The LSAT and Blind Students – An Issue of Access and Fairness
Fisher: Blind law school grad can see injustice
”Being blind didn’t keep Stephanie Enyart from graduating from Stanford University. It didn’t keep her from earning a law degree at UCLA. And she’s determined not to let it keep her from practicing law.”
During the last few years, I have had contact with several law school applicants who are blind. In fact, I have a blind student planning to take my LSAT class this summer. Every time I have this request, I think: surely this cannot be a unique situation. There must be (numerically) many blind students who want to study law. How do they take the LSAT? How do they prepare for the LSAT? How can any law school in its right mind insist that a blind (or is the correct term “visually impaired” person – I am more interested in helping the student than with the politically correct term) student take the LSAT? Even if one did take the LSAT, how could the score possibly be compared to that of other applicants?
This post is largely a call for help, input, experiences and any thoughts on this issue. So please, post a comment at the bottom of this post or send me and email: prelawforum at gmail dot com
Here are some tidbits: At least one student I worked with tried to get Harvard Law School to waive the LSAT requirement. They would not.
- Baltimore, Maryland (February 19, 2009): The National Federation of the Blind, the nation’s oldest and largest organization of blind people; its California affiliate; and a blind law school applicant, Deepa Goraya, are filing a lawsuit today against the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC).
“Deepa Goraya, a law school applicant and named plaintiff in the suit, said: “Trying to use the LSAC Web site made the experience of applying to law school a nightmare when it should have been as easy for me as for anyone else. I had to select and rely upon a reader for over fifty hours to complete my law school applications. Also, none of the practice tests available on the Web site were accessible. I want the process of gaining admission to law school to be easier for all blind people who are interested in entering this noble profession, and I hope this action will achieve that goal.””
2. Here is some interesting commentary include information about how the visually impaired experience the LSAT.
3. Law Services does allow for special accommodations for the blind taking the LSAT. The National Federation of the Blind argues that they have not gone far enough.
4. I know of no LSAT preparation material for the blind or visually impaired. If you know of anything (books of courses) please comment below.
John Richardson – Toronto, Canada