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Policies & Procedures

If you have any questions about the policies below, please contact the Office of Accommodative Services at

SUNY Potsdam complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as amended in 2010 in allowing the use of service animals on the campus.The ADA defines a service animal as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities, including physical sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or mental disability.

Students who require the use of a service animal on campus are encouraged to contact the Office of Accommodative Services to register and arrange for any needed accommodations.

For an individual to qualify to have a service animal on campus:

  1. He or she must have a disability as defined by the ADA.
  2. The work or task a dog has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability.

The owner of the service animal is responsible:

  1. To be in full control of the service animal at all times.
  2. For all costs of the care and feeding of the service animal.
  3. For removal of the animal's waste.
  4. For compliance with local dog control and licensing regulations and laws, including vaccinations and wearing of tags.

More information on ADA guidelines and service animals can be found at:

In accordance with the ADA, emotional support, comfort, and/or companionship animals are not considered service animals. However, such animals may be covered under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the U.S. Department of Urban Development (HUD) regulations. Such animals may be allowed in residence halls as a reasonable accommodation with appropriate documentation and the completion of SUNY Potsdam's Emotional Support Animal application. The application can be found on the Residence Life "Forms" webpage.

The medical housing accommodation application is intended for students who are seeking special housing consideration due to disability or medical necessity. The application can be found on the Residence Life "Forms" webpage.

Once a completed application is submitted to Residence Life, it is reviewed by the Medical Housing Committee, which consists of representatives from Accommodative Services, the Counseling Center, Residence Life/Student Affairs, and Student Health Services.

In situations where the accommodation request involves a student’s meal plan (to include seeking a release from living on campus), a representative from PACES will also join the committee.


A prompt evacuation of persons with disabilities requires knowledge of individuals location and specific physical restrictions. Students with disabilities can best prepare by informing faculty and or staff members of preferred methods of assistance end of physical restrictions that might limit their ability to evacuate a building. Students should also identify in advance a suitable rescue location in each building in the event they are unable to exit independently. Employees and visitors with disabilities should inform supervisors building administrators and or seminar leaders. At all times, persons with disabilities should be aware of the evacuation plan for each building they enter and the location of phones and should notify a responsible party of their expected location in the event of an emergency.


Accommodative Services will provide University Police a current list of names room numbers and students specified physical restrictions of identified students with physical disabilities for identification to rescue personnel. Student should report any changes in schedule or housing to University Police or Accommodative Services.      

Emergency Evacuation Procedures

When fire alarms sound and/or flash

Exit the building immediately using the most direct route possible.

In case of fire- do not use elevators- use stairway

Individuals who need assistance

***Lifting a person with a mobility impairment may cause injury; attempts to carry are discouraged. Assistance by anyone other than trained rescue professionals should only provide it if it does not place any person in danger.

  1. Ask for assistance to the nearest exit if possible or to a room near a stairway with a window and a phone, if not available in your current location.
  2. Note the room number of the location where you are. Ask someone leaving the building to notify emergency personnel of your location and further assistance will be provided.
  3. If a phone is available call 2222. State your location to the dispatcher. A University Police Dispatcher will verify your location and dispatch emergency personnel to your location.

These procedures should be routinely followed during drills as well as actual emergencies.