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Ensuring Students with Disabilities and English Learners Receive Necessary Supports For Success


By: Katie Featherston, Senior Director for Accessibility

In January, ACT CEO Janet Godwin shared our Renewed Commitments for 2021. As we embark on a new school year, it seems fitting to share some ways we’ve been working to increase equity and collaborate with school and industry partners to ensure students with disabilities and English learners (ELs) are provided the appropriate resources and supports necessary to succeed.

New Policy

As we announced earlier this summer, our Accessibility and Accommodations team took a huge step in removing barriers for students who need accommodations to access the ACT test. ACT’s Policy for Requesting Accommodations has been updated to align with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the laws established to ensure our public schools meet the needs of our students with disabilities. ACT will follow the determinations made by our valued school partners with students and families and approve requests for accommodations documented in IEPs and 504 plans.

To assist students and families and their school officials with this process, we’ve developed these FAQs.

New Resources

We know that in order for students with disabilities and English learners to realize their college and career dreams they must have access to accessible assessments and resources to help them and their school officials easily navigate our processes.

With the help of our partners at Fable, Inc., the ACT test is available in an online, screen reader compatible version for people with blindness and visual impairments. Read more here about the invaluable partnership between Fable and ACT that made this offering a reality.

Just as important as an accessible test, are accessible resources that help our students and their stakeholders navigate the registration and accommodations request process. To assist our English learners, we’ve created this helpful infographic in English, Spanish, Arabic, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. For our students with disabilities, this document shows the allowable accommodation on the ACT test and provides helpful information about where students will test.

New Team

And finally, ACT recognizes that to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities and ELs, we must continue to strengthen the support, services, and opportunities that we provide. Building on our long history of providing accommodations and supports, we realigned these services under one team which can act with the coordinated and deliberate intention we know is needed to ensure these students are provided the tools and resources they need to be successful in college and career.

We are proud of our ACT Accessibility and Accommodations team, made up of passionate and dedicated team members, who stand at the ready to provide Customer Support, ensure students have access to the accommodations and supports they need, and enhance ACT’s products and services so they are accessible for all.

Contact us here with questions or comments about ACT’s Test Accommodations or English Learner Supports.