Not Very Accommodating

, , , , | Learning | July 27, 2018

(I have a learning disability, but I’m able to manage it easily. I have taken a long path to a degree to save money and attend school while working and to get transfer credits for a designation. I know how I learn best. One the things I asked for specifically on my accommodations is the right to use my laptop, as my hand is weak and I have trouble keeping up while writing notes on paper. It should be noted that most people own a computer at my college, there are many huge computer labs, and an average of a third of my classmates could have a laptops in class at any point in time. The school also has day-rental laptops. It’s not a rich school, just tech-oriented. This is on the first day of a bachelor’s degree course with a teacher I’ve never had before, and I’ve yet to turn my accommodation paperwork in to her.)

Teacher: “Now, before we get too far, I’d like you all to turn off your electronic devices. All of them. We exclusively use paper in this class, and I will not permit any devices. If I catch you with a smartphone, you will leave my room.”

(The class grumbles.)

Me: “[Teacher], I have accommodations allowing me the use of my laptop and a tape recorder if I desire.”

Teacher: “Well, fine.”

(She then walks to one of the side tables, pulls it forward, and puts the seat facing the class.)

Teacher: “If you wish to use your devices, then you will sit here so that I can monitor your computer and ensure you aren’t doing anything other than classwork.”

Me: “Ma’am, I have a diploma and a graduate certificate. I’m halfway through a degree and plan to get my designation. I can monitor myself. I do not distract others; I usually sit at the back where no one can see my computer screen and be distracted. And frankly, after this many years of college, I think I know what I’m doing.”

Teacher: “I don’t care. I’m the teacher, and I know you only learn by listening and writing on paper. Now, sit at the front and face the class.”

(I then got up, picked up my stuff, and walked out. I heard clapping as I left. Yes, I reported the discrimination to the school’s dean. He was not happy.)

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