GRAD CENTER: Disability services and info


At the Graduate Center, student disability services are provided by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. The Graduate Center does not have a separate, independent Disability Services Office. Here is a summary of the resources available for students with disabilities at the Graduate Center.

Note: We acknowledge that disability services is not something that should be conflated with health/mental health; as a result, we are working to move this information to the DSC website ( In the meantime, however, we will keep this information here so it is accessible to GC students.

CUNY Graduate Center Student Disability Services

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, qualified persons with disabilities are entitled to appropriate accommodations to achieve non-discriminatory access to programs, services, and activities of the GC. Some examples of covered disabilities are visual and hearing impairments, mobility impairments, impairment of hand function, and such “hidden” disabilities as AIDS/HIV, learning disabilities, ADD and ADHD, heart conditions, chronic fatigue syndrome, and being in recovery from substance abuse.

For details of the kinds of accommodations and assistance available, have a look at the Student Disability Services section on the CUNY Graduate Center (GC) website’s Resources page. You can also contact Director of Student Affairs Sharon Lerner or Associate Director of Student Affairs Elise Perram (212-817-7400 or, confidentially, for more information.

While the GC doesn’t currently have its own disability services office, there is currently a DSC ad hoc committee who will be pushing for one to be created. If you’re interested in participating in this effort and being on this committee, contact Co-Chair for Communications Hamad Sindhi (

Library and Technology services

Here are some examples of adaptive equipment and computer software available at the Graduate Center. Contact Sharon Lerner or Elise Perram to request accommodation and for additional information about facilities and services available to students with disabilities:

  • Computer users have access to screen-character enlargement, text-to-speech, and optical-character-recognition scan-and-read software, a closed-circuit television and voice-recognition software.
  • For students with hearing impairments, the Graduate Center has available a personal FM listening system (for use on an individual basis for classes and meetings). The auditoriums are equipped with infrared equipment to assist those with hearing impairments.

The Mina Rees Library can provide students with disabilities with such services as staff assistance in catalog searches and location of books and journals.

Fire safety at the GC for students with disabilities

Student disability services advise that, “Students with disabilities should register with Security and Public Safety (Room 9117; Telephone:1-212-817-7761) so that provision may be made for their safety should an emergency arise.”

There are fire-safety provisions in place for students with disabilities–and you can find more details here.

Evacuating disabled persons procedure

See CUNY’s procedure for evacuating disabled persons in the event of an emergency at the GC.

CUNY Graduate Center Disability Studies Group

The CUNY Graduate Center Disability Studies Group is a chartered organization of the DSC. It’s a discussion and working group that encourages students and faculty from all departments to share current scholarship, interests, and ideas about the growing interdisciplinary field of Disability Studies.

You can find out more about this organization on their site, and sign up to join via the DSC website.

CUNY-wide Disability Resources & Services

On this site you can find information on CUNY-wide resources and services for students with disabilities, including the following:

farfundlogosmall PROJECT REACH  ( Resources and Education on Autism as CUNY’s Hallmark) is a relatively new university-wide project (started December 2011) that is funded in part by the FAR Fund and coordinated by the Central Office Division of Student Affairs of the City University of New York (CUNY) in association with the Office of the University Dean for Health and Human Services. >>


CUNY LEADS is a partnership project established to facilitate the successful academic and career outcomes for students with disabilities who are enrolled in CUNY programs. >>


catslogo CUNY ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY SERVICES (CATS) is a team of assistive technology specialists that are located at Queensborough Community College. Our goal is to stay on the forefront of assistive technology and provide support for those technologies used by students with disabilities who attend the various CUNY campuses.




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