Twenty-five years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, most New York City elementary schools are not fully accessible to children with physical disabilities, according to an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
In a Dec. 21 letter, Justice officials said 83 percent of public schools have such problems as inaccessible entrances, playgrounds that lack handrails or have steep ramps, or bathrooms that can only be reached by stairs. Six of the 32 elementary districts in the system don’t have a single school that is fully accessible, impacting some 50,000 children.
The problem is not limited to older schools. In one school, an elevator installed in 2000 did not meet federal standards for accessibility.
In a statement to The New York Times, a district spokesman said officials are reviewing the letter.
A version of this article appeared in the January 06, 2016 edition of Education Week as N.Y.C. Elementary Schools Fail ADA Requirements