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Citing Disability or Accommodation

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46 minutes ago, providence said:

The more I think about this, the more I agree that Osgoode probably doesn’t need the accommodation information. If the point is to diversify the class by admitting people who live with disabilities, it’s irrelevant. And why wouldn’t their stats be taken at face value? If they want consideration for lower grades because there was inadequate accommodation, they can address that in their PS. They can provide whatever proof of disability they want, which may or may not include accommodations, but it is their own decision/risk what to include or not. So no, I don’t see the point and I get how it could be a violation of privacy.

Again, what you’re arguing for is just a de facto assumption that they were accommodated. That’s fine, so long as you’re okay with punishing those who didn’t receive accomodations and fail to disclose it (possibly due to misunderstanding or whatever). 

I don’t really see the purpose of allowing them to apply access at all at that point. Does someone with a fully accommodated learning disability really bring that much diversity to a class? Sure, a deaf or blind person would, but I don’t think the guy with ADHD who has been fully accommodated his whole university career adds much. 

Plus, isn’t it kinda mean for a law school to let people with lower grades in just to add diversity? If you’re letting them in because they’re grades and LSAT were suppressed due to systemic barriers and you expect law school won’t have those barriers then great, I support you. But if you’re letting in sub par students that you believe were on equal footing with all others and yet still performed worse than them then you’re just setting them up for failure. That doesn’t seem fair. 

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1 minute ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Again, what you’re arguing for is just a de facto assumption that they were accommodated. That’s fine, so long as you’re okay with punishing those who didn’t receive accomodations and fail to disclose it (possibly due to misunderstanding or whatever). 

I don’t really see the purpose of allowing them to apply access at all at that point. Does someone with a fully accommodated learning disability really bring that much diversity to a class? Sure, a deaf or blind person would, but I don’t think the guy with ADHD who has been fully accommodated his whole university career adds much. 

Plus, isn’t it kinda mean for a law school to let people with lower grades in just to add diversity? If you’re letting them in because they’re grades and LSAT were suppressed due to systemic barriers and you expect law school won’t have those barriers then great, I support you. But if you’re letting in sub par students that you believe were on equal footing with all others and yet still performed worse than them then you’re just setting them up for failure. That doesn’t seem fair. 

No, I’m not assuming anyone was or was not accommodated. I’m not sure how you got that. Take the example of a person who uses a wheelchair. It may be important to have that person in law school to enhance the diversity of the school. They may want a career advancing the rights of persons with disabilities- a worthy goal for a law school to support- or they may not have disability-specific goals, but it would enrich the profession as a whole to have them in it. They have undoubtedly faced barriers and will face more of them in the legal profession. 

This person didn’t necessarily receive any accommodations. Their disability doesn’t prevent them from sitting and writing essays, exams or the LSAT. Their grades are their grades. It’s irrelevant whether or not they got accommodations and I certainly wouldn’t assume they did.

 

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13 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Treating an A as an A disadvantages student who did not receive accommodations and fail to disclose that. You’re not proposing a solution, you’re just choosing the “assume accomodations” option and putting it in nicer terms. 

Also @providence Again, so what? It's their choice to be disadvantaged because they prefer privacy. And as providence noted, if someone didn't receive or received in their view inadequate accommodation, they can choose to disclose that. So the only people being disadvantaged are those who didn't receive accommodations but choose to fail to disclose that, again their choice. I may be a bit strong on this topic (which I think is being discussed generally, not specific to Osgoode though this is where it is) because I've heard from multiple people I know with physical disabilities about how they get treated, people assuming they are incompetent to decide e.g. if they need help, if they're with someone addressing all remarks to that other person, etc. And I see a policy of requiring people to reveal information because it's in their own best interests to reveal that information, as similarly paternalistic. Unless it's not paternalistic but a basis to downgrade some applicants?

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9 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Again, what you’re arguing for is just a de facto assumption that they were accommodated. That’s fine, so long as you’re okay with punishing those who didn’t receive accomodations and fail to disclose it (possibly due to misunderstanding or whatever). 

I don’t really see the purpose of allowing them to apply access at all at that point. Does someone with a fully accommodated learning disability really bring that much diversity to a class? Sure, a deaf or blind person would, but I don’t think the guy with ADHD who has been fully accommodated his whole university career adds much. 

Plus, isn’t it kinda mean for a law school to let people with lower grades in just to add diversity? If you’re letting them in because they’re grades and LSAT were suppressed due to systemic barriers and you expect law school won’t have those barriers then great, I support you. But if you’re letting in sub par students that you believe were on equal footing with all others and yet still performed worse than them then you’re just setting them up for failure. That doesn’t seem fair. 

Re: the rest of it. I think the people who get accommodations for learning disabilities would likely need those accommodations to continue in law school and would have to request them anyway at some point. I see the request for accommodations in those scenarios to be more about verifying that this isn’t a bogus access claim. I would think if you bombed your first year of undergrad, then learned you have a disability that can be accommodated and your grades went up, you’d want the school to know that and you’d also want the accommodations going forward, so why wouldn’t you share that?

However, if a person chooses to verify their disability through doctors’ notes instead and not address accommodations, that should be up to them. If they got competitive grades, with or without accommodations, they should be able to apply in the regular category and not even mention that. The issue should only arise for those with less competitive grades who want their disability considered, and it should be up to them how they go about that. 

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9 minutes ago, providence said:

No, I’m not assuming anyone was or was not accommodated. I’m not sure how you got that. Take the example of a person who uses a wheelchair. It may be important to have that person in law school to enhance the diversity of the school. They may want a career advancing the rights of persons with disabilities- a worthy goal for a law school to support- or they may not have disability-specific goals, but it would enrich the profession as a whole to have them in it. They have undoubtedly faced barriers and will face more of them in the legal profession. 

This person didn’t necessarily receive any accommodations. Their disability doesn’t prevent them from sitting and writing essays, exams or the LSAT. Their grades are their grades. It’s irrelevant whether or not they got accommodations and I certainly wouldn’t assume they did.

 

I got there because treating all grades equally is default an assumption the people were adequately accommodated. Do you not see how that’s true? To hold people with varying abilities as having equal outcomes is to assume that they were accommodated adequately, as yo have a level playing field.  

I agreed with the scenario of physical disabilities applying access in my post. I’m discussing learning disabilities. I think it’s clear being in a wheelchair doesn’t impact your grades. 

2 minutes ago, epeeist said:

Also @providence Again, so what? It's their choice to be disadvantaged because they prefer privacy. And as providence noted, if someone didn't receive or received in their view inadequate accommodation, they can choose to disclose that. So the only people being disadvantaged are those who didn't receive accommodations but choose to fail to disclose that, again their choice. I may be a bit strong on this topic (which I think is being discussed generally, not specific to Osgoode though this is where it is) because I've heard from multiple people I know with physical disabilities about how they get treated, people assuming they are incompetent to decide e.g. if they need help, if they're with someone addressing all remarks to that other person, etc. And I see a policy of requiring people to reveal information because it's in their own best interests to reveal that information, as similarly paternalistic. Unless it's not paternalistic but a basis to downgrade some applicants?

So why not just have them be disadvantaged by applying in the regular category? If someone doesn’t want to disclose their accomodations, they can simply apply in the regular category and discuss whatever they’d like in their personal statement. If that’s the diversity their accommodated self will bring to the class, then great. What’s the problem with that? 

I don’t think it’s a basis to downgrade some applicants, but a basis to accurately assess applicants. Imagine a student with a learning disability that makes them read slowly who got a 159 on the LSAT. If they were accommodated by having extra time, then that 159 is likely just what they should have gotten. If they weren’t accommodated, then that 159 may be a result of their slow writing, not their actual abilities. In that case, you could choose to weigh their accommodated GPA more heavily. 

2 minutes ago, providence said:

Re: the rest of it. I think the people who get accommodations for learning disabilities would likely need those accommodations to continue in law school and would have to request them anyway at some point. I see the request for accommodations in those scenarios to be more about verifying that this isn’t a bogus access claim. I would think if you bombed your first year of undergrad, then learned you have a disability that can be accommodated and your grades went up, you’d want the school to know that and you’d also want the accommodations going forward, so why wouldn’t you share that?

However, if a person chooses to verify their disability through doctors’ notes instead and not address accommodations, that should be up to them. If they got competitive grades, with or without accommodations, they should be able to apply in the regular category and not even mention that. The issue should only arise for those with less competitive grades who want their disability considered, and it should be up to them how they go about that. 

Why should it be up to them? What’s wrong with the school saying “you can apply regular category and talk about the diversity you may bring in your personal statement, or apply access, provide an accurate accounting of your accommodations, and we’ll consider you in that category”. They still have the choice. Nobody is being forced to disclose anything. It’s just that if you want to be considered in the special category your have to provide some special information. 

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1 minute ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

I got there because treating all grades equally is default an assumption the people were adequately accommodated. Do you not see how that’s true? To hold people with varying abilities as having equal outcomes is to assume that they were accommodated adequately, as yo have a level playing field.  

I agreed with the scenario of physical disabilities applying access in my post. I’m discussing learning disabilities. I think it’s clear being in a wheelchair doesn’t impact your grades. 

So why not just have them be disadvantaged by applying in the regular category? If someone doesn’t want to disclose their accomodations, they can simply apply in the regular category and discuss whatever they’d like in their personal statement. If that’s the diversity their accommodated self will bring to the class, then great. What’s the problem with that? 

I don’t think it’s a basis to downgrade some applicants, but a basis to accurately assess applicants. Imagine a student with a learning disability that makes them read slowly who got a 159 on the LSAT. If they were accommodated by having extra time, then that 159 is likely just what they should have gotten. If they weren’t accommodated, then that 159 may be a result of their slow writing, not their actual abilities. In that case, you could choose to weigh their accommodated GPA more heavily. 

Why should it be up to them? What’s wrong with the school saying “you can apply regular category and talk about the diversity you may bring in your personal statement, or apply access, provide an accurate accounting of your accommodations, and we’ll consider you in that category”. They still have the choice. Nobody is being forced to disclose anything. It’s just that if you want to be considered in the special category your have to provide some special information. 

It doesn’t necessarily mean they were adequately accommodated at all. Maybe someone got a B+ without accommodations that could have been an A+ with. Maybe they were refused accommodations for the LSAT and had to write it 3 times and develop coping strategies with a counsellor before they got a 160 that potentially could be even higher with accommodations. Again, they should be held to have equal outcomes unless they choose to say they weren’t and demonstrate how. 

That’s like people of colour, Aboriginal people, people of poor backgrounds etc. Their scores would be considered no differently than those of white well-off applicants, unless and until they choose to say that their grades were impacted by poor schooling on a reserve or in a “priority” neighbourhood, by having to work a lot, or whatever. I wouldn’t assume an Aboriginal applicant was economically disadvantaged - if they were, it was up to them to say so. When I applied I certainly didn’t share all my socioeconomic factors.

I didn’t have a disability but I had times in undergrad when I was very unwell and I never asked to be accommodated even though it was offered to me.... that was at my own risk, as it should have been. 

I agree you shoukd provide documentation in the special category, but not necessarily documentation of accommodations. What to provide is up to the person, just like the person claiming their dad died and they were in counseling and their grades suffered has the choice to submit a letter from the counsellor or not. 

 

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10 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

I got there because treating all grades equally is default an assumption the people were adequately accommodated. Do you not see how that’s true? To hold people with varying abilities as having equal outcomes is to assume that they were accommodated adequately, as yo have a level playing field.  

I agreed with the scenario of physical disabilities applying access in my post. I’m discussing learning disabilities. I think it’s clear being in a wheelchair doesn’t impact your grades. 

So why not just have them be disadvantaged by applying in the regular category? If someone doesn’t want to disclose their accomodations, they can simply apply in the regular category and discuss whatever they’d like in their personal statement. If that’s the diversity their accommodated self will bring to the class, then great. What’s the problem with that? 

I don’t think it’s a basis to downgrade some applicants, but a basis to accurately assess applicants. Imagine a student with a learning disability that makes them read slowly who got a 159 on the LSAT. If they were accommodated by having extra time, then that 159 is likely just what they should have gotten. If they weren’t accommodated, then that 159 may be a result of their slow writing, not their actual abilities. In that case, you could choose to weigh their accommodated GPA more heavily. 

Why should it be up to them? What’s wrong with the school saying “you can apply regular category and talk about the diversity you may bring in your personal statement, or apply access, provide an accurate accounting of your accommodations, and we’ll consider you in that category”. They still have the choice. Nobody is being forced to disclose anything. It’s just that if you want to be considered in the special category your have to provide some special information. 

As @providence noted, it's not just about equality, it's about diversity (my objections to LSUC's statement are more about whether the requirement is ultra vires at least if no ethics rule change, and the precedent set if they can dictate personal speech, not disagreement with the objective). So it's quite reasonable for someone to want to disclose their disability and apply in that category, while not wanting to disclose further details about accommodations they received in the past, if any. Also, what if someone received accommodations but didn't want them? For instance, picking U of T for a change, not all classrooms are accessible and they note advance notice is required when registering for courses, they can't guarantee access if not notified months in advance, etc. (I'm paraphrasing). So let's say for a particular test the student in a wheelchair needs an accessible space which is different from the available test room for the small class (i.e. not the normal accessible room). I don't know U of T's current policy, but in the past (other places) I was told that there was a rather blunt, everyone needing accommodation got put in the same room and had twice the time. Even if their accommodation had nothing to do with requiring extra time, it was a one-size-fits-all policy, only if there was objection would there be something else. So for instance someone who for health reasons needed to have food in the exam, not extra time, automatically got extra time also. I assume that similarly someone in a wheelchair who needed a different accessible space would have been given extra time also even though they didn't ask for it. Why should they be required to disclose a specific accommodation (extra time) that they never asked for nor required, that could lead the law school to downgrade their mark?

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@epeeist that is a completely useless accommodation policy! Which raises another issue - why would the law school rely on accommodations that may have been flawed, inadequate, unwanted, nor addressed the real issues etc. Why assume if accommodation was given that it actually had the result intended or desired?

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8 minutes ago, providence said:

@epeeist that is a completely useless accommodation policy! Which raises another issue - why would the law school rely on accommodations that may have been flawed, inadequate, unwanted, nor addressed the real issues etc. Why assume if accommodation was given that it actually had the result intended or desired?

I wasn't arguing it was a good one! This was years ago, and if I recall correctly (that's IF) it was either Queen's or LSUC's policy (for the bar ads) or both, that everyone who needed accommodation of any sort had to write in the same special room and they were all given extra time, I assume because they thought it would be too difficult to find exam proctors who could figure out that some students got extra time and others didn't... I wouldn't have known except for a friend who did for medical reasons need to have food available during the exam, and so they had to write in this special room with extra time, which they didn't want or need.

I assume the reason was if you give everyone needing accommodation extra time (even if they didn't ask for it) on top of whatever their specific accommodation is, that they're less likely to be able to complain about the accommodation? E.g. we'll give you food and twice the time, a wheelchair ramp and twice the time, access to your medication and twice the time, etc.

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1 hour ago, providence said:

It doesn’t necessarily mean they were adequately accommodated at all. Maybe someone got a B+ without accommodations that could have been an A+ with. Maybe they were refused accommodations for the LSAT and had to write it 3 times and develop coping strategies with a counsellor before they got a 160 that potentially could be even higher with accommodations. Again, they should be held to have equal outcomes unless they choose to say they weren’t and demonstrate how. 

That’s like people of colour, Aboriginal people, people of poor backgrounds etc. Their scores would be considered no differently than those of white well-off applicants, unless and until they choose to say that their grades were impacted by poor schooling on a reserve or in a “priority” neighbourhood, by having to work a lot, or whatever. I wouldn’t assume an Aboriginal applicant was economically disadvantaged - if they were, it was up to them to say so. When I applied I certainly didn’t share all my socioeconomic factors.

I didn’t have a disability but I had times in undergrad when I was very unwell and I never asked to be accommodated even though it was offered to me.... that was at my own risk, as it should have been. 

I agree you shoukd provide documentation in the special category, but not necessarily documentation of accommodations. What to provide is up to the person, just like the person claiming their dad died and they were in counseling and their grades suffered has the choice to submit a letter from the counsellor or not. 

 

3

Okay, so what you're arguing for is a policy in which people with disabilities are considered no differently than regular applicants unless and until they choose to say their grades were impacted?I can get behind that. But if that's the case, why not just have them apply in the regular category? 

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1 hour ago, epeeist said:

As @providence noted, it's not just about equality, it's about diversity (my objections to LSUC's statement are more about whether the requirement is ultra vires at least if no ethics rule change, and the precedent set if they can dictate personal speech, not disagreement with the objective). So it's quite reasonable for someone to want to disclose their disability and apply in that category, while not wanting to disclose further details about accommodations they received in the past, if any. 

1

[Portion only quoted, since the useless accommodation is its own problem that would require even more discussion]

Okay, so why not just have them apply in the regular category and discuss their disability in their PS, if they want to, for diversity consideration? 

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31 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

[Portion only quoted, since the useless accommodation is its own problem that would require even more discussion]

Okay, so why not just have them apply in the regular category and discuss their disability in their PS, if they want to, for diversity consideration? 

What is the purpose of any special category? Is it merely, look at my marks more favourably? Or is it also, diversity is good?

Also, it's quite possible someone might not want to reveal past accommodations but would want the law school to know, prospectively, that if admitted the law school will need to accommodate e.g. someone in a wheelchair, or visually impaired, or deaf, or whatever. Is applying in the regular category and only revealing that information in the PS going to get "caught" so that the law school will be able to address prospective (not historical!) accommodation issues in a timely fashion?

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29 minutes ago, epeeist said:

What is the purpose of any special category? Is it merely, look at my marks more favourably? Or is it also, diversity is good?

Also, it's quite possible someone might not want to reveal past accommodations but would want the law school to know, prospectively, that if admitted the law school will need to accommodate e.g. someone in a wheelchair, or visually impaired, or deaf, or whatever. Is applying in the regular category and only revealing that information in the PS going to get "caught" so that the law school will be able to address prospective (not historical!) accommodation issues in a timely fashion?

Osgoode states that disabilities are considered under the equity or performance categories, meaning its to address those who failed to receive accommodation on the LSAT or those who faced systemic barriers in their education. It’s hard to imagine either of those are relevant to someone that has always been accommodated. Disabilities are not recognized under the diversity category. 

Osgoode doesn’t track applicants who need accommodations going forward. That’s handled following admission through York’s accessibility office. It says so during the application process and after admission. It’s actually made quite explicit, I’m looking at the email. 

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5 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Except you’re not arguing that universities shouldn’t request disclosure of medical conditions, which I agree is completely outside their area of expertise. They’re being asked to disclose accomodations, which, as an institution that is responsible for granting the exact same accomodations, is totally within their are of expertise. 

If you don’t think one’s bank account balance is predictive and explanatory of ones academic achievement then you’re simply not up on the current research. 

Yes I am quite aware of the role of socioeconomic status thank you very much; but you keep drawing comparisons I am simply not making. I think its semi safe to say that having a learning disability is  associated with income; predictive certainly and possibly explanatory too. Income is the biggest predictor of health status yes but the types of conditions I am referring to under the access category are often multifactorial in aetiology. But this disclosure of income (and its purpose of securing a bursary, post admission) simply does not hold the same intention or outcome of disclosing that of testing accommodations for an admissions decision, even IF ses is predictive of academic success. 

Edited by contigotravelmug

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14 minutes ago, contigotravelmug said:

Yes I am quite aware of the role of socioeconomic status thank you very much; but you keep drawing comparisons I am simply not making. I think its semi safe to say that having a learning disability is  associated with income; predictive certainly and possibly explanatory too. Income is the biggest predictor of health status yes but the types of conditions I am referring to under the access category are often multifactorial in aetiology. But this disclosure of income (and its purpose of securing a bursary, post admission) simply does not hold the same intention or outcome of disclosing that of testing accommodations for an admissions decision, even IF ses is predictive of academic success. 

Okay, so why don't you answer my question: why don't we just let those that don't want to disclose accommodations apply in the regular category and speak about their disability in their PS if they'd like to? 

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2 minutes ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

Okay, so why don't you answer my question: why don't we just let those that don't want to disclose accommodations apply in the regular category and speak about their disability in their PS if they'd like to? 

I don't see a problem with that - provided an individual can provide supporting documentation (so they choose to). My only issue and reason I started all of this was because of Osgoode's form, which I am still confident in saying creates an unnecessary moral dilemma for the applicant and (to me) does not necessarily provide any access at all if an added layer of personal bias comes in from adcoms. My point has essentially been demonstrated with this entire thread because its quite evident there is a divide about what certain people consider 'acceptable' access claims. While I do agree with this, I don't agree that adcoms should be the ones deciding that and I believe revealing LSAT accommodations (yes/no) does not support this either. 

I've said this before but if someone can prove that the Osgoode access form does not explicitly require revealing this information (as necessary for access application), then we can move on from this.

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6 minutes ago, contigotravelmug said:

I don't see a problem with that - provided an individual can provide supporting documentation (so they choose to). My only issue and reason I started all of this was because of Osgoode's form, which I am still confident in saying creates an unnecessary moral dilemma for the applicant and (to me) does not necessarily provide any access at all if an added layer of personal bias comes in from adcoms. My point has essentially been demonstrated with this entire thread because its quite evident there is a divide about what certain people consider 'acceptable' access claims. While I do agree with this, I don't agree that adcoms should be the ones deciding that and I believe revealing LSAT accommodations (yes/no) does not support this either. 

I've said this before but if someone can prove that the Osgoode access form does not explicitly require revealing this information (as necessary for access application), then we can move on from this.

You realize that's essentially the status quo, right? If a disabled applicant applies in the regular category they're completely free to not disclose accommodations and are free to admit supporting documentation through SAM with everyone else. Nothing stops them. It's just that if they would like additional consideration due to a failure to receive accommodations on the LSAT or systemic barriers to their education (read: failure to receive accommodations) then they have to provide that information when they apply in the access category.

Also, I'm sorry, you don't think AdComs should be deciding if something is an acceptable access claim for admission to their program? What? What the hell do you want then? 

Edited by BlockedQuebecois

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