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F.A.Q.'s (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What is FIT-ABLE?

A: As a public institution, FIT is responsible to provide access to education for all otherwise qualified students with disabilities. An otherwise qualified student with a disability is one who meets the academic and technical qualifications of their major.

The Office of Disability Support Services, FIT-ABLE, provides programs, services, and advocacy to students, faculty, staff, and administration to insure than an FIT student, regardless of disability, is able to become industry ready and self-sufficient.
    
Q: Is there a special admissions program because I'm a person with a disability?

A: FIT does not have an admissions program selectively for students with disabilities. You are entitled to receive an education, meeting the same standards, as all students: those with and without disabilities.
    
Q: What accommodations can be made to help me be a successful college student?

A: The law that protects and assures students a free and appropriate public education in high school is the IDEA, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. At the post-secondary, or college level, a student is protected by different civil rights legislation. Once you have chosen to self-identify having a disability after being admitted to a major of study in college, certain legally-mandated reasonable accommodations are determined by the Coordinator of FIT-ABLE. These reasonable accommodations must be requested or initiated by each student because the Coordinator works with each student individually, case-by-case, and course-by-course. The impact any disability has on an individual will and can vary from semester to semester.

Reasonable accommodations, such as extended testing time (typically, time-and-a-half), permission to use a tape recorder in class, enlarged print or Braille versions of exams or reading material, etc., are meant to level the playing field for a student with a disability. Since you have been admitted, we know that you have met those academic and technical qualifications of your major. With reasonable accommodations in place from the beginning, you will have the fairest chance at doing the best or the worst...the same as any other FIT student. You can do your work, but may need to take a different route to get to the same end results.

You are encouraged to take that first step and to meet with the Coordinator, FIT-ABLE. She's in each day and sees students by appointment, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in A570.
    
More information on accommodations
.

Q: What kind of documentation about my disability do I need to provide?

A: You will need to provide documentation as follows:
    
A letter from your clinician/physician/neurologist/audiologist/psychiatrist on their letterhead with their credentials.

This letter should identify your disability (by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)), which is defined as that which is SUBSTANTIALLY limiting to one or more major life functions. This letter should also speak to the impact and limitations, as well as abilities you experience as an adult living with your disability.
    
Finally, recommendations related to strategies in an academic setting with your disability should be reviewed and presented in writing.

Please note, that FIT does not accept IEP's as documentation. If a student with a learning disability needs to have additional testing completed, their psycho-educational evaluation should be current and preferably within the previous three years. Testing is not provided by FIT. Testing of any nature is at the student's and/or family's cost. Choices can be made from a list of referrals provided by FIT-ABLE or from a previously attended high school.
    
More information on documentation.

Q: How do I communicate with my professors about my disability?

A: You are here to learn. Faculty need to learn about you. A dialogue should be established by your meeting with each of your instructors early on. Set up a meeting during their office hours. Approach your meeting with confidence, as if you were going on a job interview. The tone you set during your first meeting starts with a firm hand-shake, an introduction of you by name (not by disability), and a sense that you are comfortable with who you are, living with your disability, and determined to accept what FIT and your major has to offer.

Maintain contact with your faculty throughout the semester and with FIT-ABLE.
  
Q: What other strategies will help me make the most of my time at FIT?
  
A: Several support personnel are here to assist you. Even if you attended college previously, each student comes to FIT with a different level of preparedness and expectations. Ask questions. Take notes.
    
Keep a schedule. You need to establish your own structure so that you can meet the demands you will confront.
   
Know yourself. Keep a small notebook in your pocket to record items of interest or a word you've never heard before. At the end of each day, review your notes and look up words or establish filing systems to stay on track.
   
If you do not understand a project you need to complete, meet with your professor FIRST before wasting valuable time doing something you didn't need to do. In other words, communication is key.
   
Establishing a calendar with scheduled appointments, even though you may have a busy schedule of classes and may also work a part-time job is a way of respecting those at the college who are here to assist you. You want to have the time necessary to address your problems and concerns in each meeting. The person with whom you meet should be able to have the same time afforded them to answer and to discuss your issues.
   
Learn boundaries. Understand that it's not only about your time but it's about everybody's time for each interaction to be mutually beneficial and rewarding.

Attending group meetings, such as the LD (Learning Disabilities) monthly meeting takes only an hour of your day...once a month. You will have the opportunity to meet with other students and to share concerns, gain leadership skills, possibly make presentations -- all of which will benefit you after graduation or when working an internship.

Make the most of your time now at FIT so that when you become a leader in your field, you will be the best equipped in knowing how to self-advocate for your reasonable accommodations, if necessary, and will have developed the life skills necessary to participate.
   
Q: Does FIT have a sign language interpreter?

A: A staff sign language interpreter is available. Appointments should be scheduled with this in mind. We look forward to meeting you.

Contact Information:
Joseph Plutz, Coordinator, FIT-ABLE
Main Office Phone Number: 212 217.4090
E-mail: fitable@fitnyc.edu
Location: Room A570, bridge between buildings A and B

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