Will the college admissions scandal hurt disabled students?

The college admissions scandal has disability attorneys of Arizona and others across the nation worried about the impact the scandal will likely have on legitimately disabled students who need testing accommodations for college entrance exams and other purposes.

Qualifying for Social Security disability benefits based on a mental impairment is generally much more difficult than qualifying for college entrance test accommodations – – the latter of which is relatively easy to get for students who already have an IEP (an individual education plan) in effect. And if the college admissions scandal allegations are true, it’s even easy for those without disabilities but with enough cash to get an accommodation.

Many of the mental impairments which would qualify a student for college testing accommodations like “autism, traumatic brain injury, and psychiatric conditions” are also noted as part of the Social Security Administration’s recognized list of “cognitive, emotional, and mental disorders” that may qualify for disabled applicants for Social Security disability benefits.

The testing accommodations for exams like the ACT and SAT, are designed not to give the disabled student an advantage over their typically-developing peers, but instead to level the playing field so they may have an equal opportunity for admission. Examples of some testing accommodations may include allowing a student to take the test alone if their condition is exacerbated by distractions, or allowing a student extra time if their disability requires they have it in order to complete the exam.

Reportedly, part of the alleged scam was accomplished by “helping students fake learning disabilities” for which they were allegedly given special testing accommodations of either extra time and/or private settings where their wrong answers were allegedly either corrected or another student took the exam for them.

Anticipated crackdowns on granting applications for special accommodations for testing can only hurt legitimately disabled students who desperately need them.
If you or a loved one needs assistance applying for disability benefits or appealing the denial of benefits, the disability attorneys of Arizona at Roeschke Law can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

With offices in Tempe, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona, we represent disabled individuals and their families throughout Arizona in all parts of the disability benefits application process.