Disabled students defended

Published: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 16, 2003 at 12:46 a.m.

This is in response to The Sun's article (Jan. 13), "Help or hand-holding?" I feel as though I must come to the defense of University of Florida students with disabilities, athletes or otherwise.

It is important to understand that students with learning disabilities are, by definition, generally of average or above average intelligence. This fact certainly is not well represented in the story.

By employing the term "special accommodations," it is implied that any accommodation offered to students with disabilities is trivial and unnecessary.

What The Sun conveniently fails to mention are the federal guidelines and requirements for accommodating students with disabilities outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

These laws do not allow for "special" treatment, nor do they provide disabled students any privilege or advantage over their fellow students. They simply afford and ensure educational equality.

The article offers a one-sided view of the situation facing students with disabilities at the University of Florida.

It promotes an outdated and uninformed assumption that students with disabilities are not on an equal standing and require "special" attention in order to compete in academics.

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