New York City is disputing federal government findings that the vast majority of its public elementary schools are not “fully accessible” to children with disabilities.
The New York Times reports that city officials, responding to a two-year investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York, reject the conclusions of the investigation.
The prosecutor's report, which was issued in December, “inaccurately characterizes the number and geographic distribution of accessible schools, and erroneously concludes that the D.O.E. is not providing program access to students with disabilities,” the city states in a letter. “We believe the...elementary schools, when viewed in their entirety, provide full program accessibility for all elementary students.”
The U.S. Attorney's investigation concluded that New York City school officials have routinely ignored the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The office asked the city's education department to take immediate steps to address its lack of compliance with the ADA.
The city offered to work with federal officials to develop “a reasonable and feasible plan” for addressing concerns raised in the investigation.