In June, a New York judge declined to compel the Law School Admission Council to grant a Wesleyan University senior with ADD and a “processing speed disorder” extra time to take the test.
But this week, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement under which the council will give a 22-year-old University of Minnesota graduate with ADD and a learning disability several testing accommodations that it had twice denied.
The test taker, who was not named, filed a complaint against the council under the Americans With Disabilities Act. He has been diagnosed with ADD, hypotonia (a condition that results in reduced muscle strength) and a learning disability, and has received accommodations on other standardized tests including the Scholastic Aptitude Test and the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Minnesota. The council denied his requests in 2008 and 2009 for extra time, additional breaks between sections of the test and a separate testing room.
The Justice Department’s civil rights division authorized a lawsuit against the council, but the settlement was reached before a suit was filed. The council agreed to provide the test taker with all of the accommodations he requested, including giving him twice the standard testing time.
“Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, national testing entities must ensure that the standardized tests they administer allow persons with disabilities to demonstrate their aptitude and abilities on tests rather than being placed at a disadvantage because of their disabilities,” said U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones in announcing the settlement. “This settlement with the Law School Admission Council is another important step in ensuring that persons with disabilities who provide documentation to support modifications to standardized tests will be given fair consideration by testing entities.”
Council spokeswoman Wendy Margolis said the settlement applied only to this single test taker and would not change the way the organization evaluates requests for accommodation.
Karen Sloan can be contacted at email@example.com.