ACT Lawsuit Update: Student Disability Information No Longer Featured on Score Report
In response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of several students with disabilities, the ACT announced that it will no longer feature any information relating to students’ disability status on score reports, even when said information has been voluntarily disclosed by the students in question.
As Jed noted last month, neither the SAT or the ACT flags student test reports for non-standard administration, because that’s illegal. Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, neither test company is allowed to indicate anywhere that a certain student has taken the test with any kind of accommodations. However, the ACT includes a voluntary questionnaire both at registration and at the test administration, and that questionnaire features questions relating to a student’s disability status. If students fill out that information, it can be sold to colleges along with other information about them when colleges purchase lists of names from the ACT. The information can also be included on the score report that schools receive. The lawsuit alleges that this practice is discriminatory because students don’t know the information they volunteer can be sent to colleges.
The ACT is continuing to fight the lawsuit, but they have decided that they will no longer include that information on any information released to colleges. In an email to Inside Higher Ed, ACT spokesperson Ed Colby defended the ACT’s distribution of this information, saying, “While this information is valued and used by colleges to help students succeed, and while we believe it is nondiscriminatory and lawful, ACT respects student privacy.”
The lawsuit is ongoing, as the defendants are suing the ACT for past actions, but going forward, the question of student disability information should be a non-issue for students taking the ACT.