Accommodations for Students with Learning Disabilities

Registering with Accommodations

 

The ACT and SAT testing institutions have placed strict guidelines for determining who qualifies to receive accommodations for college entrance exams. In order for your child to receive extended time or special testing, your school will need official diagnostic information from a psychoeducational test, 504 Plan or IEP. ACT/SAT requires a copy of the initial diagnosis as well as a copy of re-diagnosis within the last three years. Due to the fact that students will also need updated testing to receive accommodations in college, we recommend that all students update their psycho-educational testing the summer after their 10th grade year or in 11th grade.

 

Your school will most likely need the following information in the psychoeducational test, 504 Plan or IEP: 

•    Doctor's institution or affiliation

•    Doctor's name

•    Date of diagnosis

•    DSM-IV Code with Specific Diagnosis

•    Statement declaring that the student is entitled to special/extended time testing

•    Recommendations of classroom accommodations

•    Relevant testing using reliable, valid, standardized and age-appropriate assessment

 

For more specific information, please visit:

ACT: www.act.org/aap/disab/policy.html 

SAT: http://www.collegeboard.com/ssd/prof/document.html

 

 

If you would like to apply for accommodations on the SAT please go to 

http://www.collegeboard.com/prod_downloads/ssd/eligibility_form_instructions.pdf,

and then go to your high school counselor for the Eligibility Form for accommodations.

 

 

Students who would like to apply for accommodations on the ACT must have a psycho-educational evaluation that is current within 3 years of the date they will be taking the ACT. Within this evaluation, there must be a specific diagnosis that confirms the necessity of accommodations. It is helpful to have your student tested the summer after sophomore year, as this date will work for both ACT and collegiate accommodation requirements. Please remember that gaining accommodations on the ACT is not easy; the staff at ACT who review the application and paperwork make the final decision.

 

There are two options for accommodations on the ACT:

Students who would like to apply for Extended Time (time and one half on each test):

•    Go to the ACT website listed above and register for the test date you desire. 

•    Print the application for Extended Time from the ACT website. On the application, please only fill out section A with your personal information and then the student and parent should sign where appropriate. All other sections will be filled out by your school official.

•    Bring your ticket, application, and current psycho-ed. evaluation to your high school counselor or special ed department by deadline listed on the ACT/SAT Dates document. 

 

Students who would like to apply for Special Testing (i.e. extended time plus testing over multiple days, alternate test formats, use of a scribe or reader, etc.):

•    Go to the ACT website and print the Special Testing application. On the application, please only fill out section A with your personal information and then the student and parent should sign where appropriate. All other sections will be filled out by your school official.

•    Write a check to ACT for the amount of the test. The ACT No Writing is $35, and the ACT Plus Writing is $50.50.

•    Bring the application, check, and current psycho-ed. evaluation to your school official by the designated deadline listed on the ACT/SAT Dates document. If the student is approved for special testing, you will receive an email with the confirmation of registration for the requested test date.

 

Special Testing can include accommodations in the following areas:

Presentation:

• Large print (14 pt; 

20 pt)

• Fewer items on each page

• Reader

• Colored paper

• Use of a highlighter

• Sign/orally present instructions

• Visual magnification (magnifier or magnifying machine)

• Auditory amplification

• Audiocassette

• Colored overlays

• Braille

• Braille graphs

• Braille device for written responses

• Plastic covered pages of the test booklet

 

Responding:

• Verbal; dictated to scribe

• Tape recorder

• Computer without spell check/grammar/cut & paste features

• Record answers in test booklet

• Large block answer sheet

Timing/Scheduling:

• Frequent breaks

• Extended time

• Multiple days (may/may not include extra time)

• Specified time of day

 

Setting:

• Small group setting

• Private room

• Screens to block out distractions

• Special lighting

• Special acoustics

• Adaptive/special furniture/tools

• Alternative test site (with proctor present)

 

Note: The deadline for non-accommodation registration is different than the deadline for those seeking accommodations!

 

ACT and SAT are responsible for ensuring the appropriate accommodations are provided for a student with diagnosed disabilities. Each student’s needs are individual and, therefore, must be approved on an individual basis. Unfortunately, not all students with diagnosed learning differences will be accommodated. According to College Board, “Accommodations are to 'level the playing field' so that students with disabilities have the same opportunities as students who do not have a disability to demonstrate on tests what they have learned and how they can use what they have learned” (College Board, 2009).

 

Re-Testing

If you have already been approved for accommodations on the ACT, and would like to take the test again, the process varies depending on the accommodations you were approved for. 

•    If you were approved for extended time only and would like to continue with this accommodation, apply online at www.actstudent.org through the normal registration. You will automatically be given extended time with your registration, although it will not be displayed on your ticket until 2 – 3 weeks after you register.

•    If you were approved for anything in addition to extended time, you will need to reapply with the Special Testing application each time you want to retest. ACT does not require us to resend the psycho-ed. evaluation, but they do require the check and application. If you register online you will not automatically receive any accommodations in addition to extended time, such as testing over multiple days or modified test formats.