Office of Special Services
A STUDENT WITH A DISABILITY
“A student whose educational performance is affected by mobility, visual, acoustical, mental health, speech, orthopedic, or alcohol/substance abuse impairment(s), learning disability, traumatic brain injury, or other health impairment.” Source: Johanna Duncan-Poitier Deputy Commissioner, (2005) ORIS New York Education Department Office of Higher Education.,
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is civil rights legislation that affects some 43,000,000 Americans with disabilities. The purpose of this act is to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The act complements but does not replace Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. (See Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, As Amended.) As with Section 504, the ADA is a nondiscrimination statute, not an affirmative action statute. It seeks to dispel stereotypes and assumptions about disabilities; ensure equal opportunity; and encourage full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for persons with disabilities.
Provisions of the ADA
Title I. Title I covers nondiscrimination in employment activities.
Title II of the ADA is divided into two subparts. Subpart A requires that state and local government entities and programs be made accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. Subpart B covers transportation and requires that public transportation systems be made fully accessible to persons with disabilities.
Title III covers the accessibility and availability of programs, goods, and services provided to the public by private entities.
Title IV requires that telecommunication services be made accessible to persons with hearing and speech impairments and has specific reference to the development of telecommunications relay systems and closed-captioning technology.
Title V contains miscellaneous provisions.
Student Rights and Queens College Rules
Equal Opportunity Policy
It is the policy of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York and of Queens College to provide all disabled students equal educational and social opportunities at the college. Queens College provides and fosters a learning environment in which students are able to realize their full potential as productive members of the college community and society. To this end, it is the college’s policy that its educational programs will be administered without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, alienage or citizenship, disability or veteran status, or other factors irrelevant to productive participation in the programs of the college. Further, in keeping with local, state, and federal mandates and recognizing the many benefits that accrue from a community of diverse experience and cultural heritage, the college pledges to act affirmatively in providing educational opportunities for qualified women, racial and ethnic minorities, Vietnam-era veterans, and individuals with disabilities. All Queens College employees—administrators, members of the faculty, and staffare expected to cooperate fully in meeting these legal and ethical mandates of the disabled student population.
Section 504 Regulations
Section 504 states that “no qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall be excluded from, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under” any program or activity that either receives Federal financial assistance or is conducted by any Executive agency or the United States Postal Service.
Each Federal agency has its own set of Section 504 regulations that apply to its own programs. Agencies that provide Federal financial assistance also have Section 504 regulations covering entities that receive Federal aid. Requirements common to these regulations include reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities; program accessibility; effective communication with people who have hearing or vision disabilities; and accessible new construction and alterations. Each agency is responsible for enforcing its own regulations. Section 504 may also be enforced through private lawsuits. It is not necessary to file a complaint with a Federal agency or to receive a “right-to-sue” letter before going to court.
For information on how to file 504 complaints with the appropriate agency, contact:
U.S. Department of Justice
Rights of Access
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York Student Records Access Policy of April 1979 states that Queens College students have “the right to inspect and review any and all official records, files, and data directly related” to them. Queens College ensures the privacy act and confidentiality of student records, denying access by others without written consent of the student except under limited and specified circumstances. This right is exclusive to any present or former student, however not to the admission candidates.
Due to confidentiality issues, a student wishing to review his or her educational records should make the request to the Student Records Access Officer of the Registrar’s Office. Requests made to the Student Records Access Officer in the Office of the Registrar must be made by completing a request form. Requests for records in other locations may be oral or written. Requests will be granted or denied within fifteen days of receipt of the request. However, a request pertaining to records in the custody of a teacher or counselor should be made directly to that teacher or counselor.
If the review of records is granted, notification will go out to the student of set time and place for the record to be reviewed. If the student is denied or does not hear a response within fifteen days, the student has the right to appeal. If a request is denied, additional information pertaining to the appeal procedure will be provided to the student.
If a student believes there is inaccurate or misleading information in his or her record, the student may request an amendment of the education records. In this case, the student should write to the college official who is responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record that is in question, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the college decides not to amend the record, the student will be notified of the decision and advised of his or her right to a hearing. When the student is notified, additional information will be provided regarding the hearing procedures.
Directory information (name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, class, year or date of expected graduation, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, height and weight of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended by the student) may be released to persons having a legitimate interest in this information.
A student may fill out a form in the Office of the Registrar requesting that any or all of the information in his or her school record may not be released without the student’s prior written consent. A student’s education records, other than the directory information stated above, shall be released without the student’s consent only to university officialsincluding trustees, college officials, faculty, and staffwith a legitimate educational interest. Upon request, the college may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Queens College’s policies and procedures are the means by which policies of the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York are implemented. The complete texts of the revised Board of Higher Education policy as adopted April 23, 1979, and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, are available for review in the Office of the Registrar.
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