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Citing Disability or Accommodation

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Do you have to cite disability? or if you receive accommodation? Can OLSAS or Law Schools request that information from home universities? Or is it confidential as I imagine it should be.

 

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If you're applying access, it would be very odd to not include that information. It's pretty clear that if you're trying to claim access but do not provide a complete explanation of your status then there is likely something you're trying to hide. 

If you're not applying access then it's up to you to mention what you want. Universities definitely won't be giving out the information on your behalf. 

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If you're wondering what constitutes "proof" you should just email them with your specific scenario and they'll help you out.

 

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On 2017-10-25 at 2:19 PM, aaronl said:

Do you have to cite disability? or if you receive accommodation? Can OLSAS or Law Schools request that information from home universities? Or is it confidential as I imagine it should be.

 

You don’t have to cite anything but it shouldn’t hurt to add that in part B.  The information you provide in you application is confidential.  Good luck!

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On 10/25/2017 at 4:43 PM, WindsorHopeful said:

If you're applying access, it would be very odd to not include that information. It's pretty clear that if you're trying to claim access but do not provide a complete explanation of your status then there is likely something you're trying to hide. 

If you're not applying access then it's up to you to mention what you want. Universities definitely won't be giving out the information on your behalf. 

not applying access, just medical information is confidential, don't see why anyone would have to cite the fact that you have received accommodation.

Edited by aaronl

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On 2017-10-31 at 3:45 AM, aaronl said:

not applying access, just medical information is confidential, don't see why anyone would have to cite the fact that you have received accommodation.

agreed - in fact osgoode otta take some advice from this multi million $ american lawsuit against LSAC for allegedly identifying to law schools that the test taker had a disability (and thus creating 'blind' bias/stigma) ......

http://www.ldao.ca/law-school-admission-council-settles-disability-lawsuit/

that seriously defeats the purpose of access and confidentiality and is like a literal law school access application oxymoron.

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6 hours ago, contigotravelmug said:

 

agreed - in fact osgoode otta take some advice from this multi million $ american lawsuit against LSAC for allegedly identifying to law schools that the test taker had a disability (and thus creating 'blind' bias/stigma) ......

http://www.ldao.ca/law-school-admission-council-settles-disability-lawsuit/

that seriously defeats the purpose of access and confidentiality and is like a literal law school access application oxymoron.

Uhm, but Osgoode doesn’t identify you as disabled unless you tell them you are. Why the anger?

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13 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Uhm, but Osgoode doesn’t identify you as disabled unless you tell them you are. Why the anger?

To me, its a disclosure and confidentiality issue. If you apply access, received accommodations yet do not disclose them, then in a way you are potentially facing a moral dilemma, one which you may not face had you not required accommodations. If you apply access, disclose that you received accommodations and the adcoms decide your accommodations were exceptional or not compassionate/etc. (i.e. compared to your stats), then you potentially face a stigmatization dilemma. Its a tricky issue and I am simply passionate about equity issues and fortunately I get to blab about them on here in the form of anonymous opinion statements.

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6 hours ago, contigotravelmug said:

To me, its a disclosure and confidentiality issue. If you apply access, received accommodations yet do not disclose them, then in a way you are potentially facing a moral dilemma, one which you may not face had you not required accommodations. If you apply access, disclose that you received accommodations and the adcoms decide your accommodations were exceptional or not compassionate/etc. (i.e. compared to your stats), then you potentially face a stigmatization dilemma. Its a tricky issue and I am simply passionate about equity issues and fortunately I get to blab about them on here in the form of anonymous opinion statements.

You’re passionate about an equity issue that literally doesn’t exist? Osgoode isn’t calling up schools and asking if you had accommodations. They give you the chance to explain that you did, if you’d like to, but there’s no requirement. 

If I were you I’d focus my energy of equity issues that actually exist. 

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1 hour ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

You’re passionate about an equity issue that literally doesn’t exist? Osgoode isn’t calling up schools and asking if you had accommodations. They give you the chance to explain that you did, if you’d like to, but there’s no requirement. 

If I were you I’d focus my energy of equity issues that actually exist. 

Actually, thats not correct. I vaguely recall checking it out awhile back, and upon entering the access/special considerations category I believe its a hard yes or no check box as to if you received testing accommodations on the LSAT as well as the nature of them, and your score etc. Not, IF you received accommodations, would you LIKE to share them. So if you apply this way, and you choose to not disclose your accommodations, you are essentially lying. That to me is an equity issue, albeit a potentially minor one. Just my interpretation. 

Edit: If someone can confirm my vague recollection that would be great. Because if I am right (and I believe I am), then I truly do think Osgoode is treating disabled or access applicants unfairly, and should maybe consider amending their access applicant form.

Edited by contigotravelmug

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31 minutes ago, contigotravelmug said:

Actually, thats not correct. I vaguely recall checking it out awhile back, and upon entering the access/special considerations category I believe its a hard yes or no check box as to if you received testing accommodations on the LSAT as well as the nature of them, and your score etc. Not, IF you received accommodations, would you LIKE to share them. So if you apply this way, and you choose to not disclose your accommodations, you are essentially lying. That to me is an equity issue, albeit a potentially minor one. Just my interpretation. 

Edit: If someone can confirm my vague recollection that would be great. Because if I am right (and I believe I am), then I truly do think Osgoode is treating disabled or access applicants unfairly, and should maybe consider amending their access applicant form.

If you could apply access without giving proof, everybody would do it since the standards are obviously (and rightfully so) lower. Kind of defeats the purpose, no?

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1 hour ago, contigotravelmug said:

Actually, thats not correct. I vaguely recall checking it out awhile back, and upon entering the access/special considerations category I believe its a hard yes or no check box as to if you received testing accommodations on the LSAT as well as the nature of them, and your score etc. Not, IF you received accommodations, would you LIKE to share them. So if you apply this way, and you choose to not disclose your accommodations, you are essentially lying. That to me is an equity issue, albeit a potentially minor one. Just my interpretation. 

Edit: If someone can confirm my vague recollection that would be great. Because if I am right (and I believe I am), then I truly do think Osgoode is treating disabled or access applicants unfairly, and should maybe consider amending their access applicant form.

????? Saying whether you did or didn’t receive accommodations is an important way for the school to assess:

a) whether you truly live with a disability that impacts your academic performance and is serious enough to impact your life - this would be especially important for “invisible” disabilities such as mental health issues 

b) whether the accommodations you require are compatible with law school study

c) whether you are so exceptional as to not have required accommodations and done well in a situation where most people would need accommodations 

I have seen people try to claim that anything from PMS to a broken foot to a bad back is a disability. In some circumstances, those things could be, but you’d need some serious proof that your experience of them is outside the norm and one way to gauge that is if a doctor recommended specific accommodations that were accepted by a university.

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Sorry, what? You want people to be able to say they have access considerations that Osgoode should definitely consider when assessing their competitiveness, but that they shouldn’t be asked what those considerations are or how they’re studies were impacted? 

Thats nonsensical. If you have a disability and you want preferential consideration, you disclose that. If you don’t want to disclose that, you don’t get special consideration. 

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21 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Sorry, what? You want people to be able to say they have access considerations that Osgoode should definitely consider when assessing their competitiveness, but that they shouldn’t be asked what those considerations are or how they’re studies were impacted? 

Thats nonsensical. If you have a disability and you want preferential consideration, you disclose that. If you don’t want to disclose that, you don’t get special consideration. 

Also @contigotravelmug and @providence because again multiquote problems.

I think what contigo was getting at is that if you want special consideration in an access category, providing information and appropriate evidence/proof of your disability is appropriate. The objection is to being obliged to provide extra information about what accommodations you received for the LSAT (or otherwise e.g. in university?).

That is, the argument would in part I presume be, accommodation is intended to level the playing field, if a blind person has a test reader who reads the questions to them and bubbles in the answers and therefore the blind test taker gets more time, they're not actually at an advantage (good luck with logic diagrams...) and so requiring them to report on their accommodations that they had a test reader and extra time arguably disadvantages them and is intrusive and invites the recipient institution to assume their score isn't really as good as someone else's score (vis-a-vis the freakouts some law students have about accommodations for others in exams...). Whereas requiring confirmation of their blindness or visual impairment itself, if they've chosen to reveal it, is not so intrusive or potentially biasing.

I'm not sure I fully agree with that argument, I could see that from the LSAT perspective it's harder for them to assess when someone has been accommodated, and a law school might reasonably want to know what accommodations were made, but it's not a specious argument. And for someone who's blind or severely visually impaired I certainly think their LSAT score, even if allotted more time and a reader etc., is actually much more impressive than a normal not visually impaired test-taker.

For that matter, is someone who applies in the regular category required to reveal all accommodations they received ever, due to e.g. illness they got a deferred exam, or more time to submit a paper? Do they have to reveal they were admitted to university in an access category if they aren't applying in such to law school? Etc.

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For the record, Osgoode doesn't have an "access category", but you are asked whether you would like to disclose a disability in order to have it be a factor in making a decision on your application. If you choose to do so, you will be asked: (1) the nature of the disability; (2) in what year of study you were diagnosed; (3) what accommodation you received; (4) for what years of study were accommodations granted; (5) whether you sought accommodation for the LSAT; and (6) whether accommodation was granted on the LSAT. You are not asked what kind of accommodations you received on the LSAT.

The purpose of this information is to place your marks into perspective. For example, let's say you were diagnosed with dyslexia in your second year of undergrad and received accommodation in years 3 and 4, and consequently your marks went from 2.8 to 3.7. Even though your cGPA (which is what Osgoode mainly cares about) is not very good, it shows that you have the potential to be an excellent student because your disability is being managed.

Same reason for the LSAT: if you sought accommodations for the LSAT but were denied and scored a 143, the adcom can deduce that you likely would have done better had you been accommodated. The adcom knows that receiving accommodation on the LSAT is pretty difficult (in Canada, still, anyway) and so it won't hold it against you. You have to submit independent proof of your disability anyway, so that will usually be the deciding factor in accepting that you should have been accommodated, not whether the LSAC thinks so.

In other words, if you want the adcom to consider your disability when looking at your application, you have to give full and complete information about your circumstances so that an appropriate decision can be made. I don't think this is an equity concern at all.

Edited by Ryn
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11 minutes ago, Ryn said:

For the record, Osgoode doesn't have an "access category", but you are asked whether you would like to disclose a disability in order to have it be a factor in making a decision on your application. If you choose to do so, you will be asked: (1) the nature of the disability; (2) in what year of study you were diagnosed; (3) what accommodation you received; (4) for what years of study were accommodations granted; (5) whether you sought accommodation for the LSAT; and (6) whether accommodation was granted on the LSAT. You are not asked what kind of accommodations you received either at university or on the LSAT.

The purpose of this information is to place your marks into perspective. For example, let's say you were diagnosed with dyslexia in your second year of undergrad and received accommodation in years 3 and 4, and consequently your marks went from 2.8 to 3.7. Even though your cGPA (which is what Osgoode mainly cares about) is not very good, it shows that you have the potential to be an excellent student because your disability is being managed.

Same reason for the LSAT: if you sought accommodations for the LSAT but were denied and scored a 143, the adcom can deduce that you likely would have done better had you been accommodated. The adcom knows that receiving accommodation on the LSAT is pretty difficult (in Canada, still, anyway) and so it won't hold it against you. You have to submit independent proof of your disability anyway, so that will usually be the deciding factor in accepting that you should have been accommodated, not whether the LSAC thinks so.

In other words, if you want the adcom to consider your disability when looking at your application, you have to give full and complete information about your circumstances so that an appropriate decision can be made. I don't think this is an equity concern at all.

While I appreciate the specifics, are you saying that anyone disclosing a disability must disclose more than that, they must disclose accommodation received? If so, why?

The examples you give portray it being helpful to the applicant, but so what? If someone wants to reveal only the fact that they have a disability, and not what accommodation they received, that may be very unwise, but shouldn't it be their choice if they value privacy more than increasing their chances of admission? Or is it, if someone is disabled they're forbidden to disclose that fact unless they disclose all this other information? Or can they simply disclose the disability and refuse to answer the other questions?

Also, You say (3) "what accommodation you received" but then later "You are not asked what kind of accommodations you received either at university..." seems contradictory to me? If not in undergrad, then what accommodations is it asking about in (3)?

Of course, if details of accommodation received might be used to negatively impact their application, in that case the law school's basis for desiring such information is stronger on the one hand, more concerning on the other.

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2 hours ago, epeeist said:

Also @contigotravelmug and @providence because again multiquote problems.

I think what contigo was getting at is that if you want special consideration in an access category, providing information and appropriate evidence/proof of your disability is appropriate. The objection is to being obliged to provide extra information about what accommodations you received for the LSAT (or otherwise e.g. in university?).

That is, the argument would in part I presume be, accommodation is intended to level the playing field, if a blind person has a test reader who reads the questions to them and bubbles in the answers and therefore the blind test taker gets more time, they're not actually at an advantage (good luck with logic diagrams...) and so requiring them to report on their accommodations that they had a test reader and extra time arguably disadvantages them and is intrusive and invites the recipient institution to assume their score isn't really as good as someone else's score (vis-a-vis the freakouts some law students have about accommodations for others in exams...). Whereas requiring confirmation of their blindness or visual impairment itself, if they've chosen to reveal it, is not so intrusive or potentially biasing.

I'm not sure I fully agree with that argument, I could see that from the LSAT perspective it's harder for them to assess when someone has been accommodated, and a law school might reasonably want to know what accommodations were made, but it's not a specious argument. And for someone who's blind or severely visually impaired I certainly think their LSAT score, even if allotted more time and a reader etc., is actually much more impressive than a normal not visually impaired test-taker.

For that matter, is someone who applies in the regular category required to reveal all accommodations they received ever, due to e.g. illness they got a deferred exam, or more time to submit a paper? Do they have to reveal they were admitted to university in an access category if they aren't applying in such to law school? Etc.

The problem is, if they don't disclose that information, what is the school supposed to take from your access claim? Should schools assume that someone would have done better if not for their disability? That seems specious: many learning disabilities would lead to better results on the LSAT or in university. 

Unless we're arguing about whether or not law schools should admit students simply because they have a disability — which doesn't seem like a strong argument — the university wouldn't gather any useful information from simple disclosure of a disability. 

Now if contigo's interpretation of "fair" is putting disabled students and able students on an equal playing field without adjusting for the grades or LSAT performance of either then great, that would be the outcome. But something tells me that's not what they want. 

 

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19 minutes ago, epeeist said:

While I appreciate the specifics, are you saying that anyone disclosing a disability must disclose more than that, they must disclose accommodation received? If so, why?

I don’t know if the questions are mandatory. My sense is they are not. In any event, you’d skip over them at your own peril. I can’t imagine the committee would admit an applicant purely because they say they had a disability but refused to provide any more information, unless they were otherwise competitive.

22 minutes ago, epeeist said:

Also, You say (3) "what accommodation you received" but then later "You are not asked what kind of accommodations you received either at university..." seems contradictory to me? If not in undergrad, then what accommodations is it asking about in (3)?

I meant to only say that you are not asked what kind of accommodations you received on the LSAT. I edited my post to not be confusing.

23 minutes ago, epeeist said:

Of course, if details of accommodation received might be used to negatively impact their application, in that case the law school's basis for desiring such information is stronger on the one hand, more concerning on the other.

 I don’t believe the adcom would consider any accommodation that is reasonably given by a university in their own professional capacity as an institution of higher learning to be a negative factor.  

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FWIW, my recollection of my application was that I was allowed to skip over the questions regarding accommodation (though I opted to answer them in the negative). 

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4 hours ago, epeeist said:

While I appreciate the specifics, are you saying that anyone disclosing a disability must disclose more than that, they must disclose accommodation received? If so, why?

The examples you give portray it being helpful to the applicant, but so what? If someone wants to reveal only the fact that they have a disability, and not what accommodation they received, that may be very unwise, but shouldn't it be their choice if they value privacy more than increasing their chances of admission? Or is it, if someone is disabled they're forbidden to disclose that fact unless they disclose all this other information? Or can they simply disclose the disability and refuse to answer the other questions?

Also, You say (3) "what accommodation you received" but then later "You are not asked what kind of accommodations you received either at university..." seems contradictory to me? If not in undergrad, then what accommodations is it asking about in (3)?

Of course, if details of accommodation received might be used to negatively impact their application, in that case the law school's basis for desiring such information is stronger on the one hand, more concerning on the other.

I think they are just asking if you received accommodations, but not the nature of them. 

If you are disclosing voluntarily that you have a disability and asking that it be taken into consideration in excusing objectively lower stats, what is the privacy concern about disclosing that you had accommodation, generally speaking?  Many disabilities do require accommodation, and you may need it when you get to law school as well. I just don't see the issue. 

If you have competitive stats, you probably could choose not to disclose any of this. I assume people disclose disabilities when they think they need the help and extra consideration that is available to them if they do.

Edited by providence

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