Evaluations for Educational or Test Accommodations in High School, College, Post-College Settings & Standardized Tests
A diagnosis of AD(H)D, a learning disability, or a psychological disorder alone does not qualify someone for educational accommodations such as extended time on tests. Chapter 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 and The Americans with Disabilities Act state that one must provide evidence of a disability that functionally limits or impairs a major life activity, i.e., learning, concentrating, reading. Not all individuals with disabilities are functionally limited such that they require educational accommodations. In order to determine if someone meets the criterion of a functional limitation, the law requires that individuals undergo a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation that will determine how their disability currently and historically has impaired their learning or academic functioning.
It’s important to understand that your performance on this evaluation is compared to norms for “the average person”. In other words, the law doesn’t entitle individuals to accommodations simply because they perform at a lower level due to their disability. You must perform below the level of the “average person” in order to be considered functionally impaired and considered eligible for accommodations. For example, if you’re slower than you think you should be to complete tests because of AD(H)D or a learning disability, but complete tests in an average amount of time and/or get average to above average grades on tests compared to individuals your age, you may not qualify for accommodations on standardized tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, etc.
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I conduct the required evaluation according to guidelines for documenting a learning disability, Attention Deficit Disorder, and psychiatric disorders established by the Association on Higher Education and Disabilities. All evaluations are conducted in compliance with this protocol.
You’ll be provided a report to submit with a request to a school or standardized testing agency (e.g., ETS, College Board, ACT) for accommodations. The report will indicate the findings and whether the results indicate whether you exhibit a functional limitation that impairs your ability to function at some academic task. Personnel at your school or a review panel from a testing center ultimately make the decision regarding whether you qualify for accommodations
If you come for an evaluation, please bring any previous evaluations, standardized test scores, accommodation plans or IEPs, or other materials that document the history of the disability and any special educational services or accommodations you’ve received. Individuals with a documented history of disabilities who have used educational accommodations in school have a better chance of qualifying for accommodations from standardized testing services e.g., SAT, ACT, etc.
Fees for these evaluations start at approximately $1200. Fees include time for review of records and previous evaluations, interviews, testing, test supplies, scoring and interpretation of data, report writing and follow-up session to discuss findings.
Websites for Testing Agencies for Test Accommodations for Individuals with Disabilities
SAT: The SAT has a revised (as of January 2017), sometimes easier procedure for requesting accommodations. You will qualify for accommodations on the SAT if:
1. You have been approved for accommodations in high school through an IEP or 504 Plan
2. You are using these accommodations in high school
The educator at your school will complete documents verifying the above.
If you did not apply, qualify, or use accommodations in high school, you’ll need to provide additional documentation justifying your request.
Please review the SAT’s policy on accommodations eligibility