ACT streamlines test access for disabled students

ACT campus
The ACT campus in Iowa City. IMAGE VIA ACT

College testing provider ACT, based in Iowa City, has announced plans to increase accessibility to the ACT test for students with disabilities by streamlining accommodations eligibility requirements.

As part of the policy change, ACT will approve allowable accommodations already included in students’ Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) or 504 plans, according to a release.

Beginning with the 2021-22 testing year, students who already receive accommodations at their school under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act will automatically be eligible to receive the allowable testing accommodations when they register for the ACT with accommodations.

The IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act contain strict requirements that public schools must follow in determining who is an eligible student with a disability and what accommodations eligible students need to access their education. This includes what accommodations are needed to access classroom and standardized tests, like the ACT test.

“Students with disabilities already face many barriers in their lives, and we don’t want the accommodations process for taking the ACT to be one of them,” ACT CEO Janet Godwin said. “This policy change simplifies and expedites the process for requesting accommodations, so that students can focus on learning all that they can in school and showing what they know on test day.”

In conjunction with the policy change, ACT is updating its system for requesting accommodations to require less information and documentation to support requests submitted on behalf of students with a current IEP or 504 plan.

While this change benefits the majority of students who test with accommodations, ACT will continue to offer accommodations to test-takers who do not have a current IEP or 504 plan. The company will continue to use the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standard to determine whether there is a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity” and whether the requested accommodations are reasonable for the ACT test.

For more information about the policy change and process for requesting accommodations, go to