Office of Children and Family Services

Help Pages: Accessibility

Notice of Reasonable Accommodation

Notice Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

In accordance with the requirements of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), OCFS will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs, or activities.

Employment

OCFS does not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices and complies with all regulations promulgated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under title I of the ADA.

Effective Communication

OCFS will generally, upon request, provide appropriate aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in OCFS programs, services, and activities, including qualified sign language interpreters, documents in Braille, and other ways of making information and communications accessible to people who have speech, hearing, or vision impairments.

Modifications to Policies and Procedures

OCFS will make all reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy its programs, services, and activities. For example, individuals with service animals are welcomed in OCFS offices, even where pets are generally prohibited.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication, or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a program, service, or activity of OCFS, should contact ADA Coordinator Donna Fesel in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Development as soon as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event.

The ADA does not require OCFS to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or services, or impose an undue financial or administrative burden.

OCFS will not place a surcharge on a particular individual with a disability or any group of individuals with disabilities to cover the cost of providing auxiliary aids/services or reasonable modifications of policy, such as retrieving items from locations that are open to the public but are not accessible to persons who use wheelchairs.

Complaints that a program, service, or activity of OCFS is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to ADA Coordinator Donna Fesel.

Contact Information:

Donna Fesel, ADA Coordinator
The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Development
52 Washington Street, Room 237N
Rensselaer, NY 12144
Phone: 518-474-3715
Email: eodd@ocfs.ny.gov

Grievance Procedure under the Americans with Disabilities Act

This grievance procedure is established to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). It may be used by anyone who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of services, activities, programs, or benefits by OCFS. Employment -related complaints of disability discrimination are covered, elsewhere, in OCFS’s Non Discrimination Policy available from the Bureau of Human Resources of OCFS.

The complaint should be in writing and contain information about the alleged discrimination such as name, address, phone number of complainant and location, date, and description of the problem. Alternative means of filing complaints, such as personal interviews or a tape recording of the complaint, will be made available for persons with disabilities upon request.

The complaint should be submitted by the grievant and/or his/her designee as soon as possible but no later than 60 calendar days after the alleged violation to:

Donna Fesel, ADA Coordinator
The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Development
52 Washington Street, Room 237N
Rensselaer, NY 12144
Phone: 518-474-3715
Email: eodd@ocfs.ny.gov

Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the complaint, the ADA coordinator or her designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and the possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days of the meeting, the ADA coordinator or her designee will respond in writing, and where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant, such as large print, Braille, or audio tape. The response will explain OCFS’s position and offer options for substantive resolution of the complaint.

If the response by the ADA coordinator or her designee does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the complainant and/or his/her designee may appeal the decision within 15 calendar days after receipt of the response to the OCFS deputy commissioner or her designee.

Within 15 calendar days after receipt of the appeal, the OCFS deputy commissioner or her designee will meet with the complainant to discuss the complaint and possible resolutions. Within 15 calendar days after the meeting, the OCFS deputy commissioner or her designee will respond in writing, and, where appropriate, in a format accessible to the complainant, with a final resolution of the complaint.

All written complaints received by the ADA coordinator or her designee, appeals to the OCFS deputy commissioner or her designee, and responses from these two offices will be retained by OCFS for at least three years.

Accessibility Policies and Forms

OCFS Policy 2154.00 - Reasonable Accommodation of a Disability

OCFS-2154a - Application to Request a Reasonable Accommodation of a Disablility

OCFS-4486 - Employee/Applicant Complaint Form

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