The ALSDR is an association of students with and without disabilities. We are enthusiastic about starting this new group and want you to be a part of it. We are committed to spreading awareness regarding disabilities rights and providing support for students with disabilities. Please feel free to contact us. President Katie Robert Executive Vice President Nora Devine Vice President of Programming Paige Fowler

Monday, September 26, 2011


The ALSDR has created a new website at The new site has loads of information and resources. Please check it out for event information, to access the ALSDR's manuals for students with disabilities as well as manuals for professors teaching law students with disabilities, to apply for a position for the 2011-2012 academic year, and much more!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Members of the ALSDR participated in USF's team at Jog for Jill last Sunday in Golden Gate Park. We ran in honor of Jill Costello who completed an entire season on Cal's crew team while receiving treatment for Lung cancer. To read more about this inspiring woman checkout
Thanks to everyone that participated! And congrats to USF's Derek Turbin's big win at the race!
- Katie

Come to the ALSDR first meeting 9/27

Please join us for the ALSDR first general meeting next thurs, 9/27, from 12:20-1:20 in KN 104. We will pass out the ALSDR's Manuals for Law Students with Disabilities with helpful resources and information for students with disabilities and students interested in the area of disability law. We will watch clips from the movie ADD and Loving It! while enjoying papalote for lunch. We will also discuss our goals for this year, positions available and events we plan on having. Please email if you have any questions or if you are unable to make the meeting but would like me to leave a manual in your folder at school. We hope to see you there!
- Katie

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Need to vent?

Dear ALSDR Members,
In an effort to create another way to voice students' questions, comments, concerns, suggestions etc, there is now a box on the ALSDR bulletin board (next to the student mail folders) for students to leave messages anonymously (but feel free to include your information if you would like a follow up). Please feel free to share anything related to disability issues, accommodations, accessibility, etc. The information will be used to assess what issues arise most frequently and what issues are of the greatest importance to students with disabilities. The responses will be compiled and presented to the administration. Please don't be shy and use the box to share your experiences or suggestions.
Below is also a recent settlement regarding the ADA that may be of interest to some of you.

"Individually we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." - Katie

Please circulate.

If you received this email as a forward but would like to be added to the White House Disability Group email distribution list, please email and provide your name, email address, city, state and organization if applicable.

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department today announced a settlement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), a private, non-profit organization that administers the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), a standardized examination related to medical licensing. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, NBME is committed to providing reasonable testing accommodations to persons with disabilities who seek to take the USMLE, in accordance with the requirements of the ADA. In addition, it will grant Frederick Romberg, a Yale Medical School student, the accommodations of double the standard testing time and a separate testing area to take the USMLE.

“In the past, demands for unnecessary or redundant documentation, burdensome and expensive repeated professional evaluations, or irrelevant evaluative testing unrelated to the ability to demonstrate one’s knowledge or skills on an examination prevented individuals with appropriately documented disabilities from pursuing their chosen professions.” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “By entering into this agreement, NBME is doing its part to ensure that people with a reading disability like Mr. Romberg will have the opportunity to take the USMLE with the reasonable testing accommodations they need to demonstrate their knowledge and ability.”

Under the agreement, the NBME will:

• Only request documentation about (a) the existence of a physical or mental impairment; (b) whether the applicant’s impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities within the meaning of the ADA; and (c) whether and how the impairment limits the applicant’s ability to take the USMLE under standard conditions;

• Carefully consider the recommendations of qualified professionals who have personally observed the applicant in a clinical setting and recommended accommodations based upon their clinical judgment that the individual is substantially limited in one or more major life activities within the meaning of the ADA and needs the requested test accommodations in order to demonstrate his or her ability and achievement level; such recommendations are to be based on generally accepted diagnostic criteria and supported by reasonable documentation.

• Carefully consider all evidence indicating whether an individual’s ability to read is substantially limited within the meaning of the ADA, including the extent to which it is restricted as to the conditions, manner or duration as compared to the reading ability of most people.

The Justice Department opened an investigation in response to a complaint from Mr. Romberg who alleged that the NBME had twice denied him reasonable testing accommodations to take the USMLE because of his disability, dyslexia, in violation of the ADA. Subsequently, the department and the NBME sought to resolve the investigation by reaching a settlement agreement.

The settlement was reached under Title III of the ADA which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by private testing entities that administer examinations related to professional licensing. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at the website More information about the settlement with NBME can be found at or by calling the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY).

The White House · 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW · Washington DC 20500 · 202-456-1111

Monday, January 17, 2011

2011 NALSWD Conference in SF!

2011 National Association of Law Students with Disabilities Conference

Please visit: for more information and to register

General Information

When: Friday, January 21 - Sunday, January 23, 2011.
Where: Golden Gate School of Law, San Francisco, CA

Registration Information

The 2011 NALSWD conference promises to be an exciting, information-filled weekend with many opportunities to strategize about employment, advocacy, and community. Whether your interests are in public interest law, government work, working for a large private law firm, or something else, the weekend is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with many lawyers and law students with disabilities who are leaders in their respective fields.

We will also be campaigning for leadership positions for next year and having a group discussion about what the priorities for NALSWD for the next year should be. 1Ls and 2Ls with a passion and vision for the future of NALSWD are strongly encouraged to be a part of that discussion.

A Tentative Schedule is available, as is an extensive FAQ about the conference.

The 2011 conference will be held at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, CA. We encourage you to book your flights through San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Golden Gate University is easily accessible from the Montgomery BART station. Lodging recommendations include a range of possibilities for all budgets.

Please feel free to contact with any questions you have. We look forward to meeting you in January!

We also want to extend our deepest thanks to all of our donors whose generous support has made this conference possible!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dear Members,
Thank you all so much for participating in USF's first ever Disability Awareness Week! We had great speakers, a great turnout and great food! A special thanks to all of our speakers--

your presentations prompted such valuable dialogue between speakers, students, administration and professors. Thank you to everyone who came out to support ALSDR. We're just getting started.

- Katie Robert

President of the Association of Law Students for Disability Rights

University of San Francisco School of Law

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dear Members, Students, Professors, and Friends,

We are pleased to invite you to the first Disability Awareness Week to be held November 15th-18th. The Association of Law Students for Disability Rights has partnered with the Office of Career Planning and the Student Bar Association to bring to students and faculty this important learning opportunity. Our theme for the week is based on a quote by Stevie Wonder—“We all have ability. The difference is how we use it”—and our intent is to spread awareness regarding issues that affect law students with disabilities, to help expand opportunities for lawyers with disabilities in all legal employment sectors and to provide information for students interested in the field of Disability Law.

The first event of the week, entitled, “How is stress affecting the students? Part 1,” will be held Monday, Nov 15th at 12:30 in Kendrick 101. It will feature Dr. Allison Waterworth, an Educational Testing Specialist and Psychotherapist, who specializes in testing and treating ADHD, anxiety, depression, learning disorders, women’s issues, and relationships problems. She has tested and treated many USF students and will present on the impact of stress on students with learning disabilities.

“How is stress affecting the students? Part 2” will be held Wednesday, Nov 17th at 12:30 in Kendrick 102. Part 2 will feature Barbara Thomas, Executive Director of USF's Counseling and Psychological Services program, and Tom Merrill, Director of USF's Academic Support Services and Disabilities Specialist, who will co-present on the effects of stress on students. Specifically they will discuss how stress affects the learning process, personal relationships, substance abuse, and students with learning disabilities.

The Final event will be a Disability Law Panel held on Thursday November 18 in Kendrick 102 from 5-6:30pm. We are so fortunate to have the Co-Chairs of The Disability Rights Committee, Betsy Johnsen and Christina Rubke, who have worked to break down barriers that have held back attorneys with disabilities from fully integrating into the field of law. The Co-Chairs will discuss how accommodations are viewed by employers, interview tips for students with disabilities, the difficulty of receiving reasonable accommodations in the work force, how students can make informed decisions when entering the workforce and other issues related to Disability Rights.

The Panel will also feature Anna Scholin, President of the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities, who will offer the student perspective of going through (and graduating) law school with a disability and life after law school. The NALSWD is a coalition of law students dedicated to disability advocacy and the achievement of equal access, inclusion, diversity and non-discrimination in legal education and in the legal profession. The future success of NALSWD depends on the active participation by disabled law students and we are honored to have Anna as a speaker to show our support.

The Disability Awareness Week is a celebration of diversity which all too often neglects to include people with disabilities. We hope to show the community at large as well as the USF community, that our law school means what it says on our website—that USF “strive[s] to train professionals who care about the well being of others and have a deep concern about justice.” We hope to have your support and are confident that you will find the weeks evens as a worthwhile way to further our schools commitment to social justice. We look forward to seeing you there!


Katie Robert

President of the Association of Law Students for Disability Rights

Vice President of the Student Bar Association (pt)

University of San Francisco School of Law