extra time on exams for disabilities

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Sat May 15, 2010 1:50 pm

transferornot wrote:
mikeytwoshoes wrote:
transferornot wrote:this is a stupid thread. I feel like from reading everything each person is a case by case basis to see if they are "gaming the system."

That was a stupid post, but it is a case by case basis. This thread has been extremely enlightening and useful.


do you know how many disabilities that exist?

Yes, it was informational in the terms of: figuring out how accomodations work, personal/inspring stories. But... OP wanted to know if when you have extra time it's easy to "game the system..." Obviously it varies on a case by case basis. That's what I meant.

I cannot possibly know how many disabilities there are. Other than you calling this a stupid thread, I agree with everything you said.

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Matthies
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby Matthies » Sat May 15, 2010 1:53 pm

I can't speak to what the testing is required to for just a diagnosis of ADD (which I also have, pretty bad since I was taking 80mg of adderal a day), but for dyslexia there really is no way anyone could "fake" it and get accommodations. I'm mean it's pretty obvious when one has sever dyslexia when they read something out load or write something.

None the less the testing involves at least 3 full days of exams, a full IQ test, tons of specific reading, writing, math tests, symbol tests, ect. It costs on average $1500-2000 and must be done by a licensed pychoeducational physiologist (an MD or family doctor report will not surfice). You need to get re-tested every three years. So I have been tested 5+ times all with the same results.

Very basically a "normal" person without a serious learning disability (and I think this is a misnomer, it's not so much learning as much as communication impairment) will be on par in all areas of learning, reading, writing, symbols ect. A person with a mild learning disability or impairment with show a minor standard deviations in one or more of these areas. A person with a sever learning disability or impairment will show a strong deviations from the standard norms in one or two areas but not in others (say symbol recognition, which means they confuse or can't discern letters/numbers/symbols {the tests use made up words so you can't rely on the fact that you have memorized the letter sequences, so it kind of like testing your ability to read/spell/and regurgitate words you have never seen before and have no reference for in your history).

This indicates a learning disability, then further testing is needed to pinpoint in what areas. So what the tests basically show is that in most standard learning skills a person is on par with their peers and grade level, but on certain subsets of items needed in general learning/coding they have a sever decificany {I'd have to dig out my last test but I think anything more than 20 points of deviation from the levels of compression of other learning skills is classified as an anomaly that indicates this area of function is impaired compared to the standard population without learning disabilities, the more the deviation is on or two areas the more sever the disability (for me symbolic recognition and coding). For people with coding and symbolic type dyslexia their brains do not function as "normal," somewhere between the eyes/brain/hands/mouth the letters/words become jumbled, the singles get mixed and the output (or input in the case of reading letters) is not what the person intended it to be.

Best example I can give is someone who stutters (which I also do) in that they know what they are trying to say but something in the synapses keeps them from saying it the way someone who was not impaired could. There are no medications for this. There are really no cognitive exercises that can eliminate it either, the best you can do is cope, knowing your strengths and weakness and using technology as best you can to mitigate the severity of the disability.

The last set of tests I did resulted in a 40+ page report documenting the same results that I have had since I was first testing when I was 6. This test was for the July bar. Unfortunately something got screwed up (maybe the person who was reviewing my file was also dyslexic!) and the denied by accommodations based on "reports" from schools I had never attended in states I never lived in. Even though the report got me confused with someone else, it was not appealable. So I had to either not take the bar in July and re-apply for February accommodations, or take it as is. Since I got this decision 3 weeks for the bar after I had already spent thousands of dollars on bar prep I took it anyway. I adjusted my time to account for my weakness in reading speed and more importantly spelling (note while spelling does not count, the grader needs to be able to recognize the word your trying to spell, I don't simply misspell words I jumble them so "constitution" could be "situcnoinot" it's not simply just leaving a letter out, its gibberish to a non-dyslexic)
So on 30 mins essays, of which we had eight, I gave myself 15 mins to write and 15 mins to fix, so half the time of everyone else. Additionally because I confuse symbols I can't actually type very well, I have to stare at the keyboard and decipher the letters before I hit them. So, while I have never tested my typing speed, I would guess 15-20 words a min would be fast for me. Anyway so I completed half the bar exam, the written half, in half the time as anyone else. I missed passing by 10 points, got a 265 needed a 275.
Its obvious that I knew the law, what was keeping me from expressing it what my disability in symbolic reasoning (again text to speech was not an option, and a scribe, well if you have ever tried that its very difficult to keep your concentration when you have to tell someone what to write, then read what they wrote, then come up with your next thought.) Also if you're like me you like to look back and see what you have already stated in coming up with your next idea, which means getting the paper back from the scribe, re-reading what they wrote, then trying to pick up with your next thought.

So in February I applied for accommodations again, asking for extra time on the written part of the bar to enable me to run the spell checker (which on that software was so basic it almost never had suggestions for me). They granted me 15 extra mins per question, so time and 1/2. Realistically after timing myself on practice questions this meant I could write for almost the full amount of time as everyone else (30 mins) then spell check. I found that I could actually write for 25 mins then would need 20 mins to fix it on average. So I set my watch to 25 mins, then would stop and spend 20 mins fixing (this was just fixing spelling, I never changed any arguments, simply did not have time anyway) So Again I was little shorter than most people, but this was enough, and I passed the bar, in fact I killed it, getting way more points than I needed to pass.

The point of all this is, at least in my case, the accommodations did not really "even" the playing field, even with extra time I was still at a disadvantage over my peers in not only having a disability to deal with that made the whole thing more stressful and exhausting but LESS time than the others, but at least gave me a shot at proving that I did know the material.

honestabe84
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby honestabe84 » Sat May 15, 2010 1:55 pm

AlasLavinia wrote:I just wanted to post a few anecdotes from a different perspective, involving people very close to me.

My husband is enrolled in a med/PhD program at an Ivy school. When he was younger, he had a seizure disorder that left him with cognitive disabilities and a mild specific language impairment. As an undergraduate and in medical school, he was offered ADA accommodations. But, he refused extra time on exams, a less demanding exam schedule, assistance with notes, etc. Maybe it's ego, but he has always competed with the non-disabled students and been at the top of his class. I know that he struggles with reading and focus, but he has proven that he can overcome his diagnosis and perform as well (better than) the rest of his class.

Also, this issue has come up at my law school. Particularly because we have several students who take the accommodations for their mild ADD, while another student with a serious physical disability takes his exams along with the rest of us and kicks ass.

I admire everyone in competitive academic programs who is able to succeed with a disability. However, I have even more admiration for students who do it with no accommodation. As my husband says, he will not be accommodated in the professional world, and university is the proving ground for future success.

My $.02.


I'd rather have your husband operating on me (or my family) than someone who got accommodated any day. When I'm looking for a doctor if my kid needs a very risky operation, I want to know for certain that he/she is the best of the best and not someone who is not going loose a scalpel in the body. It sounds like your husband decided to not take the easy way out but is coming out a champion. Good for him.

This is an excellent example of someone who could have gotten accommodated and didn't, but he's in the same place he would have if he had (but with more time to watch TV). When he graduates he can actually accept his degree and know for certain that no one can tell him he didn't earn it.

honestabe84
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby honestabe84 » Sat May 15, 2010 1:59 pm

Matthies wrote:I can't speak to what the testing is required to for just a diagnosis of ADD (which I also have, pretty bad since I was taking 80mg of adderal a day), but for dyslexia there really is no way anyone could "fake" it and get accommodations. I'm mean it's pretty obvious when one has sever dyslexia when they read something out load or write something.

None the less the testing involves at least 3 full days of exams, a full IQ test, tons of specific reading, writing, math tests, symbol tests, ect. It costs on average $1500-2000 and must be done by a licensed pychoeducational physiologist (an MD or family doctor report will not surfice). You need to get re-tested every three years. So I have been tested 5+ times all with the same results.

Very basically a "normal" person without a serious learning disability (and I think this is a misnomer, it's not so much learning as much as communication impairment) will be on par in all areas of learning, reading, writing, symbols ect. A person with a mild learning disability or impairment with show a minor standard deviations in one or more of these areas. A person with a sever learning disability or impairment will show a strong deviations from the standard norms in one or two areas but not in others (say symbol recognition, which means they confuse or can't discern letters/numbers/symbols {the tests use made up words so you can't rely on the fact that you have memorized the letter sequences, so it kind of like testing your ability to read/spell/and regurgitate words you have never seen before and have no reference for in your history).

This indicates a learning disability, then further testing is needed to pinpoint in what areas. So what the tests basically show is that in most standard learning skills a person is on par with their peers and grade level, but on certain subsets of items needed in general learning/coding they have a sever decificany {I'd have to dig out my last test but I think anything more than 20 points of deviation from the levels of compression of other learning skills is classified as an anomaly that indicates this area of function is impaired compared to the standard population without learning disabilities, the more the deviation is on or two areas the more sever the disability (for me symbolic recognition and coding). For people with coding and symbolic type dyslexia their brains do not function as "normal," somewhere between the eyes/brain/hands/mouth the letters/words become jumbled, the singles get mixed and the output (or input in the case of reading letters) is not what the person intended it to be.

Best example I can give is someone who stutters (which I also do) in that they know what they are trying to say but something in the synapses keeps them from saying it the way someone who was not impaired could. There are no medications for this. There are really no cognitive exercises that can eliminate it either, the best you can do is cope, knowing your strengths and weakness and using technology as best you can to mitigate the severity of the disability.

The last set of tests I did resulted in a 40+ page report documenting the same results that I have had since I was first testing when I was 6. This test was for the July bar. Unfortunately something got screwed up (maybe the person who was reviewing my file was also dyslexic!) and the denied by accommodations based on "reports" from schools I had never attended in states I never lived in. Even though the report got me confused with someone else, it was not appealable. So I had to either not take the bar in July and re-apply for February accommodations, or take it as is. Since I got this decision 3 weeks for the bar after I had already spent thousands of dollars on bar prep I took it anyway. I adjusted my time to account for my weakness in reading speed and more importantly spelling (note while spelling does not count, the grader needs to be able to recognize the word your trying to spell, I don't simply misspell words I jumble them so "constitution" could be "situcnoinot" it's not simply just leaving a letter out, its gibberish to a non-dyslexic)
So on 30 mins essays, of which we had eight, I gave myself 15 mins to write and 15 mins to fix, so half the time of everyone else. Additionally because I confuse symbols I can't actually type very well, I have to stare at the keyboard and decipher the letters before I hit them. So, while I have never tested my typing speed, I would guess 15-20 words a min would be fast for me. Anyway so I completed half the bar exam, the written half, in half the time as anyone else. I missed passing by 10 points, got a 265 needed a 275.
Its obvious that I knew the law, what was keeping me from expressing it what my disability in symbolic reasoning (again text to speech was not an option, and a scribe, well if you have ever tried that its very difficult to keep your concentration when you have to tell someone what to write, then read what they wrote, then come up with your next thought.) Also if you're like me you like to look back and see what you have already stated in coming up with your next idea, which means getting the paper back from the scribe, re-reading what they wrote, then trying to pick up with your next thought.

So in February I applied for accommodations again, asking for extra time on the written part of the bar to enable me to run the spell checker (which on that software was so basic it almost never had suggestions for me). They granted me 15 extra mins per question, so time and 1/2. Realistically after timing myself on practice questions this meant I could write for almost the full amount of time as everyone else (30 mins) then spell check. I found that I could actually write for 25 mins then would need 20 mins to fix it on average. So I set my watch to 25 mins, then would stop and spend 20 mins fixing (this was just fixing spelling, I never changed any arguments, simply did not have time anyway) So Again I was little shorter than most people, but this was enough, and I passed the bar, in fact I killed it, getting way more points than I needed to pass.

The point of all this is, at least in my case, the accommodations did not really "even" the playing field, even with extra time I was still at a disadvantage over my peers in not only having a disability to deal with that made the whole thing more stressful and exhausting but LESS time than the others, but at least gave me a shot at proving that I did know the material.


Man, make your posts more concise. :o

Your disability is completely legitimate. Read my post (like 10-12 posts back). I specifically mention disorders (i.e. dyslexia) that you "actually" test fore as legitimate.
Last edited by honestabe84 on Sat May 15, 2010 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Sat May 15, 2010 2:01 pm

T14donewith1L wrote:This topic has a bunch of 0Ls talking about theory, I thought I'd share how disability exam taking works at my school. First, I'd like to say that anyone with true a disability deserves extra time. But also, I'd like to say that anyone capable of getting into a Top 14 school is not disabled, as they took the LSAT almost certainly in normal conditions.

At my school, I first discovered that there was a disability program in an interesting way. During my first exam, I noticed some people were missing. These few people just so happened to be the smartest people in the entire class, the people who had been gunning and monopolizing the class conversation. So basically, the best grades in our class all ended up going to these people who got extra time, this program was yet another form of gunning. All people have to do to get special accommodations is claim they have an anxiety disorder, and in order to do that you just have to tell a shrink you get nervous before big events (and who the hell doesn't when you have an exam worth your entire grade).

I wish this program was used for people with disabilities or ESLs, but it was not, in fact the ESLs took the test under normal conditions. I don't know how these gunners who exploit the system live with themselves. Also, is a judge going to give you more time to file a motion because you feel nervous? Are you gonna get an extra week to turn in that memo because you have trouble with focus? If you think the answer is yes, you obviously haven't explored the real world.

Just my 2 cents on how these things actually work.

There is a subtle and quite possibly mistaken assumption in your post. It is not true that sounding smart when gunning means someone does not have a disability. How do you know—other than wild speculation—that these people do not have legitimate disabilities? Also, as I posted earlier, with the scrutiny law schools apply to requests for accommodations, it is unlikely that people who receive them took the LSAT under normal conditions.

transferALT
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby transferALT » Sat May 15, 2010 2:04 pm

AlasLavinia wrote:I just wanted to post a few anecdotes from a different perspective, involving people very close to me.

My husband is enrolled in a med/PhD program at an Ivy school. When he was younger, he had a seizure disorder that left him with cognitive disabilities and a mild specific language impairment. As an undergraduate and in medical school, he was offered ADA accommodations. But, he refused extra time on exams, a less demanding exam schedule, assistance with notes, etc. Maybe it's ego, but he has always competed with the non-disabled students and been at the top of his class. I know that he struggles with reading and focus, but he has proven that he can overcome his diagnosis and perform as well (better than) the rest of his class.

Also, this issue has come up at my law school. Particularly because we have several students who take the accommodations for their mild ADD, while another student with a serious physical disability takes his exams along with the rest of us and kicks ass.

I admire everyone in competitive academic programs who is able to succeed with a disability. However, I have even more admiration for students who do it with no accommodation. As my husband says, he will not be accommodated in the professional world, and university is the proving ground for future success.

My $.02.

A couple issues with your post: First, how do you know your classmates suffer from merely "mild" ADD? Moreover, stating someone has a physical disability does not show much as to whether extra time is even needed. For example, someone that is paraplegic would not need extra time accommodation. Yet this is a serious physical disability.


About me:
I suffer from a pretty serious case of ADD and a reading disability at the word level, but at no other level (i.e. if you give me a sentence or a paragraph - my verbal scores are in the 90th percentile, but if I am looking at a single word, my score is in the 30th percentile). I get 1.5x time accommodations for tests only. Without a doubt, I could have still done ok this past year without accommodations. At the same time, without accommodations, there is absolutely no way I would have had the same opportunity as my classmates to demonstrate my knowledge. Accommodations serve to put me (and others) at the same starting line as everyone else. And even with my extended time, I wrote less than my classmates on every exam.

So, with that being said, to the OP and to the quoted poster, is it easy to game they accommodations? Maybe. I certainly couldn't. But it's not impossible to imagine a situation where 1.5x is too much accommodation for some. But, accommodation isn't an exact science. Usually, accommodations are given at 1.5x and 2x. We hold all of our classmates up to our respective honor codes and general ethical behavior, and do not presume they are acting unethically simply because there is a chance they could. We don't assume every student is cheating on the brief, and we shouldn't do the same against students with accommodations. But, at the same time, what accommodates students must do is act ethically and hold each other up to the ethical standards.
And, it's great that the quoted poster's husband is successful without accommodations. But, his rationale for not taking accommodations is faulty. Not all disabilities manifest themselves in the real world in the same way they do in an exam room.

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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby T14donewith1L » Sat May 15, 2010 2:05 pm

All I know is the best grades in my class went to the people who got special accommodations, that seems unfair.

transferALT
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby transferALT » Sat May 15, 2010 2:06 pm

honestabe84 wrote:
AlasLavinia wrote:I just wanted to post a few anecdotes from a different perspective, involving people very close to me.

My husband is enrolled in a med/PhD program at an Ivy school. When he was younger, he had a seizure disorder that left him with cognitive disabilities and a mild specific language impairment. As an undergraduate and in medical school, he was offered ADA accommodations. But, he refused extra time on exams, a less demanding exam schedule, assistance with notes, etc. Maybe it's ego, but he has always competed with the non-disabled students and been at the top of his class. I know that he struggles with reading and focus, but he has proven that he can overcome his diagnosis and perform as well (better than) the rest of his class.

Also, this issue has come up at my law school. Particularly because we have several students who take the accommodations for their mild ADD, while another student with a serious physical disability takes his exams along with the rest of us and kicks ass.

I admire everyone in competitive academic programs who is able to succeed with a disability. However, I have even more admiration for students who do it with no accommodation. As my husband says, he will not be accommodated in the professional world, and university is the proving ground for future success.

My $.02.


I'd rather have your husband operating on me (or my family) than someone who got accommodated any day. When I'm looking for a doctor if my kid needs a very risky operation, I want to know for certain that he/she is the best of the best and not someone who is not going loose a scalpel in the body. It sounds like your husband decided to not take the easy way out but is coming out a champion. Good for him.

This is an excellent example of someone who could have gotten accommodated and didn't, but he's in the same place he would have if he had (but with more time to watch TV). When he graduates he can actually accept his degree and know for certain that no one can tell him he didn't earn it.

This is a ridiculous post, and hopefully merely a flame. If you actually believe this, you shouldn't reproduce.

transferALT
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby transferALT » Sat May 15, 2010 2:07 pm

T14donewith1L wrote:This topic has a bunch of 0Ls talking about theory, I thought I'd share how disability exam taking works at my school. First, I'd like to say that anyone with true a disability deserves extra time. But also, I'd like to say that anyone capable of getting into a Top 14 school is not disabled, as they took the LSAT almost certainly in normal conditions.

This makes absolutely NO sense.

transferALT
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby transferALT » Sat May 15, 2010 2:10 pm

T14donewith1L wrote:All I know is the best grades in my class went to the people who got special accommodations, that seems unfair.

Why? You said in the previous post that already seemed like the smartest in the class:
T14donewith1L wrote:At my school, I first discovered that there was a disability program in an interesting way. During my first exam, I noticed some people were missing. These few people just so happened to be the smartest people in the entire class, the people who had been gunning and monopolizing the class conversation.

So, why does it seem unfair that the people you thought were the smartest were the same ones that got the best grades? Do you understand the lack of logic your posts evince?

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Matthies
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby Matthies » Sat May 15, 2010 2:12 pm

T14donewith1L wrote:All I know is the best grades in my class went to the people who got special accommodations, that seems unfair.


Like I said before, unfair is having a disability that make things harder to do in life across the board, not just school. I'd gladly trade my disability in a heartbeat to be able to write/read/speak like a normal person. I'm not sure what the requirements are at your school, but at mine, and on the bar, you have to have some serious testing to get approved for accommodations, and it cannot be by some general practitioner MD.

honestabe84
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby honestabe84 » Sat May 15, 2010 2:15 pm

transferALT wrote:
honestabe84 wrote:
AlasLavinia wrote:I just wanted to post a few anecdotes from a different perspective, involving people very close to me.

My husband is enrolled in a med/PhD program at an Ivy school. When he was younger, he had a seizure disorder that left him with cognitive disabilities and a mild specific language impairment. As an undergraduate and in medical school, he was offered ADA accommodations. But, he refused extra time on exams, a less demanding exam schedule, assistance with notes, etc. Maybe it's ego, but he has always competed with the non-disabled students and been at the top of his class. I know that he struggles with reading and focus, but he has proven that he can overcome his diagnosis and perform as well (better than) the rest of his class.

Also, this issue has come up at my law school. Particularly because we have several students who take the accommodations for their mild ADD, while another student with a serious physical disability takes his exams along with the rest of us and kicks ass.

I admire everyone in competitive academic programs who is able to succeed with a disability. However, I have even more admiration for students who do it with no accommodation. As my husband says, he will not be accommodated in the professional world, and university is the proving ground for future success.

My $.02.


I'd rather have your husband operating on me (or my family) than someone who got accommodated any day. When I'm looking for a doctor if my kid needs a very risky operation, I want to know for certain that he/she is the best of the best and not someone who is not going loose a scalpel in the body. It sounds like your husband decided to not take the easy way out but is coming out a champion. Good for him.

This is an excellent example of someone who could have gotten accommodated and didn't, but he's in the same place he would have if he had (but with more time to watch TV). When he graduates he can actually accept his degree and know for certain that no one can tell him he didn't earn it.

This is a ridiculous post, and hopefully merely a flame. If you actually believe this, you shouldn't reproduce.


Your inclination to get offended by my post leads me to believe that you were one of those 'special' people growing up.
Last edited by honestabe84 on Sat May 15, 2010 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby honestabe84 » Sat May 15, 2010 2:17 pm

Matthies wrote:
T14donewith1L wrote:All I know is the best grades in my class went to the people who got special accommodations, that seems unfair.


Like I said before, unfair is having a disability that make things harder to do in life across the board, not just school. I'd gladly trade my disability in a heartbeat to be able to write/read/speak like a normal person. I'm not sure what the requirements are at your school, but at mine, and on the bar, you have to have some serious testing to get approved for accommodations, and it cannot be by some general practitioner MD.


Agree with you overall, but if the best grades are coincidentally going to those that got accommodated, then that's a big problem IMO.

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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby T14donewith1L » Sat May 15, 2010 2:18 pm

These people get extra time by claiming anxiety, I know this either firsthand or through the pipeline. I have been diagnosed with several anxiety disorders by therapists over the years, but just because I feel nervous, I'm not going to cheat my classmates out of a fair chance to do well, maybe that's just me.

honestabe84
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby honestabe84 » Sat May 15, 2010 2:23 pm

T14donewith1L wrote:These people get extra time by claiming anxiety, I know this either firsthand or through the pipeline. I have been diagnosed with several anxiety disorders by therapists over the years, but just because I feel nervous, I'm not going to cheat my classmates out of a fair chance to do well, maybe that's just me.


Same here. It's getting to the point where everyone has some kind of 'problem.' What are law schools going to do when 75% of people are getting accommodated?

I should get accommodated during the LSAT, because nervousness is holding me back from a 180 - my true potential.

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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby Matthies » Sat May 15, 2010 2:23 pm

transferALT wrote:But it's not impossible to imagine a situation where 1.5x is too much accommodation for some. But, accommodation isn't an exact science. Usually, accommodations are given at 1.5x and 2x.


This is a key point people need to understand. There are, for lack of a better descriptor, "standard accommodations" based on the type of disability that schools can give. For the most part all blind people receive the same general set of accommodations, all deaf people, and all learning disabliled people. This is per ADA guidelines, it's very difficult to aragange non-typical accommodations. If your lumped into "learning disability" then you get 1.5x time. Does not really matter if that does not help you, or if for example like in my case speech to text would mean I would not need any extra time, that's not an option (at least my school) the only option is 1.5x time across the board for all learning disabled students regardless of what type of disability they have (2x if you testing indicates a sever disability). So part of the issue is that disability accommodations are standardized, and not individually allocated based on your particular disability. You can have very minor ADD or vary major ADD, and you still get the exact same acodmiation. There are people who could likely do well with another accommodation other than 1.5x time, but that option is really not given to the individual.

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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Sat May 15, 2010 2:31 pm

Matthies wrote:
T14donewith1L wrote:All I know is the best grades in my class went to the people who got special accommodations, that seems unfair.


Like I said before, unfair is having a disability that make things harder to do in life across the board, not just school. I'd gladly trade my disability in a heartbeat to be able to write/read/speak like a normal person. I'm not sure what the requirements are at your school, but at mine, and on the bar, you have to have some serious testing to get approved for accommodations, and it cannot be by some general practitioner MD.

Absolutely credited.

IIRC, LSAC wanted to see my brain scans. Eventually, they accepted the word of my brain surgeon, neurologist, and eye surgeon. People who have not been through this process don't understand the difficulty of getting accommodations.

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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Sat May 15, 2010 2:34 pm

honestabe84 wrote:
T14donewith1L wrote:These people get extra time by claiming anxiety, I know this either firsthand or through the pipeline. I have been diagnosed with several anxiety disorders by therapists over the years, but just because I feel nervous, I'm not going to cheat my classmates out of a fair chance to do well, maybe that's just me.


Same here. It's getting to the point where everyone has some kind of 'problem.' What are law schools going to do when 75% of people are getting accommodated?

I should get accommodated during the LSAT, because nervousness is holding me back from a 180 - my true potential.

The slope is not that slippery, son. The process is too difficult for that to happen. See my earlier posts and Matthies' posts.

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Matthies
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby Matthies » Sat May 15, 2010 2:35 pm

honestabe84 wrote:
Matthies wrote:
T14donewith1L wrote:All I know is the best grades in my class went to the people who got special accommodations, that seems unfair.


Like I said before, unfair is having a disability that make things harder to do in life across the board, not just school. I'd gladly trade my disability in a heartbeat to be able to write/read/speak like a normal person. I'm not sure what the requirements are at your school, but at mine, and on the bar, you have to have some serious testing to get approved for accommodations, and it cannot be by some general practitioner MD.


Agree with you overall, but if the best grades are coincidentally going to those that got accommodated, then that's a big problem IMO.


I can't speak to other schools, but at my school this was not the case. Like I said I took a total of about 5 testes where I needed extended time (because there where in class exams). As soon as I could choose my classes I never took another one, because of reasons I stated above. I did pretty well, 13th in my class, even taking highest grade in legal writing (which for a dyslexic kid I'm pretty proud about since writing is my biggest challenge). But of the other people I knew in my class with accommodations (all ADD only) none of them where in the top 20 and I know several of them took a majority of classes where they got accommodations (in class exams). Granted I don't know everyone's rank at graduation who had accommodations, but I do know pretty well the top 20 people in my calls and I was the only one with any disability. Granted this is only my personal experience, but that's the way it played out at my school.

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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby honestabe84 » Sat May 15, 2010 2:37 pm

mikeytwoshoes wrote:
Matthies wrote:
T14donewith1L wrote:All I know is the best grades in my class went to the people who got special accommodations, that seems unfair.


Like I said before, unfair is having a disability that make things harder to do in life across the board, not just school. I'd gladly trade my disability in a heartbeat to be able to write/read/speak like a normal person. I'm not sure what the requirements are at your school, but at mine, and on the bar, you have to have some serious testing to get approved for accommodations, and it cannot be by some general practitioner MD.

Absolutely credited.

IIRC, LSAC wanted to see my brain scans. Eventually, they accepted the word of my brain surgeon, neurologist, and eye surgeon. People who have not been through this process don't understand the difficulty of getting accommodations.



I don't think many people would have a problem with accommodations just as long as they are hard as hell to come by. But if anyone that has taken adderall or SSRIs growing up can get one, then that's a problem. I'm not saying that's the case, and I hope it's not.

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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Sat May 15, 2010 2:54 pm

There used to be a post here.

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A'nold
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby A'nold » Sat May 15, 2010 3:19 pm

Most posts on here don't get to me, but that whole chain of "my husband doesn't get accomodations, therefore he is a better person than those that do" (yes, I know it wasn't specifically stated that way, but implied BIGTIME) really pissed me off. Like I said earlier, people are missing the point. We are not comparing apples to apples when we are seeing who the better student is at applying law to facts in an issue spotter racehorse exam. If someone can "spot more issues" b/c the disabled person is 30 minutes "slower" but that person is way smarter than the speedster (or normal typist compared to a DISABLED person) I would way rather have the one that takes a half hour longer but is better than the one that his only talent > than the disabled person is that he thinks quicker or can type 1/2 hour faster than a disabled person that owns him in every other way. We need a more level playing field to show this guy/girl's talent. That disabled person is not a median student. They are a top of the class student, just slightly slower than a dumber person that is not disabled.

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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby Matthies » Sat May 15, 2010 3:20 pm

honestabe84 wrote:
mikeytwoshoes wrote:
Matthies wrote:
T14donewith1L wrote:All I know is the best grades in my class went to the people who got special accommodations, that seems unfair.


Like I said before, unfair is having a disability that make things harder to do in life across the board, not just school. I'd gladly trade my disability in a heartbeat to be able to write/read/speak like a normal person. I'm not sure what the requirements are at your school, but at mine, and on the bar, you have to have some serious testing to get approved for accommodations, and it cannot be by some general practitioner MD.

Absolutely credited.

IIRC, LSAC wanted to see my brain scans. Eventually, they accepted the word of my brain surgeon, neurologist, and eye surgeon. People who have not been through this process don't understand the difficulty of getting accommodations.



I don't think many people would have a problem with accommodations just as long as they are hard as hell to come by. But if anyone that has taken adderall or SSRIs growing up can get one, then that's a problem. I'm not saying that's the case, and I hope it's not.


They aren't at all easy to come by. Here is the battery of tests that I was given for each of times I have been tested.

WAIS-III
WAIS-IV
Wide Range Achievement Test
Detroit Test of Learning Aptitude
Woodcock Johnson - III
The Rosner Test of Auditory Analysis Skills TAAS
Nelson-Denny Reading Test (NDRT)
CAARS
TOVA
WJ- III NU
WAIT - II
MMPI-2-RF
Peronsal intview
family history
medical history


Also note that Anxiety disorders are commonly diagnosed as comorbid with learning disabilities. If you think about this makes sense, people with severe learning disabilities likely have a higher than normal anxiety level words learning, school and exams because of their disability and the past problems they have encountered in the learning environment plus their own doubts as to their abilities when they compare themselves to non-disabled peers.

While I don't know if anxiety alone is considered a disability that requires accommodations, I know myself and my friends who had learning disabilities also had DMV disginois of anxiety related disorders related to their learning disabilities. As to anxiety though, one must be careful on how much they rely on this diagnosis alone for accommodations because, at least in my state, you must disclose this diagnosis on the bar application and provide documentation from your treating phaychrtist that your anxiety disorder will not impair your ability to practice law or represent your clients. If there are people relying solely on a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder for accommodations, rather than it being comorbid with a learning disability, I would be, personally, concerned about how that might be viewed when they apply for admission.

transferornot
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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby transferornot » Sat May 15, 2010 4:32 pm

again.... getting disabilties is very tricky. Clearly, they are not as easy as everyone thinks they are. Matthies thanks for the very insightful post.

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Re: extra time on exams for disabilities

Postby 2009 Prospective » Sat May 15, 2010 4:33 pm

A'nold wrote:We are not comparing apples to apples when we are seeing who the better student is at applying law to facts in an issue spotter racehorse exam. If someone can "spot more issues" b/c the disabled person is 30 minutes "slower" but that person is way smarter than the speedster (or normal typist compared to a DISABLED person) I would way rather have the one that takes a half hour longer but is better than the one that his only talent > than the disabled person is that he thinks quicker or can type 1/2 hour faster than a disabled person that owns him in every other way. We need a more level playing field to show this guy/girl's talent. That disabled person is not a median student. They are a top of the class student, just slightly slower than a dumber person that is not disabled.


The very point of the racehorse exam is to ascertain who can spot issues quickly and efficiently and put it down on paper as cohesively as possible. This is largely what weeds out the A papers from the B- papers. As to a disabled person typing a half hour slower, what about those who are not disabled but also slow typists? Do we start accommodating for them as well? Sure, there also might be those that simply think a half hour slower. The point of a racehorse exam though is to distinguish those who can quickly move through issues from those that can't. Is it fair to accommodate for those that think slower because of a diagnosable "disability" from those that think 30 minutes slower for some other reason? You wouldn't see a high school 100m track event where runners with physical disabilities are given a 20 yard head start to accommodate for their disability. Why should it be any different here?

Giving extra time on a racehorse style exam is just too unfair. It essentially eliminates the whole purpose of such an exam. If any accommodation were to be made, I would argue in favor of a longer take-home style exam for all test takers rather than giving certain test takers special extra time.




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