OPINION: Accommodations aren’t special treatment – they’re fair treatment

by | Oct 5, 2017 | Opinion

Justice A. T. McCormack
Life Reporter

A recent column by Globe and Mail columnist Margaret Wente focused on today’s post-secondary students being treated like “fragile flowers” and that everything is made easier for them.

However, this is not the case.

Although the education system has been adjusted to accommodate the learning needs of today, students are now faced with many struggles, some systemic and some newer ones.

Students needing accommodations face numerous barriers, both physical and those that are not visible. They all still have a right to an education.

But according to Margaret Wente, it seems they do not.

“In the olden days, when you got stressed out, a little weed and jelly doughnuts did the trick,” Wente said.

The issue with that statement, besides it being incredibly insulting to anyone facing an ongoing difficulty, is that illegal drugs and sugary snacks are not a cure-all for mental and physical illness. They are merely a temporary solution for a permanent struggle.

Wente was right about one thing though. She stated that students’ financial worries had reached an unprecedented height.

Already struggling to attend post-secondary institutions while dealing with their disabilities, students now have expensive tuition fees thrown into the mix as well.

The cost of post-secondary education has raised quite significantly over time. A Statistics Canada study shows the cost of tuition for undergraduate programs increased by more than three per cent in just the past two years.

Throughout her article, Wente often speaks down on the accommodations for people with disabilities saying educational institutions have become rather therapeutic, and the classification of disability has been taken too far.

If everything Wente is arguing about is true, then that means over 13,000 students would no longer be able to attend a post-secondary institution. She also said that by giving students special treatment, they are being set up for failure in the real world.

Students depend on the accommodations put in place for them. Without them, they would not be able see, hear, read, walk, or talk.

According to a Ontario Canada Reference Group study of more than 25,000 students shows 54 per cent were professionally diagnosed with a learning disability in the last 12 months.

If everything is arguing about is truethen means would She alsoEducational institutions are supposed to provide students with the tools to succeed in life, but by stripping students of their accommodations, they are not given the same opportunity to as their peers are.

Today’s post-secondary students are not treated like fragile flowers. Rather, they are being provided a fair opportunity at an education, giving them an opportunity to succeed.