ACCESS is the result of a unique partnership between Onondaga Community Living and University College of Syracuse University. It allows students with severe disabilities to participate in auditing classes as a nonmatriculated student, and helps them navigate the college process.
Seven students at a time are enrolled in the program. It begins with students developing their own educational plan and registering for classes. Each student is paired with a campus mentor who assists them as needed – securing adaptations, taking notes, making presentations, completing assignments, and studying. Students are also paired with SU interns who help them adapt socially to college life. The whole effort is arranged by the Director of Inclusive Education, Bud Buckhout, whose expertise is in inclusive educational services. He works directly with professors, administrators, and departments at SU to create a truly inclusive educational experience for each student. The ACCESS office is located within the Financial Aid Office at University College.
ACCESS students must qualify for funding under Medicaid and have a personal commitment to doing the work required to continue their education. The goal of ACCESS is to empower and support each student as they pursue their personal goals related to college study, making them a valued member of the college campus.
Applying for ACCESS
Students with disabilities who are interested in participating in the program can find the application online at www.oclinc.org/college/application.prn.pdf.
Those interested in being campus mentors for ACCESS students, click here for an application. You can find the job description at www.oclinc.org/agency_updates/campus_mentor2.htm.
700 University Avenue
Syracuse, New York 13244
Onondaga Community Living
518 James Street, Suite 110
Syracuse, NY 13203