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Universities/colleges to avoid


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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
Posts: 69140
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Posted Mar 06, 2003 at 1:18:37 AM
Subject: Universities/colleges to avoid

I'm a grad student at Duke Univ., and all I can is STAY AWAY FROM DUKE UNIVERSITY. This applies to any disability, not just LD or ADD/ADHD. The University says all the right things on paper & on their website, but the person who runs the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (OSSD) is on a mission to roll back the ADA, and the university seems to have hired her for just that purpose. Although she never put it in writing, she came right out and told me verbally that unless I was functioning at an IQ level of 84 or below, I did not qualify for accomodations. I think that makes it pretty clear that they don't plan on giving accommodations to Duke students. I've spoken to a number of current students with different types of disabilities, as well as parents and advocates of students (grad and undergrad), and they've all had really horrible experiences with the Director of OSSD. Even people who had accommodations before this woman took over as Director had their accomodations revoked when she took over. People needing Books on tape request them far in advance, and don't get them until the very end of the semester. People who use wheelchairs are not given accommodations of van service or handicapped parking, and are placed in campus housing that is officially designated "accessible" but is not. Mostly the director just always finds some reason to deny any accomdations at all. And the Duke Office of Institutional Equity is right there with the Director of OSSD, so don't expect help there. I have not spoken to a single person with any type of disability who has had good experiences at Duke; only people who are sorry they chose Duke. The really frustrating part is that the Director of OSSD presents a very different attitude and face to the faculty and staff, so they all think she is great, wonderful, supportive, there just to help the student. But the face she presents to the students/parents is the opposite.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Mar 07, 2003 11:43:22 PM

I don't mean to sound critical but do students at Duke University really succeed with IQs < 84? Even with accomodations. What kind of accomodations do they get? Does Duke receive federal funding?

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Mar 08, 2003 2:22:31 PM

I think that's the point. I'm pretty sure there are no students at Duke functioning at IQ levels below 85.
The person who makes the decisions cites expertise based on her creditionals as a reading specialist, but what she is really doing is interpreting the law, without any legal credentials. She CLAIMS that she is making her decisions the way "federal law directs." She claims that federal law (i.e., the ADA) directs her to deny accommodations to anyone functioning within the range of "average," and she defines "average" as IQ of 85 or above, so that "federal law does not PERMIT" her to give any accommodations to anyone functioning at an IQ level of 85 or above. This is a different interpretation of the ADA or any court decisions than I've heard from any other LD specialist, or from any lawyer, but that is the arguement she is making. A number of things lead me to believe that Duke University brought her in (approximately 3 years ago) for the purpose of cutting out accommodations to students. Just look at all the money in legal fees Duke spent fighting the ADA's requirement to make the campus accessible for people using wheelchairs. It took a lawsuit for them to even start. And since the settlement of that suit (which did require Duke to make the campus accessible), they have been implementing it as slowly as possible.
Duke says the right things (about ADA compliance and accommodations) on their website and in writing, but when it comes to evaluating individual cases, there are always reasons why the ADA does not apply, or why the ADA does not permit accommodations in this case. Often those reasons are contradictory, but that doesn't seem to matter. Over the last year, I haven't met a single Duke student with ANY type of disability (LD or physical) who has told me they have had even a satisfactory experience with the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities. Most people I've spoken to have been out-and-out denied any accommodations what so ever. Those who have been granted any accommodations are those with very visible disabilities, i.e., those who use wheelchairs. And they have had to FIGHT for every small concession they have won from the OSSD.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Mar 10, 2003 1:39:45 PM

Sounds like your Director of OSSD needs a crash course in the part of the LD definition that says "average to
*above* average intelligence. I saddens me that Duke has again entered the "Dark Ages" of providing ex ed services.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:Apr 07, 2003 2:39:15 AM

excue me dear- have you heard of theoffice of civil rights- time to documnt all these anecdotes and liht a fire under this woman's tail.

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Anonymous
Joined Jul 28, 2014
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Posted:May 15, 2003 8:08:26 AM

Anyone thinking you could graduate with accomodations from Duke with an IQ of 84 or below (validated and properly tested) is whacked. Can you major in football at Duke?? I thought only a few of the U of F's opponents allowed scores so low.

I obviously believe in accomodations for worthy students with learning disabilities - but again, it seems there is confusion over what constitutes a learning disability from what constitutes concepts too difficult because of a low IQ. I do not believe I have met the 84 IQ student who could compare the ecomonic ramifications of the American Revolutionary War to the German situation of 1932. LD students interested in history could do this in a snap. Ken C

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