ACT to start automatically approving accommodations included in students’ IEPs or 504 plans

Today, ACT announced a major change to its process for approving students' testing accommodations. In a move that will expand accommodations eligibility and simplify the accommodation request process going forward, ACT will start automatically approving accommodations already included in students’ Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or 504 plans.

ACT's press release stated, "Beginning with the 2021-22 testing year, students who already receive accommodations at their school under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act will automatically be eligible to receive the allowable testing accommodations when they register for the ACT with accommodations."

What does this mean for students applying for accommodations?

Students who have IEPs or 504 plans:

  • The change will simplify the process for requesting accommodations, saving students and schools time.
  • ACT will update its accommodation request system (the Test Accessibility and Accommodations System) to require less information and documentation from schools when they apply for accommodations on behalf of students with current IEPs or 504 plans.
  • On its website, ACT now states, "A copy of the IEP or 504 Plan will be sufficient to demonstrate eligibility and need for the same allowable accommodations on the ACT test."

Students who do not have IEPs or 504 plans:

  • Nothing is changing. ACT plans to "continue to use the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standard to determine whether there is a 'physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity' and whether the requested accommodations are reasonable for the ACT test."

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Erin Ohsie-Frauenhofer

About Erin Ohsie-Frauenhofer

As one of the highest-performing tutors in ArborBridge’s history, Erin coaches tutors and develops tools and trainings to disrupt old habits and empower new strengths. With a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University, Erin worked as a classroom teacher and student services director prior to joining ArborBridge in 2017. Her decade of success as an educator has prepared her to ensure that programs are tailored to individual students’ needs.

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