The University Faculty Senate Committee on Disabilities Issues
The City University of New York

Enabling Access to Excellence

About the Committee

The CUNY University Faculty Senate (UFS) Disabilities Issues Committee was established at the beginning of Academic Year 2000 - 2001.  Its accomplishments and activities have included the following:

Resolution to Assure True Faculty Representation on Campus ADA Committees
Resolution supported and presented by the Executive Committee on behalf of the Disabilities Issues Committee; unanimously approved at the UFS Plenary of January 30, 2001.

Resolved that the University Faculty Senate requests that the Chancellery direct each college to have the faculty members on its 504 Americans with Disabilities Act Committee selected by the campus faculty governance body, or its equivalent.

Meeting With the CUNY Dean for Faculty and Staff Relations, and With the CUNY Coordinator of University Compliance and Diversity Programs (February 27, 2001)
Discussed areas of committee members' concern; solicited suggestions, strategies, and support.

Access to Excellence: The Disability Challenge     (May 18, 2001)
Full-day conference for CUNY webmasters, IT directors, librarians and faculty to introduce a variety of accessibility issues related to educational technology for people with disabilities, highlight the importance of addressing them together, and offer some strategies and options.  The program was co-sponsored by the UFS and the CUNY Office of Computing and Information Services (CUNY/CIS), 
with the strong support and participation of Vice Chancellor Sherry Brabham. 

Established the first web site for this committee in Spring 2001 at as the site for this conference; site also included technology resources.  See conference site at its current location  for agenda, resources, and much more.

Joint Meeting With the UFS Information Literacy and Technology Committee (December 11, 2001)
Discussed overlapping issues and concerns, and strategies for the future.

Workshop for the CUNY On-Line Faculty Council  (March 8, 2002)
Half-day workshop for the CUNY campus and central office members of the CUNY On-Line Faculty Council. Workshop included an introduction to the issues, followed by individual supported lab work in the Baruch College Computer Center for Visually Impaired People (CCVIP) to explore web pages using screen reader and screen magnification software.  Karen Gourgey, Pratik Patel, Lynnette Tatum, Syd Lefkoe, CCVIP tutors and other staff.

Resolution on Reasonable Accomodations for Faculty and Staff with Disabilities
Resolution supported and presented by the Executive Committee on behalf of the Disabilities Issues Committee; unanimously approved at the UFS Plenary of May 14, 2002.  Full text of the resolution is on this site at .

Concurrent Session / Workshop at the new CUNY IT Conference (November 15, 2002)
The committee presented the following forty-five minute concurrent session at this CUNY-wide instructional and information technology conference.

Ramping the "Digital Divide": Accessible IT for People with Disabilities -

Information technology creates extraordinary opportunity to promote people with disabilities' full participation in all aspects of CUNY life. However, IT also has the unprecedented potential to create a "digital divide" that leaves the University's more than 11,000 students, faculty, and staff with disabilities behind.  This workshop will highlight best practices in assistive technology, web access, and universal programmatic design that will help colleges to ensure that their IT is accessible to all members of their campus communities.

Committee's CUNY Technology Access Site, with conference information for this conference and the previous conference, was at this point . 

Conference Materials / Sponsor's Site - link to our site by Converge as part of the record of the conference at (this site is no longer active).  Moved to

Summary of the Development and Publication of the CUNY Access Web Site (current site is
Started at as a site for the May 2001 Technology Access Conference, in cooperation with CUNY/CIS.  Expanded and moved to a more permanent home at for the November 2002 CUNY IT Conference's Ramping the Digital Divide conference session.  Moved in the Fall of 2003 to

Started to develop a standard process to add appropriate disability-related "Whereas.." and "Be it Resolved..." sections to resolutions presented by other committees.
See resolution May 2003 on Technology Literacy.

Joint Meeting With the UFS Information Literacy and Technology Committee (October 18, 2003)
Made plans to collaborate on two major projects.  Established opportunity for permanent link between committees.

UFS Focus Group on Disabilities Issues for the Regents Master Plan (December 16, 2003)
Organized and led Focus Group.  Complete report of that focus group: [HTML Format] [PDF Format]

Web Pages Expanded to Highlight a Wider Variety of Disability-Related Issues at CUNY (Winter 2003-2004)
Expanded further, beyond technology access issues.  Added Focus Group Report, disability studies courses, conferences, campus resources, faculty research grants, and more.

Co-Sponsor of April 22, 2004 Disability Awareness Program at Baruch College / Part of CUNY's April is Disabilities Awareness Month
See the invitation, our handout and event pictures at .

Article In June 2004 Issue of  CUNY Matters, page 8 at
Article about CUNY's April 2004 Disability Awareness Month programs, including program cosponsored by UFS and this committee, with Baruch's CCVIP.  Article highlights this CUNY Access web site.

Testimony Before Joint Meeting of City Council Committees - (October 19, 2004)
Higher Education Committee and  Mental Health, Mental Retardation, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse & Disability Services Committee
[HTML Format] [PDF Format]

Established Permanent Link Between UFS Committee on Disability Issues and (new) UFS Committee on Facilities (October 2004)
A member of our committee will be invited to meetings of the Facilities Committee.

Meeting with CUNY's Vice Chancellor Emma Macari (Facilities, Design and Construction) about best ways to include access surveys in their cross-campus facilites survey process (June 2005). Our committee, UFS leadership, and representatives of related UFS committees had a productive meting with Vice Chancellor Macari.

The Committee / 2005-2006
Don Davidson (LaGuardia)
Syd Lefkoe (Queens)
Esther Wilder (Lehman)
Roberta Adelman (Brooklyn)
Orlanda Brugnola (John Jay)
Karen Gourgey (Baruch)
Tamara Green (Hunter)
Patricia Kolb (Lehman)
Jane Matthews (Hunter)
Jhony Nelson (LaGuardia)
Arnold Perlmutter (Kingsborough)
Raul Romero (John Jay)
Christopher Rosa (CUNY Student Services)
Liliana Soto-Fernandez (John Jay)
UFS Executive Committee Liaison: Karen Kaplowitz (John Jay)

Bobby WorldWide Approved AAA

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