History and Growth of the SAS

Student Accessibility Services (then the Resource Office on Disabilities; the Resource Office became known as Student Accessibility Services in fall 2019) was established in 1982 in response to the growing population of students with disabilities enrolled in Yale College and the Graduate and Professional Schools at the University. A part time Director was appointed and in 1983-84, twenty-four (24) students with disabilities received services.

The number of students with disabilities with approved accommodations with the Resource Office increased to over 720 by the end of the 2015 summer term. The increase of students with approved accommodations is indicative of disability-related public laws, regulations and services implemented in the last three decades. Today, most students with disabilities entering the University are aware of the services and accommodations they need to succeed in a post secondary environment either through Special Education and/or advocacy efforts.

SAS is composed of a full time Director, a full time Associate Director and Senior Administrative Assistant, supported by an Advisory Committee appointed by the Office of the Provost. The Advisory Committee on Resources for Students and Employees with Disabilities contributes expert knowledge resources to University concerns related to disability. This includes issues of physical access, services, awareness education and publicity, technology, and public information.

SAS is part of the Secretary’s Office and serves all students in the University to include Yale College the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and all Professional Schools. It coordinates its efforts with the Provost Office, Deans, Registrars, and Admission Directors of Yale College and the University’s Graduate and Professional Schools. SAS also works most commonly with University Parking and Transit, Library Services, ITS and Media Services, the Writing Centers of Yale College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Physical Plant, Custodial Services, Health Services, Graduate Housing, Campus Security, and the Commencement Office.

Today, the priority of SAS is to coordinate and provide quality services to students with disabilities. The Office has evolved as an education and information resource center on general and specific disability issues for the University. Awareness of and learning about disability issues, general and specific, is an ongoing process. SAS is a vehicle to keep disability awareness and accommodations in the forefront of all University affiliates.