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Princeton University consistently ranks at the top of all the college charts, but in the eyes of one student, the school is short one accolade — “best university for students with a learning disability.” On Jan. 11 — just before finals — a District Court in New Jersey will hear the case of a Princeton University student who sued the school for not acknowledging her learning-disability needs for exams. In Metcalf-Leggette v. Princeton University, 19-year-old Diane Metcalf-Leggette, of Centreville, Va., will argue that her case has merit under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Metcalf-Leggette, who is diagnosed with four learning disabilities affecting her ability to read, comprehend, and communicate her knowledge of coursework, takes exception to Princeton’s policy of not granting extended examination time to students. In October, a federal judge refused a temporary restraining order that would have freed Metcalf-Leggette from having to take mid-term exams without the accommodations she says ... keep reading »
The New York Times reports that disabled students are spanked more, based on a study of corporal punishment in 21 states. The study shows that more than 200,000 schoolchildren are paddled, spanked or subjected to other physical punishment each year, and disabled students get a disproportionate share of the treatment. The Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union, the two watchdog groups that prepared the report, are pressing federal and state lawmakers to extend a corporal punishment ban nationwide and enact an immediate moratorium on physical punishment of students with disabilities. In federal Department of Education data, 223,190 public school students nationwide were reported to have been paddled during the 2006-07 school year. Of these, at least 19 percent — about 41,972 students — had disabilities. Nationwide, students with disabilities make up 14 percent of all students. As recently as the 1970s, only two states had laws banning corporal punishment, but 28 ... keep reading »
As back-to-school approaches, the amount of federal dollars to incorporate technology in the classroom — and prepare teachers to use it — is expected to rise this year. That’s good news for students with disabilities who can benefit from off-the-shelf technologies in addition to any hardware and software provided for them under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). According to The Wall Street Journal, the economic stimulus package provided $98.2 billion for everything from classroom technology, to school renovations to IDEA. Additionally, it restored $650 million in funding to The Enhancing Education Through Technology program that was authorized in 2002 as part of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. However, local officials say it’s still not nearly enough to make up for several years of cutbacks, which has affected peripheral studies, such as music and art. But for the required classes, such as reading and history, the boost in technology ... keep reading »
Kicking off its second year, the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities will hold summer sessions around the country to teach recent veterans on how to start a business or new career. The first group of 20 veterans has reported for duty at Florida State University’s College of Business. They’ll immerse themselves in entrepreneurship ideas and concepts during the week-long program, which is run by faculty and successful entrepreneurs. Veterans will also get to hear from professionals in various industries about entrepreneurship. In this the second year of the program, the students will hear a keynote address by a 2008 boot camp graduate, J.R. Martinez, who attended the program to learn how to market his persona and now is a regular cast member on the television show “All My Children.” The EBV program begins with a three-week online course and culminates in the on-campus residency “boot camp.” There is ... keep reading »
The Supreme Court will soon decide on a high-profile case that centers around the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and will have implications for families of children with special needs and school districts across the country. In Forest Grove School District v. T.A., the parents of an Oregon high-school student, who is identified only as T.A., sought reimbursement for his $5,200-a-month private-school education, which they said was necessary after T.A. was found ineligible for special-education services. Under IDEA, disabled children are entitled to a “free appropriate public education” if they qualify. The law allows parents to seek public financing for private school if the public schools cannot adequately serve their children. While most of the nation’s six million special-education students attend public school, almost 90,000 students are in private placements — most of them with their public school’s agreement. The court must decide whether parents who unilaterally place their child in private school, ... keep reading »
A new four-year college scholarship is available to a student with a disability. The scholarship is for Aspen University, a new online university based in Denver that provides undergraduate and graduate degrees, including MBAs. The Aspen Collegiate Foundation Scholarship was created and funded by Scott Thompson, a volunteer coach for Courage Center, a rehabilitation center for people with disabilities, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and autism. Thompson received his MBA from Aspen University and serves on its foundation Board of Directors. The scholarship is based on an applicants’ academic merit, financial need and a commitment to complete all four years at Aspen University leading to a Bachelor’s Degree. The school offers BAs in business administration and criminal justice. It also offers more than a dozen Master’s Degrees, such as business administration, education and nursing. Tuition starts at $250 per semester credit or $750 per course. An application can be obtained by ... keep reading »
YouTube has launched a handy new page that aggregates all the videos from more than 100 institutions of higher education around the US. now serves up campus tours, free lectures, research and other college news all in one place. Search queries can be limited to the “.Edu” part of the site as well. This is a great idea to help prospective students make more informed decisions, as well as for people with disabilities — kids and parents — who may not be able to travel to all of these schools. Apple just enhanced its iTunes content with iTunes University, and made it available via voice to people with visual impairments. Putting video content online — captioned, of course — is a great way to reach out to all college-age kids, including those with disabilities. keep reading »
In the last couple of years, U.S. corporations have been paying a lot more attention to the 54 million adults–nearly 20% of the nation’s population–that have mental or physical disabilities. And with 6.3% of American children between the ages of 5 and 15 suffering from a disability, companies are also focusing on working parents who care for them. It’s to their benefit: Employers suffer lost productivity when workers take time off to tend to the needs of affected children and adult offspring. According to BusinessWeek, in what have become the latest benefit programs, companies including PepsiCo, KPMG, JPMorgan Chase, and Northrop Grumman are offering services that range from parent networks to Web seminars to meetings with financial planners and educational consultants. In addition, a growing crop of advisers is emerging to guide families through the financial, medical, and educational labyrinth. Outside of corporate programs, specialty units such as Merrill Lynch’s ... keep reading »
The Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University is expanding its Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities to a fifth college. The Krannert School of Management at Purdue University will Syracuse and three other schools: The University of California Los Angeles. Florida State University, and Texas A&M University. The program, the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, began in 2008. Program participants work on homework, reading assignments, and online learning activities before arriving on campus for a residency that lasts about a week. “With the addition of Purdue University, we will again increase the opportunities for small business ownership for the men and women who gave so much for our country.” Melvin Stith, dean of the Whitman School. said in a news release. Companies that hire MBAs have shown particular interest in the programs for disabled vets. Ernst & Young, the global consulting firm, is recruiting well-known entrepreneurs ... keep reading »