Disabilities Task Force
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Recommendations to New York State for strategies to increase access
8. Funding and Financial Mechanisms to Enhance the Educational Opportunity for Students with Disabilities
As increasing numbers of students with disabilities try to go on to postsecondary education, the question of both individual and institutional readiness becomes very real. Many New York colleges and universities are unprepared to provide this new wave of students with the tools or services they need to thrive. In some instances those tools or services might include assistive or adaptive technology; in others, perhaps, it is a notetaker or sign language interpreter.
In order to accelerate the pace at which colleges and universities meet the needs of students with disabilities, some new investment is required. In the absence of comprehensive state funding to help institutions meet the legitimate needs of students with disabilities, some colleges and universities have reallocated core financial support to such programs and services; others have made special efforts to raise donations from alumni and foundations. All too frequently, however, such funding has been inadequate.
At the same time, students with disabilities and their families frequently face higher costs directly related to education. The bottom line is that students with disabilities frequently face serious fiscal barriers to succeeding in a postsecondary education setting, in addition to the other challenges they tackle on a day-to-day basis.