Interesting piece from Academe Today (Chron of Higher Educ)


A glance at the August 25 issue of "The New Republic":
A new learning-disabled generation

Three federal disability laws enacted over two decades have
helped federal courts protect "even the most dubious claims of
learning impairment," writes Ruth Shalit. Today, people with
serious physical handicaps make up only a small portion of those
who claim special privileges under the disability laws, Ms,
Shalit writes. Meanwhile, the ranks of those looking for special
education accommodations are swelling. Boston University
President Jon Westling's crusade against suspected fraudulent
cases of learning disabilities at the institution, which led to
a lawsuit by a group of students, has provided support for those
who are skeptical of the demands being placed on colleges to
alter their academic programs to help students with learning
disabilities. In one case, a psychologist said a student
"appears to have subtle verbal processing difficulties" and
should not be "asked to recall very specific data or
information." Still, Ms. Shalit concludes, despite evidence that
even bright students have difficulty with some subjects, a
number of organizations, including the National Collegiate
Athletic Association and the Education Testing Service, are
considering expanding accommodations they give to
learning-disabled students. (The magazine can be found at
newsstands and libraries.)

Norman A. Stahl, Chair
Department of
Curriculum & Instruction
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL  60115

(815) 753-9032 {office}
(815) 753-9040 (FAX)

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