Learning about your rights as a person with disabilities empowers you to advocate for yourself, which is often a challenge. Connecting with others who’ve encountered similar issues helps. These connections can help answer your questions, work on projects and, ultimately, build a stronger and more vocal community of people with disabilities that advocates for key issues around the city.
Connecting to the resources and community groups below will help.
Students with disabilities In NYC, all schools serve students with disabilities. If you’re a student who requires education services, you’ll have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Your IEP has information about your strengths and needs, and lays out a specific education program for you. IEP students participate in the same admissions processes as other students.
If you have an IEP, you may be able to request transportation to and from school. You’ll need documents from your doctor to qualify. To learn more about the service, contact the Office of Pupil Transportation.
School building accessibility The Department of Education (DOE) is committed to ensuring that buildings and programs are accessible to students and their families. While many buildings are fully accessible, some older buildings are partially or non-accessible. The Building Accessibility page has updated information on school buildings. If you have questions, email the accessibility team at the DOE.
Inclusive classroom programs
The DOE’s District 75 program offers inclusive classrooms at more than 350 sites across the city. These programs provide dedicated educational and behavioral support if you’re a student with disabilities. All programs align with IEPs.
Since colleges generally don’t have IEPs, students with disabilities should seek out their college or university’s disability office. If you’re a CUNY student with disabilities, lots of resources are available.
Services at CUNY Each CUNY campus has an Office of Disability Services that helps students with disabilities find reasonable accommodation and support services. They also provide counseling and referrals, and can help you find note takers, readers, technology services, sign language interpreters, and alternative testing arrangements.
The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities’ NYC: ATWORK creates career pathways for people with disabilities. Through this initiative, you can be connected to jobs across New York City, grow your professional network with employers across sectors, and access other career services. To learn more, visit the initiative’s website or call 311 and ask for “NYC:ATWORK.”
Adult Career & Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehab (Acces-VR) Don’t be fooled by the name! Acces-VR helps youth 14 and older with disabilities find and keep jobs. It also promotes independent living and provides training, education, rehabilitation, and career development.
Acces-VR helps ensure that all youth with disabilities are prepared for work and life after school. To learn more about the full range of services available and to apply, visit the Youth Services website.
Work for the City of New York If you have a certified physical or mental disability and are qualified to perform specific job requirements, you may qualify for the City’s 55-a employment program. For more information, call 212-386-0257.
Services for blind youth VISIONS offers many programs to help blind young people gain employment experience and develop a career path based on interests and education.
Transition from high school
INCLUDEnyc’s Project Possibilities provides direct support for young adults with disabilities 16 and older. One-on-one assistance can help you transition from high school into job training programs, college, and high school equivalency exam prep programs.
Becoming an active member of a community is a great way to gain support, establish a sense of belonging, and make new friends. Lots of community resources are available for young people with disabilities around the city.
Independent Living Centers (ILCs) ILCs provide core services that promote personal growth and empowerment. You’ll find peer counseling, housing assistance, disability awareness training, and workshops on obtaining benefits and registering to vote at ILCs in all five boroughs.
NYC is home to some of the world’s greatest culture, recreation, and entertainment opportunities. As one of the most accessible cities, it’s also open to everyone. Check out accessibility information for your favorite cultural and recreational hubs below.