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College Board testing accommodation


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I would like to request testing accommodation from College Board for using computer to type instead of writing. Is a letter from OT enough or does it has to be a neuropsychologist? We homeschool so we don't have any IEP or 504 plan. 

Thanks. 

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I don't think a letter from an OT is enough. There has to be evidence of a disability such as a motor disability (ex. cerebral palsy), which would be diagnosed by a physician, or dysgraphia which would be diagnosed by a psychologist. An OT saying a student has poor handwriting is not acceptable.

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I volunteered to proctor exams at our local high school (giving back for letting us take exams there) and am doing an accommodated exam. I will try to remember to ask the coordinator what the requirements were and post that info.

Chances are the coordinator won't know. That goes through the counseling department at our school. Our coordinator just gets a list from College Board of the kids we have at our school with accommodations.

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You can read the specific College Board requirements for computer use here. If it's a physical disability, you'll need medical documentation, which is more involved than just a doctor's note; see here for specifics. If it's dysgraphia, you need two types of documentation, one of which can be supplied by the OT, but you'll need ed/psych testing for the other:
 

 

For the purposes of College Board tests, dysgraphia is defined as a type of disability in which students have fine motor problems that affect their writing skills. Poor handwriting is not a disability.

When a student requires a computer because of dysgraphia, submit the following:

  • Documentation of a fine motor problem
  • An academic test of writing 

Fine motor problems can be documented by occupational therapists, psychologists, learning specialists, MDs, and other professionals using commonly accepted tests such as these:

  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (including the coding subtest)
  • Beery Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual Motor Integration
  • Rey Complex Figure Test and Recognition Trial

Academic tests of writing demonstrate that the student's fine motor problems present severe deficiencies in organization, presentation of ideas, richness of language, and complex language structure. These tests are usually administered by school or clinical psychologists or educational diagnosticians. Examples include the following:

  • Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Academic Achievement (General and extended batteries including fluency measures)
  • Scholastic Abilities Test for Adults
  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
  • Test of Written Language
  • Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement
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Even though as a homeschooler you don't have a formal IEP/504, you should still include a report explaining the history/development of the issue, the specific ways in which the disability affects his schoolwork, and the accommodations that you have provided as a homeschooler, just as if you were a teacher or guidance counselor in a school. Pay close attention to what the CB says they want, and make sure you provide everything they ask for. It's not enough to just document the existence of a disability — you have to explain exactly how the disability affects school work, demonstrate that the student needs these specific accommodations in order to perform at a "normal" level, and show that there is a history of these accommodations being provided.

 

ETA: Also make sure you submit your request WAY in advance of the test date; it can take up to 7 weeks for the initial review, and then if you have to appeal that will take even longer. (FWIW, the ACT tends to be much quicker, if that's something you also want to pursue.)

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All of Correleno's advice is good. I have just one more thing to add. If you are denied, be sure to appeal. We were denied the first time. The denial said we hadn't supplied "X" and "X" information. I resent a couple of the same exact pages that I had originally submitted, which had information close to what they were looking for, and they approved him very quickly. I almost didn't appeal because I felt discouraged when I got the denial and because the testing results I had didn't show exactly what they wanted.

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