New York Disability Rights

New York disability rights explained:

This article discusses the laws that cover New York disability rights in both public and private areas. 

It is illegal to discriminate against individuals with (actual or perceived) disabilities in all of the following areas:

  • Housing;
  • Private places open to the public;
  • Public places;
  • Hospitals;
  • Workplace employment;
  • Polling and voting;
  • Education and schools;
  • Transportation;
  • and, Public accommodations.

Disability discrimination occurs when an individual, an employer, or a business treats a person with a disability unfavorably or denies them equal access to services, opportunities or benefits due to their disability.

Protective Laws for Individuals With Disabilities:

  • ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act Prohibits Discrimination Based on Disability                          
  • New York State Human Rights Law: Prohibits Discrimination Based on Disability
  • Equal Educational Opportunity: Prohibits Discrimination Based on Disability
  • PAIMI: Protect and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness and to Look Into Abuse/Neglect
  • PADD: Protect and Advocacy for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • PAIR: Protect and Advocacy for Individual Rights of Those Not Eligible Under PADD or PAIMI
  • PAAT: Protection and Advocacy for Assistive Technology Devices and Services
  • PAVA: Protection and Advocacy for Voting Access for Everyone

What must public places and private places open to the public do to avoid discrimination charges?

  • They must provide reasonable accommodations so that people with disabilities have the same access to their services that non-disabled people would have, even if that means they must make modifications to their environment, policies, or procedures;
  • They must have some procedure for communicating with their consumers, whether it's through written notes or providing a language interpreter;
  • They must allow service animals to accompany individuals with disabilities anywhere that a consumer can go;
  • Landlords must reasonably accommodate tenants with disabilities;
  • Employers must reasonably accommodate employees with disabilities;
  • Students are protected against discrimination based on disability in New York schools;
  • and, Voters with disabilities are entitled to an accessible polling station, assistance with voter registration, and assistance casting their ballot.
For more information about your particular disability rights in New York, consult with a knowledgeable attorney.


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