Thursday, March 23, 2006

ABC News Nighline Interview

Dan Morris and Jake Tapper arrived with a huge camera crew yesterday at my office in Pasadena. The crew was much too big for my office, so we broke up the interview into one part in my office and the other part upstairs in the 7th floor conference room. The interview was skewed towards individuals who take advantage of accommodations, rather than people with real disabilities who need the accommodations. It was like being in a court room except there were 2 cameras, a sound guy, lighting guy and a producer sitting across from the correspondent. It was fun, even though I left feeling exhausted and drained. I was hoping we were going to talk more about why people have learning disabilities and how they are assessed and why accommodations would help them to score like others who take the SAT, but I think that may not have been interesting enough. Jake was really good with his questions. He could be a trial lawyer. In the end, I think the interview shows how hard it is to cheat and get accommodations, even though some people may feel that accommodations are not deserved, or give someone an edge over someone who doesn't have a disability. The emphasis on the cost and how some people can't afford the testing is probably going to be the hook for the show. But, public schools are mandated to do testing to identify learning disbilities when they actually exist, so I'm not sure the lack of affordability is really going to be a big factor. Perception about extra time being unfair would probably be a better theme since many people feel that receiving extra time is unfair and it shouldn't be granted. Teachers, principals, doctors and a good variety of people really don't understand what it is like to have a learning disability and to be put into situations that are embarrasing or make you feel less than normal because you can't do things as well as others who don't have a disability. Dan Morris, the Producer seemed nice and Jake had to take the aggressive position, but I hope the interview is able to help people who have learning disabilities to realize they can get accommodations, when they are justified, but they have to follow whatever procedure is necessary in order to receive them. Great Job ABC News.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

SAT Testing Accommodations ABC News Nightline Expert Interview April 2006

Dan Morris from ABC News Washington, Nighline Edition and his Producer in New York called me this past week to set up an interview about SAT Testing for extended time accommodations for students with learning disabilities, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Attention Deficit Disorder, ADHD. I spoke with his Producer at length about the reasons why accommodations are needed and granted under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Jake Tapper is the correspondent coming out to do the interview. He is supposed to call again this week to set up a specific time on Wednesday, March 22nd to do the expert interview. The interview is going to run prior to the April SAT test date, so I am guessing it will be on Nightline, ABC News sometime toward the end of this month. I also referred him to to find out more information about testing for accommodations and the different tests that are used to document the need for extended time accommodations.