[Athen] print disability

Julie Balassa jbalassa at valenciacollege.edu
Wed May 9 14:37:46 PDT 2012

Hello. A student with severe bipolar disorder and severe ADD is requesting alt format accommodations, which were provided by her previous institution. She reports severe and long-standing struggles with reading. The doctor's report also mentions struggles with reading and lists alt format as a suggested accommodation. The student presents as someone who is heavily medicated, sluggish, and confused. When she met with me, she was experiencing intrusive side effects of her medications and they were in the process of being adjusted. Based on the combination of disabilities, the medication issues, the doctor's report, the student's report, and the history of alt format accommodations, I gave her alt format of textbooks and other required materials to determine whether that would approach the equally effective communication via printed materials as defined by the OCR. My decision is being questioned on the premise that her bipolar disorder and ADD constitute only an emotional behavioral disability that does not qualify for alt format accommodations. I've passed along the AIM Commission's definitions. Any thoughts?


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