New ACT Rules on Those With Disabilities

May 22, 2018

ACT on Monday announced new rules on the time provided for some with disabilities related to learning to take the ACT exam. Going forward, there will be a specific period of extra time for those with diagnosed disabilities. On the 45 minute English exam, those with disabilities could have 70 minutes. Each section of the test will have a limit and a hard stop and a specified 15-minute break before going to the next section. This differs from the current system, in which students with disabilities can have up to five hours to take the entire test, with no limits on the time to be spent on any individual section.

Charles Weiner, a Pennsylvania lawyer who works on testing issues on behalf of some with disabilities, said that the ACT should not rule out the possibility that some may need the extended time now offered. "My concern is that the ACT is not overly rigid with the application of this policy so as to contravene the intent and purpose of the Americans With Disabilities Act," he said. "If for example, the test taker’s evaluator was to recommend extended time with no limits on each section (consistent with ACT’s prior practice) then the ACT should, consistent with the express provisions of the ADA, give considerable weight to such a recommendation."


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