ACT test streamlines registration for students with disabilities

·2 min read

Jul. 22—Instructional booklets with larger type.

Rooms that are larger, also, for wheelchair accessibility.

Permission to mark test answers in an accompanying booklet — rather than the answer sheet.

A sign-language interpreter, if needed and requested.

The above accommodations and more are already in place for students with specific considerations taking the ACT test for college.

Until now, those requests, and the paperwork they entailed, had to be submitted separately from the test application.

The organization announced Wednesday such requests will be automatically granted — provided the accommodation needs are already included in the Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans for students with disabilities.

IEPs and 504 plans are sanctioned as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Act, which is on the books for just that purpose.

Janet Godwin, who is CEO of the Iowa-based ACT organization, said the idea is to simply streamline the process, so students and their families don't get bogged down and frustrated by the bureaucracy of it all.

"Students with disabilities already face many barriers in their lives, " she said.

"This policy change simplifies and expedites the process for requesting accommodations, so that students can focus on showing what they know on test day, " she said.

The organization will still work with students who wish to take the exam but don't have a current IEP or 504 plan.

For more information on the entire process, visit www.act.org /the-act /accomms.

In the meantime, Gov. Jim Justice in March dedicated $341, 000 in federal CARES Act funding to make the test free for high schools students also applying for the PROMISE scholarship.

That move made West Virginia the first state in the nation to cover ACT testing costs due to the pandemic.

The nonprofit testing organization has been around for 62 years.

On Nov. 7, 1959, 75, 000 students lined up for the inaugural test. In 2019, some 1.8 million students — a little more than the entire population of the Mountain State, sat down for the test.

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