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SAT Accomodations

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We are starting the process of requesting accommodations from the college board for my dyslexic/dysgraphic 9th grader.  We have all the neuropsych results and paperwork needed, but I really don't know what to say in the letter I need to write. Would anyone who has successfully navigated this process be willing to post a sample letter?


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My experience applying as a homeschooler was not positive. I ended up consulting a lawyer and filing an ADA discrimination complaint with the DOJ before my DD's accommodations for extended time were finally approved. They have streamlined the process for students in school who have IEPs or 504s, but be forewarned the College Board does not feel compelled to apply those 2017 policy changes to homeschoolers. It was a multi-year process for us and required two separate neuropsych evaluations. 

Make sure your neuropsych evaluation has a clear diagnosis and clear recommendations for accommodations.

As far as the letter is concerned, if you have homeschooled you need to provide all the various forms of documentation that would otherwise have come from the school. You need a complete academic and developmental history - any problems at birth, any developmental delays as a toddler/preschooler, early academic environment (was she/he raised in an academically rich environment, read to as a child etc). They wanted a complete early academic history - when she was introduced to letters and numbers, when reading instruction began, what curricula we used (and we used a ton), when we first saw problems, who we consulted (pediatrician, other teachers), when she saw a reading tutor, how often she met with the tutor and for how long, what curricula the tutor used. I covered her progress at various ages - when she could read beginner chapter books, at what age she could read longer books, what problems continued (missing words when reading, difficulty with test questions etc, difficulty with non-fiction), what new problems we encountered (difficulty with writing, spelling and handwriting), how we addressed all of these problems. I also detailed any and all accommodations I provided at home (or in online courses), and how those accommodations impacted her performance. 

I thought all this detail was way over the line. The DOJ has a paper detailing the ADA requirements for testing agencies and it clearly states that testing agencies should rely on the recommendations of qualified professionals and not require excessive documentation. We were initially denied and the College Board asked us to get additional testing, which was out of bounds but we did it anyway. We were denied again, even after the additional testing and even though the testing report clearly stated extended time as an accommodation. It was only after I contacted my Senator and he helped me file a complaint with the DOJ that we were finally approved. Even though my DD was finally approved, it took until her junior year and she did not receive her accommodations in time to use them on two of her AP exams, which was extremely difficult for her, so it is good you are starting early. I know this sounds like a lot, but the College Board has all the power here, and they are, at this time, essentially an unregulated monopoly. Start early, be persistent and be aware that they are known for denying homeschoolers. But, if you have the documentation in testing, then don't give up. 

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This is what I did: submitted the neuropsych results which detailed specific accommodations, wrote up specific accommodations we had made in our homeschool to allow for more time, as well as detailing why accommodations were not needed in other situations (i.e. in the virtual classes he had taken, there was ample time given to take the tests, and I sat with him to keep his attention on task). I had a co-op teacher write a short letter discussing how she had made accommodations in her class. I also had him take the IOWA timed in a group situation without any accommodations.  I submitted the report which showed that he completed only half of the questions in each section, answering most of them correctly. In my write-up I explained that his issues prevented him from completing more of the questions within the time limit, which clearly affected his score.

FTR ds's accommodations were granted based on autism/processing/attention rather than dyslexia/dysgraphia. Based on an earlier poster, it sounds like they are looking for more specific info for the latter diagnosis.

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We sought and received accommodations through ACT. 

Dealing with the College Board was a nuisance.  I was placed on hold for 45min twice simply to request the accommodations paperwork.  

BTW, DS is currently attending university with scholarship and receiving all available accommodations, and they came without difficulty,

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BK has DXs of ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia, and got time and a half on the ACT. I had her do an ACT prep class mostly so we had another unrelated person who could write a letter backing up the need for accommodations. She'd taken it once without accommodations as a residual ACT at the CC. Having said that, the CC accepted the same documentation without issue, and provided A LOT more supports.


And, honestly, it didn't matter. Her scores didn't improve because the time and a half just meant she had more time to get exhausted on each section, so while her scores on the first couple got a small bump, the others went down. I suspect that if we'd wanted her scores to be as high as she could possibly do, shewould have needed to take just one section on each of four test dates and sleep through the rest of the test, and then go to a school that superscores. (Which DD says she's seen students do when she took the ACT-they only needed a higher score on one section, so they came in, waited until it was time for that section, took that section, turned in their book, and left).

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