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Students with Unusual Disabilities Still Deserve Accommodations: Part 2

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Nov 25, 2022 | 0 Comments

When people think of the term “disability,” they usually think of someone with a physical impairment, like vision or hearing loss. Sometimes they think of someone with a neurological and developmental disorder like autism spectrum disorder. Rarely do they think of individuals with unusual disabilities, like anxiety and depression, or arthritis.

Schools are supposed to offer disabled students accommodations to help equalize their access to education. But many schools do not recognize invisible and unusual disabilities as true disabilities and refuse accommodations for them. The reality is, though, if you have a disability, whether it is visible or not, that prevents you from being included, you are owed an accommodation.

Misophonia

Misophonia is a rare disorder where people are affected emotionally by sounds. Things like breathing, yawning, or chewing generates a fight-or-flight response in misophonia sufferers. If this anxiety response substantially limits their ability to learn, speak, listen, or participate in their academic life, individuals with misophonia qualify for accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act, specifically section 504.

Some examples of accommodations students with misophonia have received include:

  • Preferred seating to reduce exposure to triggers.
  • Using a pair of headphones and a noise generator app in class.
  • Leaving the classroom as needed without penalty.
  • Having other students refrain from eating or drinking during class.

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes debilitating, chronic digestive tract inflammation. The symptoms vary from person to person but almost always include severe abdominal pain and diarrhea. Symptoms can be highly unpredictable and individuals who suffer from Crohn's miss school for medical appointments and flare-ups all the time.

Commonly requested accommodations include:

  • Stop-the-clock testing
  • Unlimited restroom access
  • Making up missed classes for medical appointments or illness without penalty
  • Tutoring after absence because of disease flare-ups.

POTS

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a rare blood circulation disorder where your heart rate increases at least 30 beats per minute when you go from being horizontal to standing. Symptoms of POTS can include brain fog, severe or long-lasting fatigue, heart palpitations, and shakiness.

Examples of accommodations students with POTS request include:

  • Access to fluids throughout class.
  • Permission to eat salty snacks throughout class.
  • Access to the bathroom without penalty.
  • Allowing extra time between classes to avoid fatigue.
  • Giving students the option to elevate their legs during class and exams.

How a Skilled Attorney-Advisor Can Help

All schools are supposed to offer accommodations for disabled students, yet many make it incredibly difficult for students to receive them. When this happens, working with an attorney-advisor is the best way to ensure the university hears your request. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have spent years helping students in similar situations across the United States. They will reach out to your school and negotiate on your behalf, helping you gather evidence and witnesses if necessary. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation or visit us online.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients nationwide. Attorney Lento and his team represent students and others in disciplinary cases and various other proceedings at colleges and universities across the United States. Attorney Lento has helped countless students, professors, and others in academia at more than a thousand colleges and universities across the United States, and when necessary, he and his team have sought justice on behalf of clients in courts across the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide, and he can help you or your student address any school-related issue or concern anywhere in the Unit