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ERIC Number: EJ1098475
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1938-9809
How Would Blackstone Teach Today's Law Students with Learning Disabilities?: A Proposal
Schmitz, Suzanne J.
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2007 n1 Win 2007
Although Sir William Blackstone would not have known if he had been lecturing to students with learning disabilities, today's law professors are. Law schools are legally required to accommodate students with learning disabilities unless the requested accommodation would alter the fundamental nature of the program. Courts give great deference to academic institutions in their determinations of what would alter the fundamental nature of the program; however, courts do expect law schools to deliberate and consider alternatives to the program requirements and to reach a rationally justifiable conclusion that the available alternative will either result in lower academic standards or require substantial alteration of the program. Law faculty who clearly articulate the goals and objectives of each of their courses will be better prepared to meet this legal test. Moreover, they will be better prepared to accommodate requests of students. Those who are deliberate about their goals are able to consider alternative means of helping students learn the material and alternative means of assessing student performance. In this way, these faculty members will avoid law suits. Law schools should institute institutional incentives to encourage faculty members to do just that. Law school administrators must educate faculty members and others about the legal requirements and types of disabilities to be accommodation. Further, they might adopts such incentives as financial rewards and released time for faculty who are interested in more clearly defining their educational goals and methods.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Americans with Disabilities Act 1990; Rehabilitation Act 1973 (Section 504)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A