FAQ for Parents
What is my role as a parent who has a college student with a disability?
It is imperative that parents remain supportive of the student throughout the college process. This is a time for students to grow and develop their identities, and they will need a strong support system. This is not the time to abruptly stop the help you gave them in senior year. Many students will still need reminders about deadlines. We often tell our students, who struggle with organizational skills, to give their parents access to their Solar Account. There are strict deadlines for withdrawals and other course options. Please explore Stony Brook’s Website and the Academic Advising Website with your students so they will know where to find the information they need. Many professors use BlackBoard to post the course syllabus and they often use this program as a supplement to classroom instruction. Some students may benefit from their parents having access to this account as well.
In high school, teachers kept me informed of how my son or daughter was doing. Will a professor contact me if they are having difficulty in class? Professors will not contact parents. As adults, students are accountable for their coursework and grades. Students are expected to communicate with faculty directly regarding their academic progress. Communication is very important. Initially, you may need to help them formulate what they need to convey. Remind your student to email their professor if they have a disability related absence or if they have any questions about course expectations. If your student is hospitalized, please call the Dean of Students Office (631-632-7320). They will want verification and they will then email all of your student’s professors.
Can I speak with a staff member about my son or daughter’s schedule so that I can help them plan for the semester?
Stony Brook has Academic Advisors that are skilled with providing students with guidance regarding the appropriate coursework they must take. Parents should speak with their student about their coursework and potential issues to prepare for meetings with Academic Advisors. Discuss disability related issues, and how they may affect school logistics. For example, if a student needs extra time for exams, than there needs to be extra time between classes. Students need to consider the time it takes them to maneuver on campus. All students are expected to be on time for classes. It is also important to have your student think about the coursework they can reasonably handle while they are adjusting to a new environment.
As a parent of a student with a disability, what information is the Disabilities Office authorized to release to me?
Students have a legal right to control access to their information. DSS counselors encourage parent and student meetings but they cannot discuss student’s information without a student’s written permission. If a student wants to grant this permission they must write a permission letter and sign it in the presence of a DSS Counselor each semester.
Do you have a tutoring program for students with disabilities?
DSS does not have a tutoring program. However, there are many tutoring resources on campus. Please check out these websites for more information
Do you provide training in Assistive technology?
Yes, students can make an appointment with the DSS technology specialist who can provide one-on-one training to students who are registered with our office.
Does Stony Brook provide my son or daughter with Financial Assistance for purchasing software or hardware equipment that is needed for his/her study?
No. However, students are strongly encouraged to register and meet with a ACCES-VR (Adult Career and Continuing Education Services – Vocational Rehabilitation or CBVH (Commissions for the Blind and Visually Impaired) counselor to see if they may qualify for financial assistance to purchase any necessary equipment.