The Rose-Human Institute of Technology in Terre Haute is currently ranked as America’s top Undergraduate Engineering College according to the U.S News & World Report for its college guidebook.
This position however, seems undeserved, considering the extent of insensitivity they displayed on senior engineering student JC, JC has been coping with an Auditory Processing Disability since birth, a disorder where the person hears and interprets information differently from others.
Hence, a suit was filed by JC against the school in Federal Court on the grounds of discrimination, retaliation on the basis of disability, negligence, harassment, breaching of students rights as well as failing to provide a duty of care.
This is indeed a fallout to the claim of the school’s spokesperson, Mary Wade Atteberry who stated that the success and well-being of each student is of central importance to every member of their faculty and staff, and that their policies are developed based it.
This is pure hypocrisy. According to JC’s lawyer, John Thrasher, it is indeed far from the case as JC alleged that he was subjected to ‘inhumane treatment’ by professors and administration.
The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 helps us understand that background noises are distracting to those with Auditory Processing disorder.
Also an article in the Journal of American Academy of Aduology 1999 tells us that patients with Auditory Processing Disorder have difficulty comprehending spoken language in competing speech or noise backgrounds and in reverberation, they usually ask for repetitions, are easily distracted, they show extreme auditory inattentiveness and often misunderstand messages.
JC was diagnosed with attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Auditory Processing Disorder when he was 3.
He has difficulty in understanding auditory instructions and as a result must have written down lessons.
He had a note taker approved to make sure that the lecture notes had all the important information needed.
JC was given additional time on exams.
Among the incidents outlined in the suit, JC was allegedly told by a professor “”If you want to exercise your right to an additional 50 minutes, I need you to come in at 7:10 a.m.” this was a reply given to him for an extended testing time in a quiet testing room.
However, the building did not open until 8 a.m. JC slept on the floor the night before the exam, according to the suit, without a cot or a bed.
Also, JC was charged with academic misconduct when a professor wrote him up for using a printed chart on an exam, when another professor had given JC permission to use the sheet.
JC’s attorney calls the situation “outrageously unreasonable and abusive,”
JC seeks lost tuition, costs of counseling and punitive damages among others, JC has 10 remaining course credits at the school.
The head of the Department of Civil Engineering and 12 faculty and staff members were named among those, who allegedly denied JC accommodations such as tutors and extra time to take tests. Professors expressed in public that they were interested in “studying how JC’s mind works,” accroding to the suit
Officials at the school dispute the allegations and say they take “enormous pride in helping each student experience personal growth and success.”
The case of JC shows the contrary, and we hope he gets justice speedily and hence put a stop to inhuman treatment given to persons with disabilities.
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