Report #266

DATE: May 21, 2002
PARTIES: Ms. S.R., (the Student) v UTSC


Hearing Date(s): April 25, 2002

Committee Members:
Assistant Dean Jane Kidner, Acting Chairperson
Professor Clare Beghtol
Professor Philip Byer
Professor Luigi Girolametto
Ms. Geeta Yadav

Secretary:
Mr. Paul Holmes, Judicial Affairs Officer

In Attendance:
Ms. S.R., the Appellant (student)
Mr. Eliot Berlin, counsel for the Appellant
Professor Ian McDonald, Associate Dean, UTSC

UTSC – late withdrawal without academic penalty – alternative request for a notation placed on transcript – undiagnosed learning disability not known until after completion of course – post–facto request – aware of drop dates – no alternative options or assistance sought – remedy only sought for lowest mark of academic career – impossible to predict to what degree learning disability affected academic performance – notation allowed in similar circumstances – special consideration would have been afforded had learning disability been known – appeal allowed in part – appeal with respect to late withdrawal without academic penalty denied – appeal with respect to the request for a notation on transcript allowed – Student to have noted on or with transcript that the Student had an unidentified learning disability that could have entitled her to special accommodation for such tests and examinations, with respect to time allotted, location, and computer assistance provided

Request for late withdrawal without academic penalty from one course, or alternatively that a notation be placed on her transcript stating that she had an undiagnosed learning disability at the time she took the course. The Student received a grade of D+. The Student claimed that her standing in the course was the result of an undiagnosed learning disability which she did not become aware of until approximately two years after completing the course. The Committee found that there was no suggestion by the Student that she was unaware of the drop dates for the course nor evidence as to why she did not avail herself of the option, afforded to all students who were experiencing difficulty in the course, of taking a math reprise course in place of the course. The Student acknowledged that she did not seek any academic counseling. The Committee found that the Student was only seeking late withdrawal without academic penalty for the one course at issue, the lowest mark in her academic career, and not for all the courses taken prior to the diagnosis of her learning disability. The Committee considered the other courses the Student took in the relevant time period and the nature of her learning disability and found that it was impossible to predict the degree to which the Student’s learning disability had affected her academic performance. With respect to the Student’s request to have a notation on her transcript, the Committee considered a case in which such a notation was allowed in similar circumstances, and the fact that the Faculty would have been given special consideration to the Student had it been aware of her learning disability, and found that the request for the notation should be allowed. Appeal allowed in part. The appeal with respect to late withdrawal from the course was denied. The appeal with respect to the request for a notation on the transcript allowed. The Committee ordered that the Student have noted on or with her transcript that during the period covered by the transcript the Student had an unidentified learning disability that could have entitled her to special accommodation for such tests and examinations, with respect to time allotted, location, and computer assistance provided.