With a little help from Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, a Park Slope teen with cerebral palsy will be attending college after all.
SUNY Purchase initially refused to offer Nick Astor’s caregiver a separate room at the school – and the Park Slope teen thought his dreams of higher education were dashed.
But after a Post story on his plight, Astor suddenly discovered friends in high places.
De Blasio and Cuomo both issued statements backing his request for the extra space – and SUNY officials finalized a deal this week that gives Astor and his aide separate rooms in a single suite.
“I’m glad we were able to reach a deal,” said Astor’s relieved father, Michael Astor. “But I wish we didn’t have to go through all this to make a deal.”
The dogged dad waged an online campaign to have his son accommodated – and said he was thrilled that the fight wasn’t in vain.
Cuomo, in a statement released Wednesday night said, “I am pleased SUNY Purchase and Nick Astor have reached an agreement and once again applaud this young man for his achievements and resolve. All students have a right to pursue a higher education regardless of disability and I am happy to hear Nick will be able to attain his dream here in New York.”
SUNY Purchase President Thomas Schwarz issued a statement saying college officials have been “collaborating for weeks” with Nick and his family to work out living arrangements.
“We’re grateful to Governor Cuomo and all the dedicated professionals and advocates for their efforts and look forward to welcoming Nick to the Purchase College campus,” the statement said.
While he was satisfied with the resolution, dad Michael Astor noted the obstacles disabled kids face at the school.
“The fact that we had to get the mayor and the governor involved shows that there is a barrier to getting kids with disabilities adequate accommodations at Purchase,” he said. “This has been a difficult summer for us. But the fact is Nick will be able to attend college.”
Astor – who is unable to dress himself or get out of bed on his own – excelled at Millennium Brooklyn HS and earned admission to the college.
He plans to study political science and will be active in furthering the rights of the disabled on campus, his father told The Post.
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