Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

ACT Accommodations documentation?

amcquilkamcquilk Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
I've read the older threads on this topic, but since the policy changed in May of 2016 I'm wondering what experiences parents have had over the past year. My daughter has been on an IEP since age 3, initially "communication disorder" later changed at age 9 to Aspergers. In 5th grade, we switched her to a small private school where we felt she would get the accommodations she needed with less of the stigma and social nightmare of the public school. Good decision - she has thrived. Her school has had her on an accommodation plan which includes extended time, repeating instructions, and organizational help. The school has never requested, and so we have never sought, a re-evaluation. So her last round of neuropsych testing was nine years ago.

We had no trouble getting extended time on the SAT. Her score jumped 110 points from the PSAT, which was without extended time. The new college board policy is "If they get it in school, it's approved". Based on practice tests, I think she will do better on the ACT, though, so we are applying for accommodations. My question to parents -- what can I send in place of current testing? We have neither the time nor the money for a full round of testing. The town declined, saying she's eligible for a 504 based on her diagnosis, and they would only test to see if interventions were needed, not to confirm a diagnosis. I can send documentation from age 4 to show it's a long- standing disability. I have her last IEP from grade 4 that includes extended time (again, showing its long-standing). I can send her current ed plan which includes extended time. I can send her neuropsych testing from age 9 when she was diagnosed with Aspergers. What I lack is anything current (other than her current ed plan).

Suggestions? Your experiences?
Thanks in advance!

Replies to: ACT Accommodations documentation?

  • Dancer41Dancer41 Registered User Posts: 77 Junior Member
    We had a good, painless experience. In our case the school handled everything. When you register for the test, you indicate that you need accomodations and then you'll receive an email that you pass on to your school's guidance department. My daughter has a 504 plan and she was approved for double time, multi-day testing (she took one section a day over several days), a scribe to fill out the score sheet and use of a computer to type for the writing section. These are all in-line with her 504 plan. Good Luck
  • beekeeper22beekeeper22 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    My child was granted ACT accommodations for a physical disability/medical condition. He had test accommodations at his private school and their own in-school version of an accommodation plan. The school learning specialist advised us to get the 504 plan from the town, as well. That it might be something to consider to strengthen the ACT application. The 504 was very helpful for getting accommodations in college so it was worth the effort to obtain and keep it updated. If your daughter will need accommodations in college, it might make sense to consider what documentation or testing will work for her current needs and plan ahead for next step. A word of warning, the ACT took longer to grade based on special testing (8-10 weeks instead of 3). In an ideal situation, my son should have started ACT testing sooner to customize study plans, schedule retakes, and tailor college lists sooner. My son's school combined students who had the same accommodations and did not offer all test dates. The ACT was fair with accommodations and they were necessary and invaluable for my child. I wish you luck!
  • amcquilkamcquilk Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    I'm glad to hear you both got approved right away. I understand it was more difficult in the past. I didn't know I could get a 504 plan from the town even though she is in private school -- I'll look into that! In the meantime, I got her pediatrician to write a letter simply confirming her long-standing Asperger's diagnosis and need for accommodations. Even thought the pediatrician didn't do any testing, she's known my daughter for six years and is a "medical professional", so hopefully that will satisfy the requirement for something current. We submitted the application, so now we wait!
  • MomtothreegirlsMomtothreegirls Registered User Posts: 148 Junior Member
    My daughter's last neuropsych exam was over 4 years earlier and she had a 504 plan in school. We applied for accommodations for the ACT through the school and didn't have any problems - they granted her the accommodations she regularly used at school.
  • amcquilkamcquilk Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    Just an update -- ACT accommodations were granted with no problems. If I had to guess, I think it was three things:
    1) Current doctor's letter
    2) Proof of long-standing disability
    3) Current accommodation plan
  • zannahzannah Registered User Posts: 1,088 Senior Member
    SAT and even ACT are more responsive to history of accommodations attached to an evaluation of the condition. Both, however, only approve accommodations and reject modification, Accommodations compensate for a functional limitation that makes the test extremely difficult to take. For example, a student who is blind may be accommodated by a reader/scribe or AT that provides the student with access to the test and responding. In contrast modifications alter a test to make it easier to answer questions. Modifications include question clarification, changing vocabulary or the length and complexity of questions, giving hints or walking s student through a test.

    Students with accommodations are compared to the norm group and earn standard score in comparison to other test takers. Modifications change the test to the extent that the child with a disability can't be compared to the norm group. The test is too personalized to know how we!l the student compares to the norm group. Tests with modifications, even accommodation are used, the student*s score can not be used for college entrance.

    Finally, it is sorta discrimination on the basis of disability to accept a student with a disability who is not otherwise qualified. Colleges and universities do not provide special education or other assistance that artificial!y props up the grades of students who are not academically qualified to attend. Students with disabilities are admitted to school on the same basis as other students who are admitted. Students with disabilities must remain qualified from matriculation to graduation.
This discussion has been closed.