Accommodations for learning disabilities are often not enough

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN


When I was nine years old, I was diagnosed with a processing disorder after many years of tests and observation on how I learned differently and slower than most students.

A processing disorder is a learning disability that makes it difficult for someone to retain and process information, compared to someone who has academic success. This took a toll on not only my school life, but also my life at home. I was pushed to teach myself study habits that would work best for my learning process, which made me frustrated and affected my life outside of the classroom.

The academic expectations today are higher than they’ve ever been. My parents always asked me throughout my junior high and high school years, “Why is your backpack so heavy,” or “Why do you need so many books?” The amount of work that students are asked to do is sometimes too much for a particular group of students.

Compared to generations in the past, today’s curriculum is substantially more rigorous because of how technology has advanced in recent years. Our society wants us to keep advancing.

Why does school have to become more difficult as years go on, or when technology continues to advance? Students with disabilities are given the help they need, but what if that isn’t enough to achieve their goals? There should be a happy medium between what is required and what is considered advanced.

City College was not one of my top choices during my college application process. I didn’t get into any of the schools I wanted to, and I wasn’t willing to settle for one that I had no interest in. When it was around decision time, my last resort was to consider City College as my final option.

Applying for colleges was one of the most stressful and disappointing experiences I’ve ever been through. I had worked the best I could to get the grades I received but unfortunately fell short. Sure, my fellow classmates were getting A’s and B’s, but what about the students who struggled and didn’t have a learning imparity? They existed as well.

In the end, I was happy with my choice. City College is giving me an opportunity to transfer to a college of my choice. However, the reality of me receiving that acceptance letter is still very low. Even with the incredible amount of support given by students and faculty, my disability cannot be cured, only accommodated.

The DSPS Center and the free tutoring provided by experienced students has been a huge help for me so far. Taking advantage of the resources given is the first step in the long and tedious process of achieving one’s academic and personal goals.

Creating a new curriculum or even a few that are achievable for all types of students could be a great place to start in order to change such a broken system.