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Welcome to the George Fesko UFT Committee for Members who are Capably Disabled.
We are educators with disabilities just like you. The members of our committee run the gamut of visible and invisible disabilities. We know what it is like to face the challenges of a school environment while working with a disability. We've been there. We know what it's like and we know how to help.
The UFT established the Capably Disabled Committee in March 1990 to support disabled members seeking accommodations to continue their work as educators. However, you do not have to be a person with a disability to join the committee. We also include persons who, based upon medical prognoses, expect to be disabled in the future and others who simply support their colleagues in the pursuit of their legal and contractual rights.
A capably disabled person is qualified to perform an assignment but might require a reasonable accommodation to do it well. Our committee fights for capably disabled UFT members who are working with a disability and has scored some impressive victories in recent years. For example, our unrelenting efforts convinced the New York City Department of Education to hire a Disability Rights Coordinator, making it easier for members with disabilities to obtain work accommodations.
The Committee can provide you with information, advice, support and assistance with a work accommodation request.
Certain rights of the disabled are guaranteed by federal, state and local laws. However, those rights are meaningless unless members know them and report violations to us so we can make sure the laws are enforced. We understand that some people are reluctant to complain or be identified as a person with a disability because of concerns about social stigmas. But no one should give up his or her rights and settle for working under adverse conditions. The UFT is here to make sure that does not happen.
Our goal is to help you so that you can perform like the professional you are. The committee holds monthly meetings to keep you up to date on the latest information about working with a disability. Members without disabilities who wish to support disabled colleagues are also welcome. We urge you to attend our next meeting at UFT headquarters in Manhattan. Just look at the monthly meeting section of our web site or call the committee at 212-420-7981 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily for more information.
With the Capably Disabled Committee behind you, you can stand up for your rights without fear of resentment or reprisals.
You need not stand alone!
How Do I Join?
If you would like to be notified about our meetings and activities, please write to: The UFT Committee for Members Who Are Capably Disabled, 52 Broadway, New York, NY 10004. Or you could call Carolyn Herbst, the committee chair, at 212-510-6389. Be sure to include your name, home address, school site, district, position and telephone numbers for home and work.
How to Obtain Additional Information
The New York City Department of Education's Personnel Memorandum No. 4, 2009-10 includes the application for a reasonable accommodation.
For answers to questions you might have regarding the laws that cover reasonable accommodations you can call your UFT Borough Office or Renee Setteducato, UFT Liaison to the Committee, 212-420-7981, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
You can also email Renee Setteducato at firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquires are completely confidential.
Membership enrollment form
All UFT members are eligible to join. Non-UFT personnel, including university employees and union members affiliated with the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, NYSUT, or AFT, may serve as associate members.
Getting the word out at the NYSUT RA
Carolyn Herbst, the committee chairperson, Abbe Nosoff, the committee staff person, and Eugene Rubin, the UFT liaison to the committee, staffed an exhibit book at the NYSUT RA in Buffalo, getting the word out about working with a disability and reasonable accommodations. NYSUT members from across the state expressed their gratitude for the valuable information and guidance they obtained and looked forward to sharing the information with their NYSUT locals back home.More photos