It was disheartening to read a disparaging article on the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities, abbreviated as CSD, ultimately based on the feedback of two individuals in last week’s issue of the Washington Square News. The center provides valuable services to almost 3,000 registered NYU students and offers assistance to many more who choose not to register but experience specific needs during their time here.
Most of the items discussed in last week’s column lack an understanding of what the industry standards are in the field. The services we provide are not only governed by law, but are also essential to providing equal access for all students with disabilities. CSD follows best practices within the field of disability services in higher education, and anyone would be hard-pressed to find an institution that allows any student — with or without a disability — to enter an unsupervised testing environment with books, backpacks, phones or notes. The cameras are standard in this field and [are] intended to maintain academic integrity and student safety. Student confidentiality is never compromised. It is also important to note that WSN made errors in their reporting in the news article and had to publish a correction; CSD does not request that students remove their shoes upon entering the testing facility.
Regarding the charge that NYU should have compensated a student for requiring daily car service due to injury, it would prove very challenging to find another institution that provides such reimbursements. CSD does offer students a $75 reimbursement for travel to and from NYU classes/activities, and this is supplemented by NYU’s accessible shuttle services. CSD always encourages and accepts student feedback and appeals, but we also want to ensure facts are appropriately presented. Rather than highlight some of our accomplishments — including winning National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations’ Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education award for our work with students on the autism spectrum — WSN chose only to publicly criticize our offices operations. The Moses Center can only hope these opinions do not discourage other students with disabilities from accessing services vital to their success.
Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 2 print edition. Email the Editorial Board at [email protected]