The Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) at The New School serves an important role in helping students with disabilities/disabled students obtain access to academic and programmatic services at the university as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation in Education Act of 1973.
SDS welcomes calls and visits from parents and families wishing to learn more about the office and how services are provided. This page is designed to give parents a richer understanding of student disability services at the college level and provide suggestions for helping their student make the most of available services.
How Parents Can Help
- Encourage your student to take advantage of available services. While services cannot be forced upon a student, it is in their best interest to know what services they are eligible for.
- Encourage your student to meet with SDS staff at the start of each semester. Even if a student doesn't want services or accommodations, it is helpful for them to discuss this with a staff member. It also helps us be aware of how each student is doing and makes it easier to offer assistance should the student change their mind during the course of a semester.
- Encourage your student to meet with SDS staff at least once more during the semester to check in and let us know if they need any additional services or assistance. Some good times are a few weeks before midterm exams and evaluations and a few weeks before finals and end-of-the-semester evaluations. Students are, of course, welcome anytime.
- Encourage your student to familiarize themselves with the contents of this website.
- Encourage your student to speak up for themselves and to be their own best advocate.
- Encourage your student to meet regularly with their instructors to get feedback as to progress in class and to check in with the advisor.
Confidentiality and FERPA
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) greatly limits the amount of information that Student Disability Services can share with you as to the release of specific information about your student. Student Disability Services will not be able to tell you such things as whether or not your student came in for an appointment, requested a specific accommodation, or obtained an Academic Adjustment Notice to provide to instructors. The only way this information can be shared is if your student specifically fills out and signs a Release of Information Form. This form must be completed in the presence of a Student Disability Services staff member and signed by both the staff member and the student. Your student has the right to nullify this form at any point simply by providing such a request in writing. Even with this signed form on file, Student Disability Services strongly discourages parents from taking on the responsibility of the student in obtaining services and problem solving.