Access and Equal Education Opportunity for Students

Our mission is to provide access and equal educational opportunity for students with disabilities, enabling them to succeed academically, socially and professionally.

Once students have self-identified, applied for services, and provided documentation of their disability, our staff works to determine eligibility for reasonable accommodations. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), both the student and the College must carry out these responsibilities in a timely manner. The Office of Disability Services also acts as a liaison between the student and faculty and staff.

The Office of Disability Services is an official New York State Voter Registration site. Individuals who visit our office are given the opportunity to register as New York State voters. Assistance is available to complete the registration.

A grievance relating to either reasonable accommodations or a BCC program, service, or activity that is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be filed with the Office of Affirmative Action, Compliance and Diversity, Bronx Community College/CUNY, 2155 University Avenue, Bronx, New York 10453. Phone: 718-289-5100, Ext. 3494

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action College with the City University of New York (CUNY) that encourages campus diversity.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Apply for Services?

To apply for services, visit the Office of Disability Services in Loew Hall [LO], Room 211, at least four weeks before classes begin.

  1. You will be given the opportunity to register as a New York State voter.
  2. You will be given an application to register with the Office of Disability Services. There are two parts. One is an Intake Form for you to complete, and the other is a Medical Documentation Form to be completed by your medical provider, which will document your disability.
  3. When you have the Medical Documentation Form and the Intake Form completed, please call the Office of Disability Services to make an appointment 718-289-5874. Bring a copy of your class registration and your BCC Student Photo ID.
  4. You will meet with the department manager and/or our accommodation specialist to discuss your application and determine accommodations. You will be asked to sign an agreement.
  5. We will make a Photo ID for you with your accommodations on the back of the ID. It is your responsibility to keep this ID with you and to show it to your professors.
  6. At any time, visit us to talk about your classes, professors, or anything that may be on your mind as you engage in student life.

Note about Confidentiality: We maintain disability records in a confidential manner as defined by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The original Medical Documentation Form you provide to us is RETURNED to you after the intake. We do not identify you to anyone on campus as being registered with this office unless we have your written consent. There is one exception to this: If there is a direct threat to the safety of you or another individual, we are legally obligated to release information to appropriate professionals without consent.

How to Determine Eligibility?

Documentation:

According to CUNY Documentation Guidelines (see www.cuny.edu), “Students diagnosed with a disability who request services or accommodations are required to provide appropriate and current documentation. Prior documentation such as an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or a history of receiving accommodations from a former school does not necessarily validate the need for services or continuation of accommodations at the university level. This history can, however, be attached to the current documentation as part of a comprehensive assessment battery.”

Evaluating a Disability:

The evaluation for a learning disability should be conducted by an evaluator with comprehensive training with adults with learning disabilities. The evaluation for a psychological disorder should be provided by a professional who is qualified and has appropriate training in diagnosing psychological and psychiatric disorders.

Guidelines for Evaluations:

The following guidelines apply for all disability types recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act: The evaluator must be qualified. The evaluation must be current, it must be signed and dated by the evaluator, and it must include recommendations for accommodations. All evaluations must include a detailed history of the functional impact.

Determining a Student’s Eligibility for Services:

After a thorough review of documentation, eligibility will be determined by the Office of Disability Services and accommodations will be provided.

Disabilities – This Is Just a Small Sample:

  • Learning Disabilities: Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dysphasia, Dyscalculia.
  • Psychiatric Disorders: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Schizophrenia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • Medical Conditions: Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, HIV, Spinal Injury, Lupus, Seizure Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
  • Low Vision, Blind.
  • Hard-of-hearing, Deaf.
  • Other students may be in recovery from addiction or have conditions that present temporary limitations.

Resolving Conflict

We are committed to working collaboratively with students and the campus community to provide access to all students registered with the Office of Disability Services.

Every effort is made to ensure that students with disabilities are provided with appropriate accommodations, which are determined on a case-by-case basis.

In the event that a student is unhappy with the Office of Disability Services, s/he should:

  • Arrange an appointment with the Manager of Disability Services to discuss the situation
  • If, after that meeting, the issue is still unresolved, the student should then make an appointment with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs
  • If the student and the Dean are unable to come to a resolution, a meeting should be arranged with the Vice President of Student Affairs
  • If the problem still cannot be resolved and the question concerns access and accommodations, then the student should make a formal written request to the Office of Affirmative Action in Language Hall to investigate the issue.
  • In the event that the problem cannot be resolved after all steps have been taken, a formal complaint can be filed with the Office of Civil Rights.

What Services Do You Offer?

All services provided are determined according to individual needs, on a case-by-case basis. The following is a list of services that a BCC student might receive:

  • Extended time for exams.
  • Separate, quiet location to take exams.
  • Use of a calculator for exams.
  • Class notes provided.
  • A reader.
  • A digital recorder or tape recorder.
  • Sign language interpreter.
  • FM system to boost sound.
  • Assistive Technology: Dragon Speech (speech recognition software), JAWS (screen reader), and Kurzweil (text-to-speech and software literacy solutions).
  • General academic and personal counseling.
  • Advocacy.
  • Transition counseling for incoming high school students.
  • Students with temporary conditions, such as pregnancy, may require accommodations.
  • Classes in accessible buildings.

What Kind of Accomodations Do You Offer?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, no otherwise qualified person with a disability shall be denied a benefit or opportunity or be excluded from participation solely on the basis of that disability. The Office of Disability Services at Bronx Community College provides students with disabilities the accommodations necessary for them to access all we have to offer.

The documentation provided by the student must meet the standards outlined in the CUNY Guidelines.

After a thorough review of the documentation by a qualified staff member in the Office of Disability Services, the student and staff member will meet to identify what has worked for the student in the past and what might work now in this particular setting. Together they will identify appropriate, reasonable accommodations.

Once the accommodations are written, a letter from the Office of Disability Services is presented, by the student, to his or her professors. These letters outline the student’s disability status, without stating the nature of the disability, and clearly state the specific accommodations that have been put in place. (For a list of possible accommodations, see the “Services” page of the Office of Disability Services website.)

A copy of the exam accommodation procedures is available to students and faculty in the Office of Disability Services in Loew Hall , Room 211.

How to Resolve a Conflict?

We are committed to working collaboratively with students and the campus community to provide access to all students registered with the Office of Disability Services.

Every effort is made to ensure that students with disabilities are provided with appropriate accommodations, which are determined on a case-by-case basis.

In the event that a student is unhappy with the Office of Disability Services, s/he should:

  • Arrange an appointment with the Manager of Disability Services to discuss the situation.
  • If, after that meeting, the issue is still unresolved, the student should then make an appointment with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.
  • If the student and the Dean are unable to come to a resolution, a meeting should be arranged with the Vice President of Student Affairs.
  • If the problem still cannot be resolved and the question concerns access and accommodations, then the student should make a formal written request to the Office of Affirmative Action in Language Hall to investigate the issue.
  • In the event that the problem cannot be resolved after all steps have been taken, a formal complaint can be filed with the Office of Civil Rights.

Contact

Director of Services for Students with Disabilities

Maria Pantoja
Phone: 718-289-5880

Loew Hall, Room 215

Accommodation Specialist

Poonam Sharma-Velazquez
Phone: 718-289-5100 Ext. 3536

Loew Hall, Room 209

LEADS Advisor

Preston Burger
Phone: 718-289-5100 Ext. 3143

Loew Hall, Room 213

CUNY Office Assistant

Katherine Paez
Phone: 718-289-5874

Loew Hall, Room 211

Office Hours

Mon – Fri: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Evening Hours:
Please contact the office to make an appointment.

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