As of January 1st, the vast majority of high school students who have testing accommodations on their IEP or as part of a 504 plan will automatically be approved for identical accommodations when writing College Board exams like the SAT, PSAT, SAT subject tests, and AP exams. Private school students with disabilities who don’t have an IEP or 504 plan will receive identical testing accommodations to their formal school-based plans.
According to the College Board:
Under this new policy, school testing accommodation coordinators need to answer only two questions when submitting most requests for students: “Is the requested accommodation(s) in the student’s plan?” and “Has the student used the accommodation(s) for school testing?” If the answer is yes to both questions, eligible students can be approved to receive most accommodations on College Board exams. This new process is expected to reduce the approval time for an overwhelming majority of accommodation requests.
The College Board is also introducing new assistive technologies to meet a variety of testing accommodation needs. A digital test, delivered on a flash drive, is now available for screen readers and other assistive technology devices. An MP3 test (replacing the cassette test form) allows students who need to listen to a test to do so. And a four-function calculator can now be provided to students who need one on the Math Test sections that otherwise don’t permit use of a calculator.
These changes came after the Justice Department began investigating the College Board for civil rights violations last year. More and more states had adopted the SAT or ACT as a required test for high school students and the Civil Rights Division had seen a sharp uptick in complaints about the slow, laborious process for documenting a student’s disability and approving the testing accommodations needed.
Please note that the College Board’s SSD portal has not been updated to reflect these changes. For more information, please see the College Board’s webpage on this topic.