The College Admissions Scandal Harmed Autistics and All Disabled People2 min read

andre-hunter-702310-unsplashLast Tuesday, I was watching on the news how the college admissions scandal will impact disabled students across the United States.  I couldn’t believe it when I heard about the scandal.  I was pissed.

Disabled students need accommodations to have the same access to learning as their nondisabled peers.  For a person in a wheelchair, this means ramps and elevators so they can get to their classrooms in buildings with steps.  For someone with auditory processing disorder, it might mean they need written instructions instead of verbal.  Students with neurodivergence often need extended time on exams.

But several parents involved in the college admissions scandal falsely found ways to claim their non-disabled children needed accommodations.  They did this to give their kids an unfair advantage.

Disabled students get the blame for this and not those who abuse the system by pretending to have a disability.  The accommodations are for disabled students only.  Abusing the system that is supposed to be for giving disabled students equal opportunities in order to learn should never have happened in the first place.

Other than criminal charges, They should be ashamed of themselves for doing it.  Did they realized that they are harming disabled students?  Let’s me guess– I don’t think they care.  Their actions probably prevented disabled students from being accepted to college

I remember the news talking about how students with learning disabilities will be affected by this; however, it is not just people with learning disabilities, but everyone who has a disability who will be affected by this scandal.

I have been using accommodations since elementary school.  I had extra time on quizzes, tests, the ACT, and the SAT.  I am not ashamed for using it because I have a disability, and I learned differently from my non-disabled peers.  I go to IEP meetings to see how I am making progress, and I am glad to be part of it.

I remember one time in high school, I was going to another room to take my test.  There was a student in the hallway who said to me that I was cheating.  I may or may not have told the person that I was not cheating.  Hell, I don’t like to cheat anyway.

How I can fake my disability?  Let’s me tell you this– I cannot fake my own disability anymore than I can fake that I’m not disabled.

It’s unbelievable that someone wanted to pretend their child had a disability.  Are you kidding me!?  They also ruined their children’s chances of going to school and many of the kids had no idea what their parents had done.

Disability is not a costume, and acommodations are not accessories.

The post was adapted by a series of Tweets on my Twitter account,  @BeingKaylaSmith

3 thoughts

  1. An adult student in my Spanish class once made a public comment in front of the entire class, to the teacher, about cheating, and that changing seats is an indicator.  I had to go to the testing center every test day.  That really irritated me as she sat directly behind me.  🙁

  2. I am a college professor and I try to make my classes as welcoming to neurodiverse and autistic people as possible.  I am new to this but I want to learn more.  I deeply appreciate your writing and sharing all this wonderful information I need to learn.  I’m so upset that it was never taught (and sometimes even discouraged) in my PhD program.  Who else should I follow to learn more?  How could professors (we have some decent power in the classroom if not the whole system) be more accommodating to autistic folks?

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