Friday, October 19, 2012

N.D. Cal. Grants DOJ Intervention in Challenge to LSAC Denials of Testing Accommodations

See this press release from yesterday.  It begins:
A federal judge issued an order today allowing the Justice Department to intervene in a disability discrimination lawsuit against the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). The department’s intervention expands the case from a statewide class action limited to California residents to a nationwide pattern or practice lawsuit.

The lawsuit, The Department of Fair Employment and Housing v. LSAC Inc. et al., charges LSAC with widespread and systemic deficiencies in the way it processes requests by people with disabilities for testing accommodations for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). As a result, the lawsuit alleges, LSAC fails to provide testing accommodations where needed to best ensure that those test takers can demonstrate their aptitude and achievement level rather than their disability.

The department’s complaint identifies additional victims of LSAC’s discriminatory policies and details LSAC’s routine denial of testing accommodation requests, even in cases where applicants have submitted thorough supporting documentation from qualified professionals and demonstrated a history of testing accommodations since elementary school.

The department further alleges that LSAC discriminates against prospective law students with disabilities by unnecessarily “flagging” test scores obtained with certain testing accommodations in a way that identifies the test taker as a person with a disability, disclosing otherwise confidential disability-related information to law schools during the admissions process. LSAC’s practice of singling out persons with disabilities by flagging their scores –– is discrimination prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The department’s proposed complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, compensatory damages and a civil penalty against LSAC.



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