Staff Editorial: Tulane needs greater support for students with disabilities

Tulane needs to demonstrate a greater commitment to the long-term success of students with learning disabilities. Matthew Name, a former Tulane student, failed to graduate because of Tulane’s inability to accommodate his learning disability. Name suffers from dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, qualifying him for a foreign language replacement that Tulane did not adequately provide.

His experience indicates multiple problems with Tulane’s process. The foreign language replacement courses the university offered to Name did not accommodate his needs, and the university will not confirm or deny if a learning disorder expert played a role in the course selection. This unwillingness to communicate with students about the process raises questions about whether Tulane is working toward the success of its students with disabilities.

Tulane expected the student to bend to the university’s needs instead of helping to accommodate his needs. While experience varies, there should be no circumstance in which students feel as if the university is standing in their way of success. As a university, Tulane should promote growth and take active steps to becoming a more inclusive campus.

Tulane must be transparent and flexible with the accommodations process. At a bare minimum, Tulane must have learning disability experts vet replacement courses. While this is not a legal requirement, Tulane should take this step to contribute to the long-term success of its students.

Students are more than a monetary investment — their long-term success is indicative of Tulane’s ability to create competent, capable individuals. Part of cultivating this environment of success includes meeting students halfway to maximize their potential.