Hi, I am having an issue with my professor. I keep turning in research paper drafts and she keeps rejecting them for crazy reasons. I am on record with the school as having a disability. Would writing the instructor formally requesting a reasonable accommodation under the ADA be useful? The paper meets all of her requirements as stated in the syllabus but she keeps adding more that I can't seem to get right. Thanks!
In college, an accommodation typically does not allow you to submit lesser work. It gives you ways to accomplish the work assigned. An accommodation does not have to be provided if it will not enable you to do the work of the course.
An accommodation might be to give you someone to type a paper you dictate if you have two broken arms, for example. It will not allow you to submit a college level paper at an eighth grade level, for example again.
This should not be considered legal advice and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute a contract for legal services between any parties. Answers are given to questions for which there may be additional facts not mentioned which might change the legal issues or consequences.
You state that you are "on the record" with your school as having a recognized disability, but then you ask whether you should in writing make a request for a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. These statements, taken together, do not make sense. You should have made a request for whatever reasonable accommodation is necessary through your school's disability assistance office. The school will then investigate and engage with you in the interactive process. It is not up to you to negotiate after-the-fact individual arrangements with specific professors, and many professors will not engage in individual arrangements such as that. It is not required by law and is not sound policy.
Go back to your school's disability assistance services offices and get this issue dealt with in the appropriate posture. You do not have a legal claim against the instructor or the school on the facts you have set forth here.
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