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I am a 45 year old male who had to go back to school because of an injury in the oil field. I was diagnosed as having ADHD by a psychiatrist. The junior college I am attending denied the accommodations I requested. I have talked to the college dean. She assured me that next year the accommodations will be reviewed by the instructor who denied them.

I lost a year because of this instructor, and I am not too sure she is actually going to assist me as far as agreeing to the accommodations on the 504 law.

Sir, can you tell me what to do about this? I am half way done on an associate’s degree and I encounter an instructor who tells me my disability is an excuse to slack off from working hard like everybody else.

Thank you,

You have apparently been denied accommodations from a specific instructor in the course of your pursuit of an AA degree. You are to be commended for your persistence under the circumstances you described. As a preliminary matter, you should make sure that any accommodations you are entitled to are written into a formal accommodations plan approved by the community college. If the professor doesn’t follow the plan, you may use the college’s standard grievance procedure, you may use the college’s special grievance procedure for 504 and ADA complaints, or you may file a complaint with the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights for a violation of Section 504.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that can get you back the time you have already lost, but you may want to ask that the community college arrange a meeting with the administration, the instructor and yourself, prior to the start of the new class to make sure that the instructor understands his/her obligations to provide the accommodation. You may also want to approach the college about whether a) there is some way to get credit for the class in which you were denied accommodations without having to fully retake it (some form of independent study or the like, preferably supervised by a different faculty member) and b) whether the extra fees for having to retake the course should be waived.


For information on the right to accommodations at the college level, go to or

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