Given that a number of students are identified as needing educational services throughout their elementary and secondary school years, many of these students also may be eligible for accommodations when they finally reach the point of taking their college entrance examinations. For example, approximately 5,867,234 individuals who ranged in age from 6- to 21-years were served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) in 2001 (U.S. Department of Education, 2005). To insure that high school students who may need accommodations for their college entrance examinations are approved in a sufficient amount of time, parents should plan ahead and start facilitating the process early. Further, parents should keep in mind that the fact that their high school students already have an Individual Education Plan (IEP; via IDEIA; e.g., Sattler, 2008) or a Section 504 Plan (of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; e.g., Sattler, 2008) in place does not guarantee that accommodations for college entrance examinations will be afforded (College Board-Eligibility, No Date-Eligibility & review). The process for the College Board Examinations (e.g., SAT) will be used as an example here.
To become eligible for accommodations for College Board Examinations, students must undergo a School Verification or a Documentation Review (College Board, No Date-Eligibility & review). As part of a School Verification, students must demonstrate that they have a disability, that they have required accommodations for the disability for four consecutive months in school, and that they have the appropriate documentation in their school file available for review (College Board, No Date-School verification). As part of this documentation, doctors’ notes and IEPs are not sufficient. Instead, students must have current test scores (usually including subtest scores) with documentation that they are disabled and that they will require accommodations on their college entrance examinations (College Board, No Date-What documentation is required for the accommodations request?). Thus, in most cases, students must have a current, thorough psychological evaluation that documents the disability that they are experiencing (e.g., learning disabilities, College Board, No Date-Learning disability; Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, College Board, No Date-ADHD). Such an evaluation must be current (College Board, No Date-Documentation requirements), meaning that the testing has been completed within the past five years (College Board, No Date-Basic requirements for disability documentation). For Documentation Review, the College Board reviews students’ disability documentation directly (College Board, No Date-Eligibility & review). A request for such a review can be made directly to the College Board, and the College Board then will initiate a review of the documentation noted above (College Board, No Date-Document review).
Following the review process, a determination will be made regarding students’ eligibility for accommodations, and students will receive an eligibility letter via mail (College Board, No Date-Accommodations, documentation guidelines, and after a decision is made). Should students’ accommodations be approved, students should make sure that their roster has been updated to reflect their accommodation status and that they have a SSD eligibility code (College Board, No Date-Steps to ensure that students test with their accommodations). In contrast, if students have been denied accommodations, they can submit additional information regarding their disability in an attempt to receive a different determination (College Board, No Date-After determination). Given the number of steps involved, parents should become familiar with the process and plan accordingly.
College Board. (No Date). Accommodations, documentation guidelines, and after a decision is made. Retrieved from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd/application.
College Board. (No Date). ADHD. Retrieved from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd/application/disabilities/adhd.
College Board. (No Date). After determination. Retrieved from
College Board. (No Date). Basic requirements for disability documentation. Retrieved from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd/application/guide/guidelines.
College Board. (No Date). Documentation requirements. Retrieved from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd/application/eligible/requirements.
College Board. (No Date). Document review. Retrieved from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd/application/eligible/review.
College Board. (No Date). Eligibility & review. Retrieved from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd/application/eligibility-review.
College Board. (No Date). Learning disability. Retrieved from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd/application/disabilities/learning.
College Board. (No Date). School verification. Retrieved from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd/application/eligible/verification.
College Board. (No Date). Services for students with disabilities-Eligibility. Retrieved from http://www.collegeboard.com/ssd/student/index.html#eligibility.
College Board. (No Date). Steps to ensure that students test with their accommodations. Retrieved from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd/application/after/approvals.
College Board. (No Date). What documentation is required for the accommodations request? Retrieved from http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ssd/application/guide.
Sattler, J. M. (2008). Resource guide to accompany “Assessment of children: Cognitive foundations: Fifth Edition”. San Diego: Jerome M. Sattler, Publishers, Inc.
U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, Office of Special Education Programs. (2005). 25th annual (2003) report to Congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (Vol. I). Washington, DC: Author.