BK teen with cerebral palsy says dorm issue could keep him from college

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BROOKLYN -

A Brooklyn teenager with cerebral palsy could miss out on going to college due to an issue with his dorm, he says.

Nick Astor and his dad, Michael Astor, say that SUNY Purchase denied a request to provide proper housing for him and his aide.

"We came to Purchase with a plan, a fully-formed plan," said Michael Astor. "We said we wanted an apartment-style setting that he could live with his aide."

Michael says they asked for two separate rooms because it wouldn't be fair to the aide to have to live and work in the same room for 24 hours a day.

SUNY Purchase officials say that keeping Astor and his caregiver in separate rooms would cause a safety issue.

"To provide a separate room for the aide risks the safety of the student who needs the aide — as well as untrained students who might need to assist in an emergency," said Dennis Craig, the school's vice president for student affairs and enrollment.

Astor says living in separate rooms wouldn't cause a problem because he has a phone that he uses whenever he needs help.

The 19-year-old says he believes the school is worried he will be a "big fuss," and that officials may not want to deal with that.

Despite the conflict, Astor says he will be on campus once the semester starts.

"Even though society doesn't think I can do it — I sure as hell think I can," Nick says. "And I'm going to do anything in my power to make that happen."

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