Enhancing Supports and Services for Students With Disabilities for Postsecondary Success (SWDPS)
What is it?
Enhancing Supports and Services for Students with Disabilities for Postsecondary Success (SWDPS) is a grant program administered by the New York State Education Department (SED) in collaboration with New York’s Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), both public and private. In the 2023-24 NYS budget, the appropriation for SWDPS was $4,000,000.
The purpose of this grant is to help degree-granting colleges and universities in NYS to enhance the supports and services they provide to their enrolled students with disabilities. This grant program does not provide direct aid to students, but rather, it provides funding to eligible colleges and universities so they can expand their existing supports for students with disabilities.
The grant was established in 2021 thanks to a proposal developed in collaboration with the Board of Regents’ Advisory Council on Postsecondary Education for Students with Disabilities and New York’s higher education sectors – the State University of New York (SUNY), the City University of New York (CUNY), the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), and the Association of Proprietary Colleges (APC).
Eligibility and Application Process
How and when should institutions apply for SWDPS grant funding?
SWDPS is an open/non-competitive grant. The fiscal period for this grant is typically September 1 – August 31.
SED will invite institutions to apply each year -– usually in the late spring -- based on the roster of IHEs that have reported having enrolled students with disabilities to NYSED’s Information and Reporting Services (IRS).
Higher Education Data Collection Forms and Instructions
When will the 2023-24 SWDPS Application for Funding be released?
In May 2023, the 2023-24 SWDPS Application for Funding was emailed to presidents and points of contact at SUNY, CUNY, and private/independent, degree-granting institutions that reported having enrolled students with disabilities to NYSED for the 2021-22 academic year.
The 2023-24 Application for Funding is also HERE
The Application for Funding outlines the process for applying to participate in the SWDPS grant program and the mechanism NYSED will use to calculate and distribute grant awards.
Please note these important dates related to the 2023-24 funding opportunity:
6/14/2023 – MANDATORY Notice of Intent to Apply email is due to NYSED. (This NOI is required to remain eligible for funding. See Application for details.)
6/23/2023 – NYSED will send tentative award amounts to institutions that submitted a Notice of Intent to Apply.
7/14/2023 – Application for Funding is due to NYSED, along with a draft/unsigned FS-10 proposed budget for the tentative award amount, and if applicable, a completed M/WBE Packet (only needed for tentative awards of $25,000 or more). The FS-10 can be found on the NYSED Grants Finance Forms Page.
9/1/2023 – Project period begins.
8/31/2024 – Project period ends.
How much can colleges expect to receive in SWDPS grant funding in 2023-24?
IHEs can estimate their tentative award amount by multiplying their 2021-22 SWD enrollment numbers (as submitted to NYSED) by $53.
How can SWDPS grant funding be used?
SWDPS funds must be used for one or more of these four purposes:
- To supplement existing supports and accommodations of Students With Disabilities (SWDs) in order to expand such supports and services provided at SUNY, CUNY and other degree-granting Private and Independent IHEs;
- To support college prep programs to assist incoming SWDs in transitioning to college and prepare them to navigate the campus facilities and systems;
- To provide full- and part-time faculty and staff at SUNY, CUNY and other Private and Independent degree granting IHEs with disability training; and/or
- To improve the identification process of SWDs and enhance data collection capabilities at SUNY, CUNY and other Private and Independent degree granting IHEs.
More Info and FAQs
How have students and institutions benefitted from this grant?
A few anecdotes from IHEs who received SWDPS grant funding in 2021-22 are below:
“Our Circle is a group designed for students who may struggle with socialization and making friends, due to a disability or other factors. During Our Circle, students can get together to play board games, enjoy snacks, and converse. …Our hope is that students in the group get to know each other and become friends inside and outside of the classroom. The ultimate goal of Our Circle is to provide socialization and a sense of belonging to students.”
“When students who have an accommodation [request] to have a test read to them…[the director of Accessibility Services] personally reads each exam to the student and record[s] their responses. This is very time consuming and does not allow the student the independence that other students enjoy. With access to technology… the students with disabilities can be more independent while having their accommodation needs met by utilizing text-to-speech or speech-to-text functions…. The goal in seeking this funding is to provide technology for students with disabilities that will not only ensure equal access, but will also provide them with an improved sense of independence and autonomy.”
“With the ability to purchase additional assistive technology, the Disability Resources Office was a subject at the latest board of trustee meeting, which sparked more disability awareness and support for services.”
“One of our students shared that with the smart pen, she was more independent and did not need to rely on a peer note-taker.”
“Our travel has been frozen on campus for a few years. The opportunity for staff to gain valuable professional development has been instrumental in staving off staff burnout. They returned from the professional development experiences renewed and excited about their prospects in this field.”
“It is wonderful to see the smiles on the students’ faces when you show them the [assistive technology] device. Their ability to understand the information during a meeting or social event is most important for success, interaction, and belonging.”
How can I learn more?
The team in the Office of Postsecondary Access, Support, and Success will be happy to reply to any questions. Email our SWDPS team at email@example.com.
New York State Education Department
Office of Postsecondary Access, Support, and Success
Enhancing Supports and Services for Students With Disabilities for Postsecondary Success
89 Washington Avenue, EBA 960
Albany, New York 12234