A Call For Help Podcast

10 Apr

A teacher recently posted a comment about accomodations asking for some help and support, so I created this podcast in order to answer her question.

Answering a Call for Help

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2 Responses to “A Call For Help Podcast”

  1. Gerri Helfman September 13, 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    PLEASE HELP. I HAVE BEEN ON THE INTERNET FOR DAYS AND CANNOT FIND HELP ON THIS SUBJECT.
    Our daughters private school, with no notice to children, or parents, changed its extra time accomodation policy. All learning disabled students with the accomodations will no longer be allowed to take any test, or any portion of a test, during regular school hours.
    The child must leave class and go to the library during tests, which is a waste of time, and the school requires the students to take the tests in one sitting… at 6 a.m. (offered 4 days a week) or 3:30 p.m.
    Many LD students had already selected schedules during the prior year, with free periods, instead of desired electives, so that their schedule would accomodate their time accomodation. The old policy, which is the current one used by every private school in our region, is that LD kids start tests in class, and finish them during lunch, study hall, or free periods, and only occasionally after school.
    Now LD kids are pulled from classes during tests… and only allowed to take tests outside of regular hours, before and after school.
    Is the an “unreasonable” accomodation? even discriminatory?
    I presented the school with a letter from our childs psychologist, who opined the 12 hour days (if there are 2 tests for ex) are too long… that the early testing means waking at 5 a.m., and the after school testing results in too long a day.
    The school said the policy stands and all LD students will only be allowed to take tests “during allottd time, before and after school”.
    Please share your thoughts… is this illegal?

  2. Daniel Dage September 13, 2008 at 8:50 pm #

    The short answer is that since this is a private school, they can do as they please as far as accommodations. In fact, they wouldn’t necessarily have to offer them at all! Having said that, there are some discriminatory aspects to this where your daughter and the other LD students are being excluded or singled out because of their disability when they are pulled from class during tests. What are they doing while everyone else is taking the tests?

    So your argument isn’t so much about the accommodations as much as it is the school’s discriminatory practices regarding students with disabilities. I’m thinking the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) would apply here, since this law is more global in its application. IDEA and section 504 claims have applied to private placements, but only if the public school system is paying. I would say you have a case where your daughter’s civil rights are being violated on the basis of her disability, but talk to an attorney or enroll her in one of those other private schools in the region. In today’s tough economic climate, private schools that do stupid things like this do so at their own peril.

    Hope this helps, and thanks for stopping by!
    D.

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