It's the Law!
I attended the latest meeting of the Colorado Wyoming Consortium of Support Programs for Students with Disabilities in Higher Education. Whew! That title is so awkward. I ususally just call it the Consortium. Anyway, I've been a member of this group for several years and served as an officer for a couple of them. Unfortunately, they have no web presence so no links here.
The guest speaker at this meet was Jeanne Kincaid, an attorney specializing in the ADA and all things disability in higher ed. She had recently been in Boulder and spoke this Denver group about how the coffee in Boulder was a finer grade and that the marijuana varieties were also superior in Boulder. Lots of laughs from this crowd. Funny lady and very bright besides.
I always enjoy the meetings where everyone participates bringing their stories of the challenges they encounter at their own schools. One disability coordinator talked about a student's request to keep a Boa Constrictor in the residence halls because it gave her emotional support.
Jeanne was able to further define the gray fuzzy borders of the legal responsibilities of higher education institutions to students with disabilities. So often the law is determined by case history and that changes with each new legal case heard.
Jeanne also addressed some guest special ed professionals from the K-12 world and warned them not to over-accommodate at that level because they might be making life too difficult for the student when she attempts to make the jump to the university level.
As we are so diligent about our work, trying to level the playing field for these unique students and yet trying to help them become independent, productive adults, we have a narrow path with pitfalls on either side. Such a tightrope we all walk.
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