IEPs and Legal Issues

what should I do? Please help

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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
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Posted Aug 12, 2007 at 12:20:56 AM
Subject: what should I do? Please help

I am currently a graduate student at a major private university and here is my situation.
-I was tested for an LD five years ago at the age of 22 after years and years and years of just thinking I stupid or my teachers thinking I just didn't care.
-The results were astonishing and it was determined that I had an LD and was to receive accommodations for those in the form of a low distraction environment and extended time.
-Those accommodations worked wonders and I become a B+/A- student after a short while.
-Those test scores were transfered to my state school where I completed my undergraduate and graduate degree.
-When I applied to my current medical program I informed my school of my LD, discussed accommodations during my interview, and submitted the testing results to the director of student services as requested so they could continue to honor those accommodations.
-Never at any time did they say I would have to be retested or was given any indication that there would be a problem.
-It became apparent after the first quarter that they were not familiar with a low distraction environment and kept putting me in loud rooms. I complained and was told unsympathetically on several occassions to get ear plugs.
-As the year went on they became less organized with my testing, sometimes changing rooms in the middle of an exam, making me come in on a sunday because apparently that was the only way to find quiet room.
-Finally, in my most recent quarter I was taking my quizzes for one of my classes in the hall using a wall to write on because there were no "available" rooms for me to take my test. I hit a wall both with the administration (who said they were working on the problem and that I had to be patient) and a teacher who was downright rude and demanded a full explanation of my accommodation needs including why I couldn't wear ear plugs (years of ear infections and also they are DISTRACTING).
-So it seemed as though the situation was getting better, the dean said they were making some testing rooms in our building, and in a faculty meeting apparently said out right that they were violating ADA code.
-Now several days ago I get a call from the same director saying that she sent my testing results to one of their pyschologists and that in order for me to continue receiving accommodations I have to bee retested through the school in their counseling department. I called the department to make an appointment to figure out what was going on and the woman I spoke to said, "no we don't test unless we get a referral from the dean." Which means that something isn't making sense. Who says I need to be retested and is it okay for my info to be passed around like that since I never consented?I have no idea what to do and am desperately seeking some advice. I am going to be a doctor and will not allow this to stop me but without my accommodations I would never make it through.
in california
[Modified by: mjl on August 12, 2007 11:18 AM]

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Joined Feb 06, 2005
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Posted:Aug 13, 2007 2:17:07 AM

Hi Mjl and welcome here.
It seems that you are getting the typical delay tactics, where they had accepted your test, but now change their mind. Which gives them some extra time.
Though it seems that if a test is more 3 years old, they can request a new one.
Yet when they say that you need to be retested to continue to receive accommodations, is having to stand in hall and use a wall to write on when taking a quiz, seen as an accommodation?
The only solution is to become familiar with your Rights and their Responsibilities.
Where they know that they are 'violating the ADA code'.
Telling you to be 'patient', is code for; 'You'll probably have finished your Course, before they get it sorted out?
I just read a Q&A on ADA and Section 504 in relation to post-secondary education, which you might like to have a look at, as a starting point?

That teacher you wrote about, should be disciplined!
They have a legal responsibility to address your accommodations.

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Joined Aug 11, 2007
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Posted:Aug 13, 2007 9:46:29 AM

Thanks geoff, I appreciate your response. I have read through the ADA and section 504 code as well as my school's handbook. They appear to be violating both. I called the ADA hotline and they said that in order for them to investigate I must send them a written complaint and that they would decide whether or not to investigate. A long shot but worth it I guess. I just don't know whether I should get a lawyer or not. My concern is if they do test me through their school that they have a vested interest in how my scores come out and I just don't trust that. Additionally, I am not sure who to ask about if they violated my right to privacy by passing along my testing results without my permission....ah the joys of ignorant academia...

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Posted:Aug 14, 2007 3:09:58 AM

Hi Mjl,
They are probably allowed to pass your test results onto their psychologist, as that person is probably a part of their 'process'?
Whilst you could go through the legal process, they often use that as a delay trick as well, as it can take months?
Rather I was thinking that you could make them well aware that you know your rights and their legal responsibilities. Where really you just want to get it sorted out quickly. Or would they prefer that you lodge a complaint and get a lawyer?
It's a part of the games they often like to play.

You also said that you spoke with the director of student services, but is that person for general student services, or specifically for students with disabilities? As in that article I posted, it states that they are required to have such a person, or an ADA/504 Coordinator. Who does the liaison between the student and faculty.
Who is probably the person that is meant to organise a room for you, for doing tests. Rather than the lecturer?

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Joined Nov 03, 2004
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Posted:Sep 05, 2007 9:55:33 PM


You need to speak with your campus disabilities officer. If they are unable to rectify the situation you need to file your complaint with the Office of Civil Rights in Chicago.

Your testing is only viable for three years. After hearing how you are being treated, I would recommend an outside psychologist that tests for these types of things. I guess, I am assuming your previous psych eval was done in high school.

You are not legally binded to your counseling department at your college/university. I agree unless you have signed a release they are not allowed to share this information.

I hope this gives you direction.

Shel If your not kicking hard enough your not making waves!

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