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Equal Access to Assessment: Testing Accommodations


Testing Accommodations Technical Assistance Guidance from the DOJ
Downloadable version

The Department of Justice (DOJ) published revised final regulations implementing the ADA for title II (State and local government services) and title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) on September 15, 2010. These rules clarify and refine issues that have arisen over the past 20 years and contain new and updated requirements.
The new publication provides technical assistance on testing accommodations for individuals with disabilities who take standardized exams and other high-stakes tests. It addresses the obligations of testing entities, which include private, state, or local government entities that offer exams related to applications, licensing, certification, or credentialing for secondary (high school), postsecondary (college and graduate school), professional (law, medicine , etc.), or trade (cosmetology, electrician, etc.) purposes. Who is entitled to testing accommodations, what types of testing accommodations must be provided , and what documentation may be required of the person requesting testing accommodations are also discussed.
The DOJ publication on Testing Accommodations provides an overview and a series of questions, answers and related citations. The document does not address how the requirements or protections, as applicable, of Title II of the ADA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the assessment provisions in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and their implementing regulations, apply to, or interact with, the administration of state-wide and district-wide assessments to students with disabilities conducted by public educational entities.
The publication also includes:

  • What kinds of tests are covered?
  • Description of accommodations
  • Who is eligible to receive accommodations?
  • Documentation of requests to receive accommodations
  • Reporting of test scores for those using accommodations

Department of Justice (DOJ)

Part of the federal government, to enforce the law and defend the interests of the United States.

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Section 504

Prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities. Written 504 plan used to guide provision of instructional services.

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Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Federal law governing rights of children with disabilities to receive free and appropriate public education in least restrictive environment.

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