Dyslexia-ADA-2015Important Update for All Students!

What are the 5 Facts about Dyslexia and ADA that you must know ? (from a newly released document from the US Department of Justice):

#1. Proof of Past Testing is Generally Sufficient to Support a Request

This is a huge decision – and certain to ease the financial burden for many families have to frequently retest  in order to maintain their students necessary accommodations.

#2. ADA Protections  Exist for for High School, College, Professional and Grad Schools, Trade Exams

This is huge. The Department of Justice document includes the following tests by name: high school (GED, SSAT, ISEE), college (SAT, ACT), professional (LSAT, MCAT), grad school (GRE, GMAT), trade (cosmetology), professional (bar, medical, including clinical assessments). Many lawsuits have been brought against the College Board for denying accommodations further on in the educational process, but the problem with many previous decisions has been that cases have been settled for the individuals bringing suit, rather than creating broader court decisions that will help future students in similar situations.

#3. Academic Success Does Not Preclude Test Accommodations

This statement is important because it doesn’t require students to fail in order to receive appropriate accommodations. Accommodations are meant to level the playing field – to allow the testing to accurately reflect student aptitude, knowledge, and ability. Dyslexic students may need more time to re, re-read, and check their work for perceptual errors, so accurate testing may only be possible with appropriate accommodations.

This clarification point is also important for the many gifted LD students (like gifted dyslexics) that may not fail their courses or score in the lowest quartile, but yet have test results that don’t accurately reflect their knowledge if accommodations are denied.

#4. Informal Testing Accommodations May Be Sufficient

“Although the student has never previously received testing accommodations through an IEP, 504, or formal private school policy, she may nevertheless be entitled to extended time for the standardized exam.”

#5. Timely Manner and No Flagging

“A testing entity must respond in a timely manner to requests for testing accommodations so as to ensure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities…Testing entities should report accommodated scores in the same way they report scores generally…Flagging policies that impede individuals with disabilities from fairly competing for and pursuing educational employment opportunities are prohibited by the ADA.”

If your student was not granted accommodations, we strongly recommend including a copy of this document with an appeal. Please share this article with everyone you know. Thank you!

Get your copy of our Highlighted or Non-Highlighted version of the ADA Requirements. The document is also posted online HERE.

Thanks to Dr. Nicole Ofiesh and her distinguish colleagues who helped create this consensus document for the US Department of Justice!