Given the environment of our reality in the last two or three years, it comes as no surprise that change is inevitable. Good or bad, many of our routines, or constants in our everyday expectations, have changed. One of the changes that happens to fall within the good column for students needing continued academic support is a relaxing of the rules and regulations surrounding documentation of their disability.
As of August 2021 students with an IEP or 504 Plan will automatically be granted the accommodations listed in their 504 plan or IEP for the ACT (American College Test). This change has been implemented as of the 2021 – 2022 school year. According to the ACT Newsroom and blog, there will be a reduction in the extensive documentation needed to qualify for accommodations. Previously, students with a 504 Plan had to go through a separate process to obtain accommodations on the ACT. Staff at the ACT noted that schools must follow a rigorous process when determining eligibility for either an Individual Education Plan (IEP) under IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), or for a 504 Plan under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Automatically granting accommodations is meant to streamline the process for students who already qualify for support due to a disability.
The purpose of the change according to ACT was to “increase accessibility to the ACT test for students with disabilities”.
Parents should also take note that currently there are many universities, both public and private, that have gone to test optional admissions. There are more options for students to gain admission without the stress of taking the ACT or SAT. This is certainly good news for high school students coping with the pressures of being a senior, weighing options about what university to attend and keeping current on daily obligations.