Tireless Disability Rights Advocate
Rebecca Wylie, a third-year, part-time law student at Loyola University- Chicago School of Law, plans to use the Health Law certificate that she is currently pursuing to address health matters as they relate to persons with disabilities.
Rebecca uses a power wheelchair and has an aide who assists her with daily living activities. When Rebecca was eight, she contracted a rare post-viral infection, Transverse Myelitis. As a result she cannot use her legs, and has minimal use of her hands.
With the use of dictation software and technology, Rebecca attends class, writes papers, and does her required reading. She has made the Dean's list multiple times and received the CALI-Award for having the highest grade in her Legal Writing I class.
Rebecca has only positive things to say about her law school experience. The faculty, staff and students have all been supportive of her pursuits. The staff “truly engage[s] the students to do their best and help [them] to reach [their] individual goals. For example, on Rebecca’s first day of law school, her professor informed her that she was entitled to accommodations in her class and offered her help in facilitating those accommodations. This made Rebecca feel welcome and respected.
Rebecca, much like many other law students with various disabilities, had to fight to receive accommodations on the LSAT. Thankfully, for Rebecca, “once accepted, it has been relatively smooth sailing in terms of accommodations at school and internships.” Due to Rebecca’s diligence, she has made her accommodations work seamlessly at two different legal internships.
In addition to balancing the work of a law student and intern, Rebecca is a tireless disability rights advocate. She is currently the Chief Information Officer of the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities (NALSWD). NALSWD encourages current and prospective law students not only to disclose their disabilities but to also find avenues for advocacy at their respective law schools.