A potential increase in funding to aid college students with disabilities

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ALBANY, NY (WENY) — Some New York lawmakers are advocating to add $13 million dollars to the state budget for enhancing college disability services.

Assembly Member Angelo Santabarbara (D-Assembly District 111) said an increase in funding is crucial for the success of college students with disabilities.

“Kids with disabilities, students with disabilities, whether it’s education or workforce, they deserve every opportunity to participate and thrive,” Santabarbara said.

The state currently provides $2 million for colleges to aid disability services. Some lawmakers said this is not enough.

A report released Thursday, by state lawmakers found the state is lacking in their efforts to provide funding that would help the 86,000 college students with disabilities.

Some lawmakers are calling for a total of $15 million a year to pay for special teachers, training, equipment, and accommodations. Senator Andrew Gounardes (D-26th Senate District) said these services are basic and essential for students success.

“By not doing these basic things we are telling these students that we don’t think that they should be trained or that they should be educated to enter the workforce and be productive members of our society, and frankly that’s wrong,” he said.

Senator Gounardes said higher education conversations have just started to pick up in budget negotiations and this increase in funding is on the table.


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