Disability Scoop reports that “too little is being done to ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations on the SAT, ACT and other standardized tests, according to a new government report.
Although the Americans with Disabilities Act requires test companies to provide accommodations like extra time or different formats, the Government Accountability Office found that many students with disabilities face significant barriers.
Students say test companies ask for too much documentation to prove their special needs. Many students were frustrated because the test companies refused to provide the accommodations that they received at school.
“For their part, testing companies told GAO investigators that they struggle to ensure that tests remain fair for all students while providing appropriate accommodations for those with legitimate needs.”
About 2 percent of test takers received accommodations based on diagnoses ranging from autism to learning disabilities, GAO found. A much larger proportion of Americans — at least 12 percent — have disabilities.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is responsible for enforcing ADA compliance in testing situations. DOJ considers individual complaints, an approach that the GAO report described as “inadequate.”
“Without a systematic approach to reviewing complaints that it receives, Justice cannot assure that all complaints are consistently considered and that it is effectively targeting its limited resources to the highest priority enforcement activities,” the report indicated.
The GAO report was requested by U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif. After the report was released in December, the Congressmen have called on Attorney General Eric Holder to take action.
“The current system of applying for and obtaining testing accommodations — and seemingly haphazard enforcement — are barriers to students with disabilities,” wrote Miller and Stark in a letter to Holder. “These barriers cause unnecessary delays to their careers and impose additional financial burdens on students who have already struggled and overcome challenges to reach this point.”
Hat tip to Disability Scoop who posted this article as College Entrance Exams Run Afoul Of ADA Requirements, Report Finds