A blind Michigan man is suing the American Bar Association (ABA) on claims that the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) includes sections that are discriminatory against blind people.
The test includes an analytical reasoning or “logic games” section, which the plaintiff says requires drawing and visualization techniques that are impossible for the blind.
"It's a situation where blind or visually impaired people can't interpret a diagram since they don't have spatial perceptions,'' Bernstein, Binno’s lawyer, also blind, said in an interview with CNN. "So how is it fair to require that type of question to get into law school? At the end of the day, blind people can't draw.''
The analytical reasoning section instructions say, ''it may be useful to draw a rough diagram.” Nearly all LSAT preparation books strongly recommend taking a visual diagramming approach to tackling the logic games section.
The plaintiff, Angelo Binno, 28, was rejected from three law schools after scoring poorly on the admission test. According to the lawsuit, this is despite the fact that Binno is fluent in three languages, was employed at the Department of Homeland Security handling high-level clearance cases and graduated from high school in three years.
His lawyer was admitted into law school before 1997, when law schools could decide whether blind applicants had to take the test in order to get admission, according to CNN.
The current ABA rule mandates that schools either use the LSAT or another test to gauge students’ qualifications for law school, says the complaint. However, Bernstein claims that the devising of an entirely new test for blind applicants by single schools is not feasible.
The lawsuit claims that the rule is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Acts of 1999, which requires that “Any private entity that offers examinations or courses related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialing for secondary or postsecondary education… shall offer such examinations or courses in a place and manner accessible to persons with disabilities or offer alternative accessible arrangements for such individuals.”
The plaintiff “requests an exemption or waiver of the LSAT when reapplying for law school so that he may judged on his other credentials in assessing his capability to satisfactorily complete the school’s educational program…”
It further demands that the ABA’s requirement to not waive the LSAT for the visually impaired be stricken.
Binno was born blind because of a condition called retinitis pigmentosa, reported CNN.