[Athen] print disability

Ron Stewart ron at ahead.org
Thu May 10 18:28:07 PDT 2012

I would also have most likely determined the student to be qualified. It is
not uncommon for the side effects of these meds to cause issues with reading
ability. It is just not the impact of the disability that needs to be
considered but the impact of the mitigation of the disability as well.
Under the provisions of the ADAAA it would appear that she qualifies based
on prior history as well and the recommendation of competent medical

This is an example that I quite often use in my trainings, one of the side
effect of Bi-Polar medications is the text tends to swim around the
traditional page. I worked with one student that actually became "seasick"
when they tried to use standard print while taking their meds.

Ron Stewart

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Julie
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 2:38 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] print disability

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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