For Students with Disabilities

Welcome to the Disability Services Office (DSO). We're here to help.

  • If you have a legally documented disability we will help you with access and appropriate accommodations.
  • If you are currently a student at OCC and there is a suspected disability, you may be screened through our office and then be referred for an outside evaluation.

Locate/contact Disability Services Office 

DSO Intake and Accommodation Request Form 

First Steps to Success 
Gives a step by step guide for students new to the Disability Services Office


The Onondaga Disability Service Office is a National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) Voter registration site: 


  • Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation To obtain assistance from NYS ACCES-VR, call 1-800-222-JOBS or visit their web page at Contact them as early as possible, preferably five months prior to the start of your first semester.

  • LD Online:
    Online resources for learning disabilities and related areas. When you get in this website, click on "LD Resources" for lists of organizations and agencies, such as:
    • National Organizations: A complete list of national organizations that provide information and assistance on learning disabilities and related issues.
    • Federal Agencies: A listing of the important federal agencies dealing with learning disability issues.
    • State by State Resource Guides: Offers the names and addresses of helpful state agencies, local organizations, and other resources available in your state.
    • On-line Resources: A vast assortment of links to other resources on the Internet.
  • Financial Resources for students with disabilities:

DSO Office Mini-Documentary

Learn more about the DSO office in this mini-documentary video produced by Onondaga student Brian Doolittle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who works in the Disability Services Office?
  • Nancy Carr, Director, 315-498-2834
  • Lori Doyle, Technical Assistant, - 315-498-2245
  • Brian Shepardson, Technical Specialist, 315- 498-2426, Notetaking Coordinator
  • Daneen Brooks, Disability Specialist, 315-498-2190
  • Richelle Ciota, Disability Specialist, 315-498- 2535
  • James Berring, Coordinator of Adaptive Technology, 315-498-2053

DSO is housed in the Enrollment Management & Student Development division of the college. 

What documentation is required for a student to obtain services from DSO?

If the student had a disability in high school DSO requires the 504 plan, IEP and a copy of psychological testing. Other reports can be from a student’s physician, reports from ACCESS/VR, Department of Veterans Affairs, Workers' Compensation, etc. The reports must detail the exact nature of the disability. DSO intake form. 

Will DSO handle book and supply vouchers?

No, Questions regarding books and supplies should be directed to the Onondaga bookstore which is run by Barnes and Noble. Telephone number: 315-498-2246
Please note: College textbooks can be very expensive; you may want to consider the college's Textbook Rental program and/or buying early to find any used books at lower cost.

What about the College for Living?

The DSO is responsible for students taking college credit classes. College for Living is a separate program under Adult and Continuing Education and is staffed separately.

What types of disabilities does DSO serve?

DSO serves students with all types of disabilities. The two fastest growing groups are students with psychiatric disabilities and students on the autism spectrum.

What are the most popular programs at Onondaga?

The top ten programs at Onondaga are Humanities, Math and Science, Business, Criminal Justice, Human Services, Computer Studies, Nursing, Art, and Electronic Media.

What about the residence life halls? What if the student wants to live at Onondaga? 

Residence halls are filled on a first-come, first served basis. There are more students that want to live on campus than there are rooms. Freshman housing requests begin the first week of January for the upcoming fall semester. Students with disabilities can request accommodations but colleges are not responsible for personal care issues. Students with disabilities are expected to follow the Onondaga Student Code of Conduct. Onondaga has a zero alcohol tolerance policy.

Do Onondaga students all use bus transportation?

Full time Onondaga students are eligible for a reduced fare Centro bus pass. This does not mean that all Onondaga students can or do use the bus.  The bus does not run frequently, especially to further areas.  Depending on the student’s class schedule and personal obligations bus transportation may not be feasible for them. Many ACCESS/VR staff authorize transportation monies for those students who cannot use Centro.

What types of programs are DSO students enrolled in?

DSO students are enrolled across the college. One third are in programs leading to employment through an associate’s degree and two-thirds are in transfer programs.

What services do DSO students receive?

Accommodation plans which detail each student’s services are determined jointly between the student and their DSO specialist. This plan is determined each semester. Certain services such as tutoring are free and available to all.  

How many students does DSO serve?

DSO serves about 1000 students a year.

What are some trends in higher education and how do they affect DSO students?

a.) Online classes - many programs at Onondaga can now be completed totally online.
b.) E-text - many students prefer their text in e-text fashion, not just DSO students. This trend is expected to continue.
c.) More use of adaptive technology programs on campus. However, most incoming student arrive totally unfamiliar with adaptive technology. This requires the college to provide extensive training and support in its use.

Does DSO work with the CAL Center?

DSO and the Career and Applied Learning Center work together. The intent is to provide more employment information to college students with disabilities. 

Are there fees for DSO services?

No, but students must purchase books if they need etext conversion.

When I transfer or get a job will my college transcript reflect my affiliation with DSO or use of accommodations?

No, participation in DSO is confidential and does not appear on your transcript.  

How can the DSO and VESID or other community agencies work together?

ACCESS/VR counselors should refer clients attending Onondaga to the DSO.  The student should complete a release of information form if the agency will need information from Onondaga.  The agency should send vouchers as early as possible to avoid student stress related to economic difficulties. Early contact with the DSO is essential, especially in cases requiring time-consuming e-text, Braille conversion, etc.