8.9.18 – The recent refusal and later, accommodation, received by an incoming freshman student, with a disability, at SUNY Purchase highlights the issue on campus of accessibility and ADA access.
Read more about the class action lawsuit against the State University of New York at Purchase College, located in Westchester County, alleging that it violates federal and state disability law by not providing students and visitors with mobility disabilities equal access to its educational and cultural programs.
The lawsuit was brought by the Westchester Independent Living Center (WILC), a nonprofit advocacy center that works on behalf of people with disabilities, and two individuals with mobility disabilities who have encountered the access barriers first-hand.
Kayle Hill, a currently enrolled student, explained, “It is difficult to get around for students like me who have a disability. Instead of being able to just focus on being a student, I always have to think about how to get to class and other activities on time in spite of obstacles like steep hills, broken elevators, and confrontations with staff about my accessible parking pass.”
WILC Community Advocate and wheelchair user Michael Hellmann said, “Members of our community want to go to SUNY Purchase to see performances, art exhibitions, or to audit classes. Unfortunately, the college has failed to consider our safety and convenience and we then have to think twice about whether attending an event or class at SUNY Purchase is worth the extra struggle.
Westchester Independent Living Center, et al. v. SUNY Purchase, et al.