without "substantial new evidence" provided by the person who tested you. And often, the L.S.A.T.
committee will not tell you the specific reasons why you were denied or the specific evidence they need to
see. Letters and calls to the L.S.A.T. committee may be met with broad and general statements and
reasons. Success has been found by many applicants by hiring a lawyer and suing (not threatening to sue)
or obtaining other legal actions against the out of state L.S.A.T. offices. Most candidates are so happy to
settle out of court and get their accommodations that no legal precedent is ever set for standards to appeal.
With the L.S.A.T. offices located out of state, California regulatory agencies have limited power to
enforce accommodations. The good news is it is much easier to have your own state enforce existing laws
when the offices are located in the state in which you live.
Thus, in California, Law Schools are more
accepting of accommodations and the California Bar has real standards and a detailed explanation
of areas to appeal.

The
proof of a disability and providing accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act,
A.D.A. is more stringent and demanding in accordance with educational / professional level: High
School; College; College Graduate Programs; License exams, in that order.

If you have been denied accommodations and are in the appeal process you have less than a 50%
chance of changing the board consultants' opinion. I receive calls from all over the United States,
mostly from rural states like Kansas, Ohio, North Carolina, but also from New York, Boston and
here in Los Angeles from individuals who were tested, diagnosed and were denied accommodations.
Less populated states have fewer experts who specialize in board exam accommodations, but many
experienced with diagnosing learning disabilities for the public school education system (not the
best choice for a number of reasons.) Larger states/cities are likely to have more experts, but if you
did not do your research well, you may have chosen the wrong person or not paid enough for all of
the testing / documentation you needed before you submitted your request. Use the internet. Its a
great resource for finding and evaluating experts before you invest your dreams and hopes in a 20
page report that might get you nothing for your time and effort.

Plain and simple, once you are in the appeals process you are in a place where you won't find much
help from outside professionals and you will probably be frustrated and angry because you have
reached what seems to be the end of the line for accommodating your problems.

If you have not been tested yet, it would be well worth your while to drive or fly to a nearby state or
larger city where an expert in board exam accommodation testing may reside. The cost of a
round-trip plane ticket or a tank of gas is significantly worth avoiding the black hole of stress you
will experience when you are denied accommodations and have an expensive diagnostic report that
is considered unacceptable for accommodations. Applying for accommodations is pretty much a
one-shot deal. If you are denied accommodations, your past record remains on file for comparison
and you will be trying to disprove their opinion, rather than providing evidence that will help them
to form a good opinion.

Forming a good opinion is much easier than changing an opinion, since you have to reverse all of
the logic, as well as the "personal pride" of the board consultant who denied your accommodations
in the first place. Contrary to what you may think, the "personal pride" or "ego" of the board
consultant is actually the hardest part of dealing with a denial. While the appeal is supposed to be
based on facts, it also contains the reality of a board consultant "swallowing their pride" and
changing their mind.... a very difficult and unlikely event unless significant new evidence is
presented, which allows for a paradigm shift for them to perceive the decision as no longer a matter
of their mistake, but rather an "enlightened decision" based on additional evidence. Arguing their
interpretation of the original scores without new evidence is the same as saying "I'm right and you
are wrong." It isn't you who makes the final decision in the matter, so arguing their interpretation
of the scores is not a good strategy in an appeal. And, yes... some of the decisions made by the
consultants seem to defy logic, so arguements of the same facts are useless unless their is a different
decision maker evaluating the facts, such as a judge in a court of law. The board consultants are
paid considerably less than the Psychologist who completed your evaluation, they have considerably
less time to go through their stack of reports from people requesting accommodations and they
overlook scores, ignore scores and misinterpret scores. They make mistakes, but are considered
"the expert opinion" of the board. The appeals process can be costly for both sides, but the board
has a set contract with their experts so it really doesn't cost the board as much as it will cost you in
an appeal. Unless another governing body or a more expensive process (trial by judge) is
implemented, the board will tend to stick to their contracted experts opinions. Thus, introducing
new evidence, within the timelines they specify, is the best method of addressing an appeal.

You must have a DSM-V diagnosis and evidence of it impacting you in a manner consistent with
receiving accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, since it is the A.D.A. criteria
which prevents discrimination against individuals with disabilities. The evidence should not be
merely an opinion. The evidence needs to be objective, otherwise you will likely have your request
denied.

As a general rule, I don't get involved with appeals that are the result of another professional's test
results and report. The board often sees it as "doctor shopping", which doesn't help your case and
further decreases your chances of overturning an appeal. I do not want to get involved in appeals if
it is not my client and not my report, since I know what needs to be submitted and how it should be
submitted and I do not want to take on responsibility for others' mistakes. I screen out clients who
do not seem to have a disability and are seeking accommodations unfairly. The test scores will not
bear out the disability and it will be a waste of their time and money.

Have your doctor respond to the appeal within the time frames and submit new evidence
(additional testing) which validates the diagnosis. Arguing the point without providing new evidence
is fruitless. If you submit an appeal without new evidence and you put yourself in the position of
having two denials from the same board consultant, your chances of overturning it become almost
impossible to overturn without involving the court system and expensive attorney and consultant
fees. Instead of a slightly time consuming process, and a little more money, it becomes a war and
involves many thousands of dollars.

If you feel you have a strong case consider PAI, Protection and Advocacy or COPAA, The Council
of parent Attorneys and Advocates for advice. Also, consider that many people who are denied
accommodations don't follow through with additional testing, responding to time lines or
considering legal action, so for marginal cases, it may be in the best interest of the board to deny
your request knowing you are probably going to procrastinate or accept the denial and not proceed
any further. Don't waste time, go back to your original professional and address the appeal
immediately with additional testing and a new letter of documentation.

The only time I will consider an appeal of a patient that was tested by another professional is when
the appeal would benefit from a completely new assessment or more than 1 year has passed since
the last comprehensive assessment. Adding good information to someone else's poor report does not
make it a better report.  Which is why I always suggest going back to the professional who tested
you to see how it can be improved. Unless, the test scores are out-of date or lacked all the tests
required.

The appeals process is a very delicate situation and it should be handled by the person who
originally did the testing, since they know you best, know your behavior and style and are already
familiar with your scores. It also looks a lot less like "doctor shopping" if you return to your
original examiner.

While most everyone who calls or emails me wants my opinion on what to do, to review the results
or complain about the "unfairness" of their denial, I must decline their pleas, since I am only able
to help my patients, who have put their trust in me from the start and who have revealed their
response style to me through their test scores, multiple face-to-face encounters and presented a
valid history of A.D.A. (Americans with Disabilities Act) impacted disability. If you still feel the
need to meet with me and complete a new assessment for the appeal, than I will do my best to make
sure the new documentation is complete, valid and has the best probability of overturning your
appeal. However, in most cases, it is better if you return to your original professional to follow
through with the appeal.
(See fees)

Good luck. I wish you the best.


Dr. Stephen Mouton
MCAT Exam * MCAT Special Acommodations * MCAT Extended Time * MCAT Learning Disabilities * MCAT Dyslexia * MCAT ADHD* MCAT Attention Deficit Disorder * MCAT Americans With Disabilities Act, A.D.A.
GMAT Exam * GMAT Special Acommodations * GMAT Extended Time * GMAT Learning Disabilities * GMAT Dyslexia * GMAT ADHD* GMAT Attention Deficit Disorder * GMAT Americans With Disabilities Act, A.D.A.
LSAT Exam * LSAT Special Acommodations * LSAT Extended Time * LSAT Learning Disabilities * LSAT Dyslexia * LSAT ADHD* LSAT Attention Deficit Disorder * LSAT Americans With Disabilities Act, A.D.A.
Dr. Stephen Mouton, Psychological Testing,  FAQs, ADHD, Attention Disorders, Learning Disorders, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Academic
Testing,  
IQ testing, Intelligence, Math Disorders, Writing Disorders, Concentration Problems, Educational Therapy, Tutors, Special
Accommodations SAT, ISEE, ACT,
GMAT, MCAT, LSAT, Appeals

Office Testing: Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Newport Beach
In general, the Medical License and Bar Exams have the
highest rate of denials, followed by the
M.C.A.T. and
L.S.A.T. entrance exams; the G.M.A.T. follows, then the
S.A.T. and A.C.T. In the past, a trend had been developing
with the L.S.A.T. blanketly denying most everyone who
applies for accommodations. A standard denial form letter
about a diagnosis not having a major impact on an individual's
everyday living and "reasons to question the diagnosis" are
standard fare for L.S.A.T. denials. You cannot even appeal
Click to see the full story!
Video aired on March 30, 2006 and repeated on March 31, 2006- ABC News: Nightline
Video Segments were taped by an ABC News Nightline Camera Crew at Dr. Mouton's Office in
Pasadena, California
Jake Tapper, Interviewer (Washington), Dan Morris ,Producer (New York)
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