Legal Protection of Those with ADHD
After secondary school some individuals with ADHD apply for admission to postsecondary education. It is usually necessary that they take either the SAT or the ACT in order to complete application to colleges and universities. With appropriate diagnosis of ADHD and recommendation from a qualified professional, accommodation is often allowed on such standardized examinations. Although accommodation varies with different disabilities, accommodation may include increased time, a separate room, or an assigned reader/ scribe.
Colleges are also forbidden by federal legislation against discriminating on the basis of disability on the admission of the individual with ADHD (or other identified disability). Does the federal legislation mandate that an applicant be accepted? No, the legislation stipulates that an otherwise qualified applicant cannot be rejected solely on the basis of the disability. There is sometimes argument on the question of what constitutes an otherwise qualified applicant.
Having applied and been accepted into a private school for grades K through 12 or a college, the student who is diagnosed as having ADHD may be eligible for accommodation if recommended by a qualified professional. This may include increased time and/or separate room for tests, video recording of lectures, or audio recording of lectures as the most common accommodation.
As a part of the application for education beyond the bachelor's degree, there are frequently other tests, such as the Medical College Admission Test, Dental Aptitude Test, Graduate Record Exam, Law School Admission Test, and so on. These exams are also subject to request for accommodation.
Upon completion of professional school (e.g., medical school, dental school, or law school), there is often an examination required for admission into licensed practice of the profession (e.g., medicine, dentistry, law). These exams are also regulated by federal law. The individual diagnosed as having a covered disability such as ADHD may request accommodation on an exam required to enter the practice of the profession. At this time it appears unclear as to whether federal judges will rule that the disability must be compared to the general population or to individuals having similar abilities and training. There is also confusion regarding whether the disability in certain functions in these individuals will be noted with or without respect to the benefits derived from contemporary techniques and/or medication.
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