Judge Denies Preliminary Injunction for Potential Medical School Applicants With Learning Disabilities
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Ronald Sabraw on Friday denied a request for a preliminary injunction seeking special accommodations for a medical school admission exam for two potential applicants with learning disabilities, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/10). Four potential medical school applicants and two advocacy groups initially filed the lawsuit alleging that the students were denied extra time to complete the Medical College Admission Test in violation of state disability laws, which define disability more broadly than the federal Americans With Disabilities Act.
The Association of American Medical Colleges rejected the students' request for extra time to take the MCAT in April because it said they were not severely disabled (California Healthline, 7/20). However, AAMC later granted extra time to two of the four students because of new information it received about the students' conditions, according to Stephen Tollafield, an attorney for Oakland-based Disability Rights Advocates, which represents the students.
In his ruling, which was released to the public Monday, Sabraw wrote that that the plaintiffs could not prove that they were likely to win the case because it is unclear whether California law could be applied to a standardized national test, the Chronicle reports. Sabraw wrote that the usefulness of the MCAT "will be lost if any given state applies its own law in determining whether any given applicant has been provided the required accommodations." Tollafield said the students would continue to pursue the lawsuit (San Francisco Chronicle, 8/10).