If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

KDLMaj
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If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby KDLMaj » Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:31 am

Hey folks-

I'm an LSAT instructor who happens to be ADHD/LD and has an interest in LSAC's accomodations procedures. LSAT fairly recently claimed that they approve 75% of their accomodations requests, and yet as an instructor I can say that I have heard of FAR more denials than approvals. Personally, I know my application was straight out denied (and my diagnosis questioned)- largely because the ADA definition used by LSAC is so restrictive that it bars a substantial percentage of gifted/LD students from being considered disabled.

I would love to hear some of the personal experiences folks have had. The more specific you can be on your neuropsych scores and diagnoses the better.

Me: ADHD-C/Surface Dyslexia
Requested Accommodations: Movement breaks between sections (wasn't aware of my dyslexia at the time- reading problems were attributed to attentional issues)

Scores:
FSIQ 140s
Nearly 3 standard deviation difference between my best reading scores and my best verbal scores
Verbal short-term memory: 3 standard deviations below norm
Overall detail-oriented memory: 2 standard deviations below norm

LSAC's response: You are not impaired and do not have ADHD.

pumpkincrepes
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby pumpkincrepes » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:11 pm

I don't know anything about applying for accommodations with this type of disability. I'm diabetic and had to receive accommodations to be able to bring in my insulin pump. These accommodations were approved (though the follow-through with that approval was definitely an issue). But maybe when they say they approve over 75% of requests they're including requests from people with diseases like diabetes where I assume they approve about 100% of requests.

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Cranium
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby Cranium » Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:20 pm

I applied a few years back and they denied me. I have always been given special accomodations for test (SAT, GRE, school achievement test, class test) so I was really upset. I have dyslexia and it takes me a very long time to read things. I went to a doctor and did several days of testing and they diagnosed me and recommended that several accomodations be given to me but LSAC turned me down. I became afraid to take the test which is why I kept putting off going to law school. I test in the 99% of the practice test but I have not yet been able to finish the sections on time. Hopefully, I will be able to do it by Sept.

I called to bitch about it and they told me that my IQ was too high for me to qualify.

KDLMaj
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby KDLMaj » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:46 pm

Cranium wrote:I applied a few years back and they denied me. I have always been given special accomodations for test (SAT, GRE, school achievement test, class test) so I was really upset. I have dyslexia and it takes me a very long time to read things. I went to a doctor and did several days of testing and they diagnosed me and recommended that several accomodations be given to me but LSAC turned me down. I became afraid to take the test which is why I kept putting off going to law school. I test in the 99% of the practice test but I have not yet been able to finish the sections on time. Hopefully, I will be able to do it by Sept.

I called to bitch about it and they told me that my IQ was too high for me to qualify.


Yeah, that's exactly what happened to me. If you are gifted and LD you're screwed. You have to score below 16% on every applicable test, or they claim you function as well as an average person. It's not only unethical- it's bad science. It's well established at this point that verbally gifted dyslexics don't have the same testing profiles as other dyslexics, and yet we're held to the same standard. They also use neuropsychological testing to determine whether or not someone has ADHD- which is also bad science. There's a very low correlation between neuropsych testing and ADHD-C- yet it's still their standard.

For what it's worth- law schools are FAR more accommodating on average than LSAC is. Don't put off law school over a test that's well known for turning down applicants left and right. LSAC was so bad at it that the Department of Justice took them to Court in 2002. Get a copy of the settlement and use it against LSAC- it'll force them to accommodate you.

Business7
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby Business7 » Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:50 pm

Well, at least the LSAC is doing something right.

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superflush
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby superflush » Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:26 pm

Cranium wrote:I have always been given special accomodations for test (SAT, GRE, school achievement test, class test)

+1 here

Cranium wrote:I called to bitch about it and they told me that my IQ was too high for me to qualify.

Hm, yea, I applied again after being denied and still taking the LSAT anyway. My response was "you couldn't have a disability because you scored so high on the LSAT"

KDLMaj
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby KDLMaj » Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:39 am

superflush wrote:
Cranium wrote:I have always been given special accomodations for test (SAT, GRE, school achievement test, class test)

+1 here

Cranium wrote:I called to bitch about it and they told me that my IQ was too high for me to qualify.

Hm, yea, I applied again after being denied and still taking the LSAT anyway. My response was "you couldn't have a disability because you scored so high on the LSAT"


Wait, you said that the LSAT score was too high or they did?

According to the agreement LSAC signed with the DoJ in '02, they're prohibited from making accomodations decisions based on past test performance.

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superflush
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby superflush » Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:21 am

KDLMaj wrote:
superflush wrote:Hm, yea, I applied again after being denied and still taking the LSAT anyway. The response I got was "you couldn't have a disability because you scored so high on the LSAT"


Wait, you said that the LSAT score was too high or they did?

According to the agreement LSAC signed with the DoJ in '02, they're prohibited from making accomodations decisions based on past test performance.


They said it.

IBThatGuy
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby IBThatGuy » Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:39 pm

Thought I'd bump this. I've got a request pending. Anyone else up to sharing their experiences?

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omnomnom
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby omnomnom » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:13 pm

I can confirm everything that's been said on this thread. LSAC said that my SAT scores (that's right, SAT) and past LSAT score was too high. I doubt the creators of such a widespeard test of logic actually believe this reasoning. This test is supposed to reflect your actual ability. If you are capable of a 180, but your disability slows you down to a 165, the test is not measuring your true potential. It doesn't matter how useable a 165 is.

If you read the settlement, you'll realize that LSAC is probably just exploiting loopholes in the decision. My parents said I should have taken Testmasters. I think the money would have been better spent on an attorney.

IBThatGuy
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby IBThatGuy » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:19 pm

omnomnom wrote:I can confirm everything that's been said on this thread. LSAC said that my SAT scores (that's right, SAT) and past LSAT score was too high. I doubt the creators of such a widespeard test of logic actually believe this reasoning. This test is supposed to reflect your actual ability. If you are capable of a 180, but your disability slows you down to a 165, the test is not measuring your true potential. It doesn't matter how useable a 165 is.


I appreciate the input. Definitely consistent with most posts. Are you comfortable sharing any specifics? SAT score, LSAT score, your diagnosis, whether you were diagnosed very early or shortly before requesting accommodations, etc.?

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omnomnom
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby omnomnom » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:24 pm

KDLMaj wrote: LSAC was so bad at it that the Department of Justice took them to Court in 2002. Get a copy of the settlement and use it against LSAC- it'll force them to accommodate you.


I read the settlement. LD/Cognitive disabilites are pretty much excluded from being unquestioned by LSAC. Unless some rogue LSAC worker is refusing to provide a ramp for your wheelchair, you're hosed. If you have time and money, you might be able to get a lawyer to scare them into making a one time exception. But that's the problem...you DON'T have the time. LSAC isn't the one applying to law school, so they will probably drag out any action you bring against them until the issue is moot.

Feeg
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby Feeg » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:40 pm

I have suspected for a long time that I have some minor form of learning disability related to reading and information processing. My sister was diagnosed with a learning disability that greatly impaired her ability to read and process information and was told it's genetic. I had signed up to be tested but backed out at the last minute because I didn't want to be viewed as a "special case", but also because I've read so many stories about how much of a pain in the ass the LSAC is in handling those situations.

As expected I performed really well on games, but suffered on some of the more dense LR questions and got KILLED in RC.

Anyhow, I have since decided not to go to law school but I wonder if I had been tested, diagnosed, and the LSAC actually did something about it, where I would be right now.

For what it's worth I hope you guys that are dealing w these issues can sway the LSAC a little bit because their policy seems like bullshit. Just my honest opinion.

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omnomnom
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby omnomnom » Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:45 pm

IBThatGuy wrote:I appreciate the input. Definitely consistent with most posts. Are you comfortable sharing any specifics? SAT score, LSAT score, your diagnosis, whether you were diagnosed very early or shortly before requesting accommodations, etc.?


I was diagnosed early in college, so I obviously took the SAT without accoms. By the time I applied for accoms on the LSAT I had already established a long history in college. Oh, and there were 20+ pages of medical documentation, which seems pointless considering LSAC was going to play the role of psychological evaluator either way. Anyways, they said my SAT and LSAT (I had taken an LSAT without accoms) were "above average" and that this did not represent a "life impacting" problem.

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superflush
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby superflush » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:30 am

Feeg wrote:I have suspected for a long time


I don't think there is any chance you would get accommodations.

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WrappedUpInBooks
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby WrappedUpInBooks » Wed Apr 21, 2010 7:03 am

I know someone who has ADHD, and got accommodations. At first he was denied, but his parents are loaded, so he got an attorney and threatened to sue. I believe he got time and a half for all his sections. You're right, it did take some time, and he's now applying to law school a year later than he intended, but the score in the 170's was probably worth it.

bp colin
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby bp colin » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:13 am

superflush wrote:
Feeg wrote:I have suspected for a long time


I don't think there is any chance you would get accommodations.


Agreed, unfortunately. I've had a ton of students apply for accommodations, and generally they require records going back into childhood.

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robin600
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Re: If you applied for Accommodations: Were you approved?

Postby robin600 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:40 am

Thought I'd share my experience as I'm going through it for a second time now at the law school I will be attending. I have partial blindness and applied for extended time, larger print, breaks in between sections, and a non-scantron answer sheet. I received all of my accommodations, they only brought down my requested time by five mins. (50-45mins). This is standard though for most testing accommodations. I needed the extra five mins. for reading comprehension and they gave it to me. LSAC was extremely accommodating. My problem is physical though, and I had 8 surgeries to document my condition and current prognosis. Applying with a mental disability, especially if you do not receive regular treatment for it, is EXTREMELY hard to get just for the sheer fact that it is much harder to prove, even though they can be just as hard to overcome. The best advice I can give to those of you applying for accommodations and are denied is to APPEAL! If you really need the accommodations shell out the money to see a specialist in your area that will thoroughly fill out the forms you need. Also, start early. Doctors see a two month deadline as a year, especially busy specialists. OP PM me if you'd like more details.




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