Pattison Sampson creates new precedent in Higher Education Law
Published on Thursday, March 19, 2015
Pattison Sampson wins in McInerny V. RPI!
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, the highest Federal Court in NYS, just issued its Final Mandate upholding the trial Court’s dismissal of a graduate student’s claims of disability based discrimination.
The Decision creates an important precedent for colleges and universities. It identifies an approved method of providing reasonable testing accommodations in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and The Rehabilitation Act.
The decision also demonstrates the importance of maintaining appropriate policies for handling issues of insufficient academic performance by students, including those with disabilities.
The Court found that [The ADA] “and the Rehabilitation Act do not require a defendant to provide a plaintiff with his ideal or preferred accommodation. Rather, the statutes require that an individualwith a disability be provided a reasonable accommodation so that he or she may participate equally in the good, service, or benefit offered by the place of public accommodation. RPI was not required to accommodate plaintiff’s every preference. It was not required to expand its faculty or make adjustments to its policies, particularly after it determined that plaintiff was not meeting its academic requirements. RPI provided plaintiff extended time in which to take exams, tailored his Oral Department Qualifying Exam in a manner which best accommodated his needs, and granted him breaks as requested during his Doctoral Qualifying Exam.”
McInerny v. RPI Final Mandate