TommyK wrote:89 - I don't think people have an issue with granting accommodations to those with non-relevant disabilities (e.g., wheelchair ramps at courthouses, allowing for a reader or brail version of the LSAT, etc). What these questions are suggesting is that disabilities affecting cognition may not be non-relevant - but instead, they get to the very heart of being an effective law student and lawyer and thus shouldn't be isolated out of the LSAT by granting extra time.
I don't think many people are really questioning your disorder. I imagine most people take it on your authority that it is genuine and horrible. I also imagine most people sympathize and empathize for you. They're just questioning whether that should be compensated for.
I think it's a fair question, but I sincerely doubt it's the right forum. Making somebody who seems fairly sensitive about their mental health, its legitimacy as far as a disability, and its effects on his/her life defend themself seems unproductive to progressing the conversation as a whole and unnecessarily mean.
For my own thoughts, I'm overwhelingly ambivalent. I do, however, think this is equivalent to the debate whether that Oscar Pistorius should be allowed to compete in the Olympics with his spring-enhanced prostheses: It's interesting to think about where that line should be drawn if it should be drawn at all, but beyond that completely irrelevant to my life. Since extra time is granted so rarely, I sincerely doubt your (and those also granted additional accommodations) increased performance is going to affect us. So good luck.
I think this is a common misunderstanding of a disability. There is one's academic ability, and there is one's academic achievement (output). A disability causes a gap to occur between ability and achievement, with the former being higher than the latter. When a disabled person takes a test w/o accommodations, the results from that test are not an accurate portrayal of that person's ability
. By using accommodations to diminish the natural disadvantages that disabled person has, the hope is that test results will be more indicative of that person's actual ability. The analogy of the prosthesis leg might not be valid given that his prosthesis might give him an advantage, rather than diminishing a disadvantage for the purpose of making things equal.
Sure, but instead of being philosophers, we should look at what we are trying to accomplish with our policies.
The point of the LSAT is to serve as an indicator of future law school achievement. The point of law school exams is to serve as an indicator of future legal achievements. That is their purpose, whatever you think of their efficacy.
Thus, an accommodation on the LSAT should only be given if it will not affect the way in which it indicates law school achievement. And on law school exams only if it will not affect the way in which they indicate legal achievement. And that is the only thing we should be talking about.
Instead, we are treated to ranting about the ADA, and about how someone really is much smarter than us.
So for example, if someone has a physical disability, such as they are allergic to pencils, I would easily support them being allowed to use a pen and being graded by hand. Since as a law student, you are not required to use pencils.
On the other extreme, if someone has a disability such that they cannot follow directions (maybe they were abused and now cannot ever follow any directions from anyone), I do not support them being allowed to not follow directions on the LSAT, since it will destroy for them the predictive purpose of the LSAT. Even though they can get the same accommodation in law school, and then they can work as a solo practitioner. The LSAT should not be selling out its purpose.
Now, as it happens, LSAC does put a notation on the score, so nothing is lost. In fact, it is to the accommodated people's benefit that LSAC still polices who they allow to get the accommodation, since law schools can now use the notated score with some amount of confidence.