If you or your child has a disability or a suspected disability, testing accommodations can help. They ensure that you or your child can fully participate in academic testing and assessments. But what exactly are testing accommodations, and how can you request them? In this post, we’ll provide a complete guide to testing accommodations evaluation. Specifically, we’ll cover what testing accommodations are, how they are determined, and how to request them.
What Are Testing Accommodations?
Testing accommodations encompass changes made to testing conditions or procedures, enabling individuals with disabilities or other impairments to demonstrate their knowledge and skills without unfair hindrances posed by their condition. Examples of testing accommodations include extended time, breaks, provision of a separate testing location, availability of large-print or Braille materials, and utilization of assistive technology.
Testing accommodations can be critical for individuals with disabilities. These accommodations can help them demonstrate their abilities on traditional academic assessments, which they may otherwise be unable to do. By providing accommodations, testing can become a fair and accurate representation of the individual’s knowledge and skills.
How Are Testing Accommodations Determined?
Determining appropriate testing accommodations for an individual typically involves a comprehensive evaluation. This evaluation considers the nature of the individual’s disability, the demands of the testing situation, and the individual’s specific needs. The evaluation may include a review of medical and educational records. It may also involve classroom observations and interviews with the individual and relevant professionals.
The evaluation process may be conducted by a school or testing agency, or by an independent evaluator. In some cases, individuals may request an independent educational evaluation (IEE). The purpose is to obtain an assessment of their needs and recommendations for testing accommodations.
Once the evaluation is complete, a team of professionals will review the information. They will then determine which testing accommodations are appropriate for the individual. The team may include educators, psychologists, special education teachers, and other professionals with expertise in the individual’s disability or condition.
How to Request Testing Accommodations
If you believe that you or your child may need testing accommodations, it’s important to begin by speaking with your school or testing agency. You can request an evaluation to determine which accommodations are appropriate. Alternatively, if you disagree with the results of the evaluation, you can request an IEE.
To request an IEE, you need to contact your (or your child’s) school administrator. Ask for the approval documentation for finding another evaluator. In NYC this is known as an AA2 Form which provides the information about rates and responsibilities. Sometimes it is necessary to request an “enhanced rate” evaluation, if the standard rate provided by the school is less than the going rate for the services (i.e., market rate).
After obtaining the approval, you can then reach out to an expert in this field, such as Dr. Ben Malkin, who can assess your needs and provide recommendations for testing accommodations. When making a request for testing accommodations, it’s crucial to provide as much information as possible about the nature of the disability or condition, how it affects testing, and any previous accommodations received. Additionally, be sure to specify the requested accommodations and explain their necessity.
Testing accommodations evaluation is an important process for individuals with disabilities or other impairments who may require accommodations to participate fully in academic testing and assessments. By understanding the definition of testing accommodations, the process of determining them, and the procedure for requesting them, individuals can ensure they have the necessary accommodations to succeed. If you believe that you or your child may require testing accommodations, it is important to promptly contact your school or testing agency to initiate the evaluation process.
Source: The Complete Guide to Testing Accommodations Evaluation – NeuroPsych Doctor NY