information (only complete this form if you want ODS to contact the professional who is providing verification of your disability)

Returning Students

Students must contact the Office of Disability Services EVERY Semester they wish to receive accommodations. 


Students can renew their accommodations via the MyAccommodate link located under "Quick Links" on MySVA.

Click Here to Log On to MySVA

Students must obtain updated accommodation letters each semester by submitting a Semester Request via MyAccommodate. Updated accommodation letters must be given by to student to their instructors at the beginning of each semester.  Photo copies of previous accommodation letters are insufficient.  SVA faculty are not required to provide a student with accommodations unless the student has provided an appropriately dated accommodation letter. 

Updated accommodation letters may be picked up at ODS two business days after you submit your Semester Request. You may pick up your letters from our Office Assistant any time Monday - Friday between the hours of 9am-5pm.

If you would like to make changes to your letter or want to speak with ODS staff, please visit ODS during the walk-in hours posted in the "Contact Us" section or schedule an appointment. 

To request an appointment please e-mail disabilityservices@sva.edu. 

Arranging Exam Accommodations

Students who are approved for Exam Accommodations must play an active role in coordinating the scheduling of their exams. The ODS requires that students complete and submit the “Exam Accommodations Request Form” (found by clicking the orange link below). Also, students should inform their instructors that they intent to take the exam in the ODS Office. ODS staff will contact the instructors, and will arrange a date at time for the student to take the exam with accommodations.



 Student Responsibilities Prior to Exam Day

  1. Students must give their Accommodation Verification Letters to their instructors at the beginning of the semester.
  2. Students must fill out an “Exam Accommodations Request Form” for each exam they wish to take with accommodations. This form should be completed and sent to ODS at least two weeks prior to the exam test date.  When possible, ODS asks students to submit exam requests at the beginning of the semester.  ***Due to scheduling issues, exam accommodation requests for midterms and finals should be submitted at least one month prior to the midterm of final exam date. (If this deadline has passed, please contact ODS staff in person to discuss scheduling your exam)***

  3. Students should inform ODS staff of any exam scheduling changes. One week prior to the exam, ODS will contact the student to verify the details of the exam, and to inform the student of their scheduled time to take the exam. ODS staff will also contact the instructor to obtain the exam materials. 


Student Groups

Fall 2015 Groups:



Wednesdays at 3:30pm

Group Focus:  Connecting, Aspiring, Participating, and Communicating



Thursdays at 3:30pm

Group Focus:  anxiety, critiques, in-class presentations

Contact Us

Business Hours:

Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Spring 2014 Walk-in Hours

Monday-Thursday 10am-4pm

Fridays 10am-2pm

Contact Information:
Telephone: 212-592-2396
Fax: 212-592-2899

Office Location:

23 Lexington Avenue, George Washington Residence Hall
New York, NY 10010

Mailing Address:

School of Visual Arts
Office of Disability Services
209 East 23 Street
New York, NY 10010

Staff Members:

Caryn Leonard, MS.Ed., CRC., Associate Director of Disability Services, telephone: (212) 592-2281, email: cleonard@sva.edu

Dan Stokes, MS.Ed., CRC., Coordinator, telephone: (212) 592-2282, e-mail:  dstokes@sva.edu

Kristopher Robinson, Master's Student Intern, e-mail: disabilityintern1@sva.edu

School of Visual Arts | 209 East 23 Street, NY, NY 10010-3994 | Tel: 212.592.2000 | Fax: 212.725.3587