To add more detail to this story. The petition was "Process for substitution of Math Requirements due to learning disability."
The subcommittee meeting was on the 24th. Since it is a public university, information is disclosed online, my name or case did not appear. More interesting is this, I have yet to get the exact members on the committee after even contacting the Ombud, she too has been ignored and has proved incapable/ineffective at gathering any information at all.
I got a list of ALL the potential members on the committee and there is not ONE who has learning disability credentials or is a learning disability liaison. Don't you think this would be extremely important considering it was petitioned on the account of my learning disability, both ADHD and Dyscalculia?
After spending almost $1000 this semester on tutoring alone (Two tutors, one a PHD) the office that told me about a substitution "Office of Disability Services" did not write me a letter recommending a substitution when in fact they wrote only ONE letter and it was a interpretation of my math capabilities from the results, which when read, is easy to see that I am practically incapable of mathematics. Further documentation was included from test results from psychologists etc. which shows how bad my math skills are. So I was rejected for "Lack of a good faith effort" and that no recemendation was made from the office that told me about the substitution.
I am now told it is "now all water under the bridge" by the head of the learning disability department and just to accept the fact that I will have to keep trying math in college, now going to be seven times after failing and withdrawing all those times. I have letters, documentation, correspondence, emails, that all prove that I have been advocating for myself all year with no help from the disability office, in fact, they seem to be working against me.
They have easily violated ADA among other laws. Omubud can not even get answers. So the general consensus is to write further up to the president of the college?
The amount of paperwork, documentation, among much else, I feel I have a very good case against the school. I have tried every route only to be denied by the College of Liberal Arts. Its not something I am proud of and this has taken up not just this semester but last semester as well and even before that.
This is ridiculous. The actual Office of Disability services has even begun to ignore me and not correctly convey my disability to the math department.
Rather then explain myself more to some one else in the college, I think it may be better to file this with the office of civil rights. Not just to help myself but how many other students are out there going through the same thing? People with situations far less as extreme and detailed as mine have won against prominent schools.
If a individual is incapable of doing a subject not relevant to his/her major and substitutions are allowed (I am not asking for a waiver) should they not be allowed to substitute courses because of a proven disability?
It is extremely bothersome that my "appeal" went before a committee with no member representing my disabilities to them and not one member on the commitee having a special educational background. Even if a IEP does not stand in college, it converts over to a 504 plan. What if I was blind and could not pass math? Also, according to the school, there is no APPEAL to the decision.
If there was ever a case to bring dyscalculia and protect others from what I have went through, I truly believe it is mine. There is so much detail to it that it is truly an amazing story.
I was placed in math 002 (intro to algebra) my first semester and struggled and was failing so I had to withdraw. Second semester I placed into math 101 (College Algebra) and am currently failing with the the help of two tutors and average exam grade of 40%.
Any one have any other idea's or just gather all said materials, and testing results etc. and just meet with a attorney from the Office of Civil Rights?
Edited by palmert on May 09 2012 04:01 AM
In response to accommodation's being utilized at KU, they include tutoring (which I must pay), extra time on exams, and a formula sheet and some notes. Even with these in place, and two tutors, I still average 40% on exams.
I am not sure if you thought I was not utilizing any of these accommodations. Even with notes on exams, I still average 40% them. There are other reasonable accommodations students may receive, reduced course load for example or extended time on assignments seeing how it takes me over double the amount of time it takes others to do the same material and that's WITH a tutor.
Students should not be told they must take a math course some where else in the hope they pass it there first then transfer it over to the University.
In addition, taking the course on a pass/fail basis should have been more then reasonable to be enacted, it was not. Which further aggravates the situation from a 3.8 GPA crashing down into the 2's.
55+ HW questions a week of long college algebra problems I do not understand and am incapable of understanding is quite difficult.
Edited by palmert on May 09 2012 04:10 AM
Were you tested by a licensed psychologist? Did you receive a copy of the test results? Was it the Wechsler or perhaps the Woodcock Johnson test? Both are good tests. You would definitely need bona fide documentation of a Learning Disability to go further in your request for a math substitution. Did you get the Mathematics Disorder diagnosis as a result of the testing? Did the psychologist write a Report, including a page of his/her recommendations on accommodations that you need? My psychologist specified that he recommended I be given a math substitution. - jus'
-Yes I was tested, extensively. I have these result as well as a EKG testing done to prove ADHD as well.
Just to reiterate my previous post and to expand on Kat's post, the university can NOT legally do anything until there is a legal diagnosis on record with the school. Please, if you don't already have an official, legal diagnosis, get one as soon as you are able. Then, and only then, are you entitled to "reasonable accommodations" that may help you. If you need help locating a place to get tested, we can assist you with that.
-Again, there is a diagnosis on file, with plenty of documentation to go with it on file with the school.
Here is a quote "First based on is WAIS-III (IQ testing) working memory index score is a a standard score of 69. 100 is the mean so his working memory is two standard deviations below the norm. This can impact his mathematical ability as it is used in the ability to do multiple functions at a time. It is also used when trying to generalize information from abstract reasoning and/or recalling information from long term memory. A student may have difficulty recalling multiplication tables and expend working memory on that and have little left over to recall how to then factor."
Also indicated is "difficulty with visual memory. This can impact a students ability in recognizing and using mathematical symbols. Functionally, this can impact the ability to recognize and remember, in sequence, complex mathematical symbols and numbers."
"Achievement testing also demonstrated variability. On the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, his Math Reasoning subtest was at the 14th percentile."
and lastly "Woodcock-Johnson Achievement test #3, calculation score was in the below average range of 84." "He would not have reached algebra questions based on his score. His clinician also noted that his performance was variable on tasks using long division "in that he was able to solve simple problems, but was unable to constantly show an understanding of more complex problems requiring long division."
These are exerts from THE ONLY letter submitted to the committee from the Office of Disability.
Yes, Palmert,... a civil rights lawyer does sound like one good possible choice.
I got some information last week that supports your idea of going to the civil rights people. The Federal government has cut Pell Grant back from 12 full semesters (for a 4-year degree) to only 9 full semesters. This means that for all dyscalculic people, those extra attempts at math classes add up to extra semesters, causing us to run out of funding before we can get our degree. If you have not been receiving Pell Grant, then this wouldn't be one of your arguing points, but if you have been receiving Pell Grant, then your college has been making you fritter away the goverment funding on the basis that you haven't made a 'good faith effort'. Where is their 'good faith effort' to understand your LD and the cost of their decisions to you, the cost of their decision to the federal government, and the cost to society in general?,... since no one will be benefiting from your future contribution to society if they don't let you graduate. - jus'
Edited by justfoundout on May 09 2012 10:33 PM
Hi again, palmert. I want to be sure that I haven't over-looked anything obvious. You are trying to get a Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts, aren't you? I mean, you are just trying to get the minimum of math credits covered in order to have a Bachelor's degree, right? Here in Texas, the State only requires three math credits (College Algebra) for a Bachelor's degree. Some Universities (like mine) require six math credits (College Algebra plus 'something else', like Statistics) in order to bestow a Bachelor's degree. My University is an 'engineering' college, so the administration requires more math of its students than a non-engineering college,... though it escapes my comprehension why, if a student isn't studying engineering, this should impact that student's curriculum. But, another State of Texas University, UTSA (University of Texas at San Antonio), only requires three college credits for a Bachelor's degree. So, some colleges require more math credits than others. What math course(s) are you required to pass to get your Bachelor's degree? (I know that you can't pass them. I'm just wanting to look up those classes on the KU website.) And what 'degree' are you trying to get? (I'm not intending to 'pry', so if any of my questions become annoying rather than possibly helpful, please don't answer them.) I've thought about your problem and the treatment you are receiving several times today. - jus'
Edited by justfoundout on May 09 2012 10:51 PM
I want to be clear about what I'm about to say and why I'm saying it. I have a degree in math and have a diverse education bridging the mathematical world with science with the liberal arts world. I'm blessed. I've had difficulty in my past. I'm currently working on an education degree at the graduate level. Though I do believe your disability is very probable and proven I do know that many people that teach math are the least qualified people to teach the subjects. They do not know how to connect with people far too often. They assume so much that they should not assume. You, my friend, are not alone.
However, you've already spent an enormous amount of time and money in your degree. It was reasonable to believe that somehow someone would accomodate you through the process and help scaffold you into at least a barely functional mathematician at the lower level. Personally, I do not believe that algebra should be required. An alternative should be provided, like logic or some other comparable course. It's just wrong they don't accommodate you. My argument for this is there are many people that can barely write that graduate and can not spell correctly without the assistance of a dictionary [aka ME]. It's unfair. This is why I'm advising you to see free or low income legal assistance to represent you through the process. Do NOT give up. Go seek counsel and find someone that will help you. Many lawyers I've known in my history as well as other majors are horrible at math and the university has little to stand on. You need to change your tactic to attack mode to scare the crap out of them. Trust me, it works. I'm an advocate for persons with disabilities and have recently applied for the same status as well. I'm applying for veterans disability as well now after avoiding it for 25 years. I expect a fight, but believe I'll eventually win because its all documented if they did not conveniently purge all documentation. Even if they do, I have names and social security numbers of the driver and other persons that knew about what happened if not there first hand. Never give up fighting those bureaucratic idiots. I've been one and can tell you they mostly don't know what their doing and like to hide behind the system, even when they do not have the right to. You can google most college employees salaries, which is evidence that they are a public government funded institution, making Open Records request their personal legal nightmare come true. Use the law in your favor and go after reputations and careers if they go over an beyond the civilized approach. They deserve what they get when they respond with such hatred. I'd suit for a full refund of your money and time if they do not comply.
Thanks for the helpful advice you've offered palmert.
Also, forgive me for taking advantage of your knowledge. How's it going with the Masters in Education? That's one of my options after I get my BA in Spanish this coming December. Do I want a Masters in Education? - jus'