College Admissions Scandal Statement, by Michaela Hearst

By May 7, 2019NVLD Bloggers

The college admissions scandal that occurred in March involved wealthy parents coaching their children into getting diagnosed with a learning disability so that they could receive extra time or other accommodations on the SAT or ACT. I have been frustrated because it is so difficult to put into words how angering and hurtful this is to me.

As a person with a learning disability, I have double time on tests because it takes me longer to process information. Often, obtaining accommodations is not an easy process. It is illegal for a school to deny a student their documented accommodations. However, it is not so black and white. At times, this law is barely followed or almost broken- I have experienced this as a graduate school student. And, the stigma and stereotypes surrounding learning disabilities and needing accommodations continues to exist. I will not let the reprehensible actions of these parents convince people that accommodations like extra time are unfair or should not exist.

People with learning disabilities deserve to be heard and validated. I began my social work journey because I wanted to be that advocate for them; for us. We need to make it easier, not harder, for LD students to obtain the understanding, services, and support they need to be successful.

We can do better. We must do better.

Michaela Hearst

I’m a lover of nature, poetry, and iced coffee (in my humble opinion, the only coffee truly worth drinking). I’m naturally extroverted, and I think of myself as a people person! I’m studying to become a social worker because I want to be able to help individuals with learning disabilities just like me! I am a Project Social Ambassador for The NVLD Project.

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