Westchester Independent Living Center, et al. v. SUNY Purchase, et al.
In July 2016, DRA filed this class action lawsuit against the State University of New York at Purchase College, located in Westchester County, alleging that it violates federal and state disability law by not providing students and visitors with mobility disabilities equal access to its educational and cultural programs.
Specifically, the suit says that those who use wheelchairs or have mobility disabilities encounter widespread physical access barriers along the campus’ paths of travel that can prevent students and visitors from getting to classes and cultural attractions. For example, SUNY Purchase does not provide adequate ways—like functioning elevators—to navigate up the stairs and hills that lead to the most important part of the campus. Other hazards and hurdles include uneven and crumbling pavement, missing curb cuts, dangerously steep slopes, and woefully insufficient signage to routes intended for people with disabilities.
The lawsuit is brought by the Westchester Independent Living Center (WILC), a nonprofit advocacy center that works on behalf of people with disabilities, and two individuals with mobility disabilities who have encountered the access barriers first-hand.
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and seeks remediation of all campus physical access barriers.
On September 14, 2021, Judge Cathy Seibel of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York preliminarily approved a class settlement with the State University of New York, Purchase College regarding the accessibility of the pedestrian paths of travel on the SUNY Purchase campus for students and visitors with mobility disabilities.
- July 26, 2016: SUNY Purchase College Ignores the Needs of Wheelchair Users