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The Law School Admissions Council has been hit with a federal lawsuit by a Swarthmore College student who suffers from “attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder” and says he was denied the simple accommodations that were recommended by his psychiatrist and psychologist. Attorney Carol Andrea Oberman filed the suit on behalf of Jared Solomon, 22, of Philadelphia, seeking an injunction under the Americans with Disabilities Act that would force the LSAC to give Solomon three times the usual amount of time, a “quiet, distraction-free” setting for the test and repetition of any oral instructions. Named as defendants in the suit are the Newtown, Pa.-based LSAC and Kim Dempsey, who heads its accommodated testing section. The suit says Solomon had early childhood onset AD/HD and has also been diagnosed with complex learning disabilities. The combined disabilities “severely affect” Solomon’s test-taking abilities, the suit says. When he took his SATs in 1995, the suit says, the Educational Testing Service gave Solomon more than 20 hours extra time, administered the test over four days, allowed him to take breaks every two hours and permitted him to use as much scratch paper as he needed. During his college years, the suit says, Solomon developed “personal accommodations” that allowed him to succeed, including seeking private tutoring, doing extra reading, meeting privately with professors and making sure not to schedule any classes back-to-back. In his junior year, the suit says, Swarthmore provided Solomon with an insulated room in the library to study and do assignments. He was also allowed extra time for tests. As a result, his grades have been all As and Bs, the suit says. In July and August 2000, the suit says, Solomon’s psychologist conducted new tests and concluded that he needs an additional 210 minutes per section on the LSAT, as well as a 15-minute break every two hours. A psychiatrist confirmed those test results, the suit says. But when Solomon asked for accommodations to take the LSAT in December, the suit says, LSAC offered only 18 minutes of extra time for each multiple choice section, 15 extra minutes for the writing-sample portion, two 15-minute breaks and a separate room that would be shared by others who also need a quiet space. The suit says LSAC termed the accommodations appropriate for Solomon’s disabilities even though no one at LSAC ever met with or evaluated Solomon. Solomon’s request for reconsideration was rebuffed, the suit says, even though it included a detailed letter from his psychologist that explained why the offered accommodations were not sufficient. The suit says Solomon attempted to take the test but was able to complete only about half of the questions in the non-essay portion. Without a court order that grants him the accommodations he needs, Solomon says, he will be unable to take the test in February 2001 and his chances of winning admission to a law school will be jeopardized. The suit seeks an emergency injunction requiring the LSAC to grant Solomon three times the usual amount of time; 15-minute breaks every two hours; the right to use as much scrap paper and pencils as he needs; a room alone to take the test in a “quiet, distraction-free setting”; and all instructions in written form, with oral instructions repeated if requested. LSAC spokesman Ed Haggerty could not be reached for comment. The case, Solomon v. Law School Admissions Council, 00-cv-6529, has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Mary A. McLaughlin.

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