Building Accessibility

Overview

The New York City Department of Education (DOE) is committed to ensuring that its programs, services, and activities are accessible to staff, members of the school community, students and family members with disabilities. The DOE assesses all of its buildings across all 32 Community School Districts on an ongoing basis to determine the level of accessibility for individuals with disabilities.

The Office of Accessibility Planning (OAP), within the Office of Space Management, collaborates with other offices within the DOE to facilitate projects that specifically focus on improving the accessibility of DOE buildings.

On this page, the following information can be found:

  • Accessibility of School Buildings;
  • Admissions and Accessibility;
  • Requesting Reasonable Accommodations;
  • Public Meeting Guidelines;
  • Accessibility Trainings; and
  • Submitting a Complaint Regarding Discrimination.

Accessibility of School Buildings

The DOE has a variety of school buildings with varying levels of accessibility. Some school buildings have no barriers to access for persons with mobility disabilities. Other school buildings may have some barriers but allow persons with mobility disabilities to enter and exit the building and enable access to relevant programs and at least one bathroom.

Information concerning accessible school buildings is contained in a department-wide Building Accessibility Profile (BAP) List, which is regularly updated and available to the public. Download the department-wide BAP List. Information provided on this list includes the following:

  • Geographic District;
  • School Name;
  • Grades Served;
  • BAP; and
  • BAP Rating.

Regardless of a building’s BAP rating, schools may still be able to accommodate a student who requires accessibility features. Please contact the school’s principal directly to inquire about potential accommodations. To find a contact at a school, use Find a School. There are school buildings that are not accessible and, therefore, do not have a BAP. Non-accessible buildings are not included on the BAP List. If a school building has some level of accessibility, the building’s BAP can be accessed in the BAP List.

RatingAccessibility Description

10

All educational primary function areas within the building are accessible. The building either has a construction date of 1992 or after, or represents a building where major alterations, additions or remediations have been made to pre-1992 construction to provide full accessibility.

9

All educational primary function areas within the building are accessible, although minor barriers may be present throughout the building where there is pre-1992 construction.

8

At least one elevator provides service to all floors in the building and all public assembly areas in the school are accessible. Access is provided to most classrooms on multiple floors. Additional accessible bathrooms exist on other floors in addition to the ground floor accessible bathroom(s). There may be limited areas within the building that are not accessible due to changes in elevation or other barriers.

7

At least one elevator provides service to all floors in the building, including most classrooms on each floor. Accessible bathrooms exist on at least one other floor in addition to the ground floor accessible bathroom(s). Certain public assembly areas or classrooms may not be accessible due to changes in elevation or other barriers.

6

At least one elevator or lift provides access to several floors other than the ground floor, including the main corridors and most spaces connected to them. Access to additional floors may not necessarily include additional accessible bathrooms or public assembly spaces due to changes in elevation or other barriers.

5

The ground floor is fully accessible (including at least one bathroom and one classroom), and the building includes at least one elevator or lift providing access to an additional floor other than the ground floor. Access to additional floors may not include access to all floors in the building, and they may not include additional accessible bathrooms or classrooms other than on the ground floor.

4

The ground floor is fully accessible, including all public assembly spaces present on the ground floor. At least one accessible bathroom and one accessible general education classroom exist on the ground floor.

3

There is general ground floor access, and at least one accessible bathroom and one accessible classroom exist on the ground floor. Certain classrooms or public assembly spaces on the ground floor may still not be accessible due to changes in elevation.

2

There is general access to most of the ground floor and at least one accessible bathroom on that floor. There are no accessible classrooms on the ground floor.

1

There is general access to at least some of the ground floor through an accessible entrance, although not all spaces contained within the ground floor may be accessible. There are no accessible bathrooms or classrooms.

0+

At least one entrance to the building is accessible, but ground floor access is limited to only a small area within the building.

0

Site has no accessibility.

Admissions and Accessibility

Schools located in buildings with some level of accessibility prioritize applicants with accessibility needs. During the admissions process, parents/guardians are asked to indicate whether their student has accessibility needs. A school’s accessibility status can be determined by searching within the BAP List, or by using the Find a School tool to search for a school and access the school’s profile, which includes accessibility information.

Children living in New York City are eligible to participate in the admissions process for 3-K during the year they turn three, pre-K during the year they turn four, and kindergarten during the year they turn five. Applicants with accessibility needs will receive priority over other students in their admissions priority group. If a child’s 3-K, pre-K, or kindergarten offer does not meet the child’s accessibility needs, the family should contact: ESEnrollment@schools.nyc.gov.

Students participating in the middle and high school choice admissions processes should refer to a school’s profile located through the Find a School page, or search for the school’s name in the BAP List to determine a school’s level of accessibility. Middle and high school applicants with accessibility needs will be prioritized regardless of the zone or district in which they live. If a student receives an offer to a school or program in a building that does not meet the student’s accessibility needs, the Office of Student Enrollment (OSE) can assist the family to find an appropriate placement. In addition, OAP works closely with OSE to ensure that Student Admissions Guidebooks contain updated information regarding schools’ accessibility status.

For more information on admissions priorities and enrollment for students with accessibility needs, please visit Enrollment for Students with Accessibility Needs. For students who are new to New York City public schools, please visit the New Students page for more information about enrolling in schools.

Any questions regarding accessibility and admissions should be directed to accessibleadmissions@schools.nyc.gov or the local Family Welcome Center. All other questions regarding school accessibility should be directed to an OAP Accessibility Coordinator at: accessibility@schools.nyc.gov.

For more information regarding education for students with disabilities, please visit Special Education in NYC and Starting the Process that can better help parents/guardians navigate their child’s school experience. The information provides guidance on applying and enrolling children in school, school building accessibility and accommodations, school transportation, student attendance, and opportunities for family engagement.

Requesting Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations may include structural changes to a school building, or programmatic modifications such as moving a classroom to the first floor, purchasing equipment, or providing a student with an aide.

If a student, parent, or other person who does business with the DOE, uses DOE facilities, or otherwise interacts with the DOE has an accessibility need and requires access to a school building that does not meet those needs, but believes that a reasonable accommodation would allow them to access the building, they may submit a reasonable accommodation request to an OAP Accessibility Coordinator. To do so, they should email a written request, or complete and email the Building Reasonable Accommodation Request Form to accessibility@schools.nyc.gov. To locate a student’s zoned school, use the Find a School tool.

Similarly, if a student with accessibility needs receives an offer to a school that does not meet those needs, but the student’s parent/guardian believes that a reasonable accommodation would allow the student to attend that school, the parent/guardian may submit a reasonable accommodation request by email to an OAP Accessibility Coordinator at: accessibility@schools.nyc.gov.

If an accommodation request is submitted to an OAP Accessibility Coordinator, it will be reviewed, and the requestor will be notified of the status of the request within 15 days. In the event that the request is approved, but the implementation of a student’s accommodation will require an extended timeline (if, for example, the accommodation implicates construction or the purchase of equipment), the student will be given the option to be assigned in the interim to a school near their home that meets their accessibility needs.

If a determination is made that the requested accommodation cannot be implemented at the desired school, the student may receive an updated placement by requesting a medical transfer to a different school through OSE by contacting accessibleadmissions@schools.nyc.gov.

Students with disabilities, including auditory or visual disabilities, are accommodated in accordance with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and/or Section 504 Plans, as applicable. For any questions about having your child evaluated for an IEP, please contact your school’s administration. If your child is not yet enrolled in a DOE program, please contact OSE or your local Committee on Special Education or Preschool Committee on Special Education. For any questions about requesting a 504 Plan for your child, please contact your school’s 504 Coordinator, the Health Director, or DOE Section 504 Program Manager (504Questions@schools.nyc.gov). More information on 504 accommodations is available at https://www.schools.nyc.gov/school-life/health-and-wellness/504-accommodations.

If a parent, family member, or member of the school community requires an accommodation to attend an event (i.e., parent-teacher conference, school performance, graduation), please contact the school’s principal to request an accommodation. If an accommodation cannot be provided at the school level, a reasonable accommodation request may be submitted to an OAP Accessibility Coordinator by completing and emailing the Public Event Accommodation Request Form or by submitting a written request to accessibility@schools.nyc.gov.

DOE employees in need of an accommodation should consult Personnel Memoranda #5 (2021) (Employee Infohub log-in required) for additional information on the application process.

Public Meeting Guidelines

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and New York State public meeting laws protect the right of people with disabilities to participate in public events. Accordingly, DOE meetings open to the public should provide the following:​

  • Reasonable accommodations as needed; and
  • Auxiliary aides and services.

Public event organizers have a responsibility to schedule meetings and events at sites or facilities that are accessible when possible. Organizers should review the following list to find an appropriate site: download the department-wide BAP List.

Accessibility Trainings

OAP conducts accessibility trainings for DOE staff to help build accessibility awareness, such as disability etiquette, best practices, and guidelines to address equitable access to DOE programs.

Trainings include, but are not limited to:

  • Accessible Entrance Guidelines;
  • DOE Public Meeting Location & Notice Guidelines;
  • Accessibility Contingency Plans; and
  • Reasonable Accommodations.

Trainings are available in Large Print or Braille upon request. Training formats are available as in-person workshops, PowerPoint slides, and for some DOE staff as Webinars. In addition, OAP is available to conduct in-person trainings for any DOE school or office. To request an accessibility training, contact OAP at acccessibility@schools.nyc.gov.

Submitting a Complaint Regarding Discrimination

Chancellor’s Regulation A-830 sets forth the procedures for employees, parents of students, students, and others who do business with, use DOE facilities or otherwise interact with the DOE to file complaints of unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based upon such complaints. Visit the Non-Discrimination Policy page to read Chancellor’s Regulation A-830 and access the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Management’s online complaint form.

Disability Service Facilitator

Thomas Taratko
131 Livingston St. Rm. 209
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Voice Phone: (718) 935-3361
Email: accessibility@schools.nyc.gov

Access for Persons with Disabilities Is a Human Right

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