Cancer patients may qualify for accommodations on ACT and SAT tests. These “high-stakes” exams are an important part of the admissions process for 4-year colleges and universities.
Accommodations are changes made to the regular testing environment to allow people with disabilities to demonstrate their true ability on tests.
Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits:
- A life activity such as seeing, hearing, learning, reading, concentrating, or thinking
- Major bodily function such as the neurological, endocrine, or digestive system
What are cancer-related conditions that may qualify?
Side effects of medications and problems associated with certain cancers and treatments may be considered disabilities.
Examples of cancer-related side effects and treatment problems include:
What are testing accommodations?
Common accommodations are:
- Extra time — Students typically get “time and a half” or 50% more time. For example, if the test normally takes 3 hours, this modification allows students 4 ½ hours. Some people may qualify for more time.
- Extended days — This accommodation allows students to take a test over several days.
- Extra breaks — Students with illnesses may need breaks during the testing period.
- Help with writing — If the student has trouble with bubbling in an answer sheet or writing an essay portion of the test, they may have the option of typing or using a scribe.
- Braille or large-print exam books
- Alternate location — ACT allows patients to take the test at the treatment center’s school program, if it has one.
How do students get testing accommodations?
This process starts by contacting the school. The guidance counselor or the school program at the treatment center can help parents and students with these arrangements.
There must be documentation of the student’s disability. This may be an educational evaluation by a psychologist or a report from a doctor.
Having an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) Plan or 504 plan does not automatically qualify students for accommodations on the ACT and SAT.
How long does the testing accommodations process take?