California outlaws discrimination of disabled students taking LSAT

Yesterday the disability community scored a major victory in support of testing accommodations when California’s Governor Brown signed bill AB 2122. The bill prohibits the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) from the practice of flagging LSAT test scores of students who receive accommodations during LSAT testing.

The bill, drafted by California Assemblyman Ricardo Lara, was fiercely opposed by LSCA which preferred to continue their practice of alerting law schools that they could not vouch for the validity of scores for students who received accommodations during testing.

This is a huge victory for the disability community and Edge Foundation’s first participation in the public policy arena. Edge played a pivotal change agent at each step of the process.

  • We lead the effort to mobilize a number of other organizations, including CHADD and ADDA, to support adoption of AB 2122 by the State of California legislation.
  • We organized a letter writing campaign of our ADHD community partners to educate law makers on the importance of passing the bill.
  • We kept a close eye on its progress through the legislative process.

Because of this concerted effort the bill received overwhelming bi-partisan support in committee, on the floor of the Senate and in the State Assembly.

The LSAC will have to discontinue their practice of flagging and amend their accommodation procedures to be in compliance for students in the State of California!  It will be unlikely that they will be able to only administer this change solely in the State of California. We expect it to lead to a huge shift in their procedures across the country.

As the law is put into practice, the Edge Foundation will continue to monitor and play a leadership role in monitoring its implementation. There are also other high stakes tests that still use this practice, but the trend is starting to turn and this legislation will certainly accelerate that process. Additionally, there is also class action litigation pending against the LSAC on the same issue and the Justice Department has opened an investigation into violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

This bill and the issue go way beyond ADHD. It affects all students with disabilities who need accommodations to receive the same opportunities that students without disabilities.  Thanks to the concerted effort of the ADHD community led by the Edge Foundation, this right is guaranteed by Federal Law, and now by State Law in California.

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