SUNY Poly Expanding Student Accessibility Services

SUNY Poly Expanding Student Accessibility Services

Tuesday, March 5, 2024 - 15:09
News Releases
Campus at SUNY Poly

UTICA, NY – The SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) Student Accessibility Services (SAS) office is growing, thanks to new State aid provided to public universities as part of the 2023-24 NYS Budget and allocated by the State University of New York (SUNY), with the purpose of increasing support for the needs of students with disabilities.  

These funds, of which SUNY Poly received $250,000, are expected to be available to qualifying institutions on an annual basis, and are meant to supplement and not supplant current activities. As a result of these funds, SUNY Poly will: increase staffing in its student accessibility services office; support additional assessment/evaluation activities; develop unique programs for students with disabilities; conduct inventories of campus accessibility; and add sensory friendly spaces and accessible furniture throughout the campus. The SAS office currently provides services to approximately 140 SUNY Poly students, with that number projected to double in the coming years. 
“We applaud the vision of our State leaders and SUNY Chancellor John B. King Jr. in providing additional funds to institutions like SUNY Poly so that we can better support the students who utilize our SAS office’s crucial services,” said SUNY Poly Interim Vice President of Student Affairs Jennifer Adams. “With that number of students expected to grow, it is critical that we take a proactive approach. This funding will allow us to enhance our current initiatives and establish new ones that will help our current and future Wildcats succeed.”  
SUNY Poly recently hired Dr. Katelyn DiCastro as their new Director of Student Accessibility Services, who brings 15 years of experience advocating for those with disabilities and over 10 years in higher education to the role.  
“I’m thankful to have come on board during such a progressive time when we will have the opportunity to maximize our efforts and make substantial improvements under the guidance and support of SUNY,” said DiCastro. 
SUNY Poly is currently looking to add a student accessibility services coordinator who will take on the majority of the office’s student-facing role and allow the Director to focus efforts on policy, procedure, and improvements to access at the systemic level. 
“Many college student accessibility services departments are operating sparsely and, while it isn’t uncommon to have one person overseeing all accommodative services and compliance, it’s particularly important to bring additional staff on board to support our initiatives and increased numbers so we are well prepared to go beyond compliance,” explained DiCastro. “Our university has a vision to become the State and Nation’s premier public polytechnic and I want to maximize our potential by ensuring accessibility and inclusive education is woven into our future.”  


About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) 
SUNY Poly is charting a path to become New York State’s and the nation’s premier public polytechnic. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees – via its four colleges: Arts & Sciences, Business, Engineering, and Health Sciences – in engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including biology, game design, mathematics, and social sciences at its campus located in Utica. Established in 1966 as the Upper Division College at Herkimer/Rome/Utica, SUNY Poly today operates as an innovative academic leader and economic driver in the Mohawk Valley region and beyond.