Postsecondary Education

Descrimination by the Educational Testing Service Help

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Joined: Oct 24, 2009
Posts: 6
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Posted Oct 24, 2009 at 8:34:44 PM
Subject: Descrimination by the Educational Testing Service Help

I have had trouble with the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the company that makes the PSAT,GRE, SAT,ect. They demanded more educational testing even though my testing was less than a year old and then took months to get back to me about my accommodations. The problem of most concern; however, is that they refuse to give me an assessable copy of study materials. Below I wrote a more detailed account of my experience. I would like to know if anyone else has shared my experience. Also, I welcome any ideas or suggestions that you may have for getting assistive technology compatible study guides.

ETS Disabilities Services refused to provide or create accessible study materials or practice tests for test takers with disabilities. They provide Braille and large print study guides, but not practice exams, and Braille and large print are only accommodations for certain types of visual or processing impairment. I tried repeatedly to explain my situation and the reason why study guides they provide are inadequate for many people with disabilities.
I am a student with a traumatic brain injury, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, a non-verbal learning disability and ADD. Because of these conditions, I require assistance to read and write. Working with assistive technology and the Academic Services office at my college, I have been a successful college student and have a 3.72 GPA. Based on my academic record, I expect to continue to do well on the Graduate level, however, ETS impedes my ability to progress by not providing adequate accommodations for students like me.

ETS was unwilling to answer my e-mails or give me a direct answer to any of my questions by phone. When the Director of Academic Services e-mailed them about attaining a screen reader compatible version they e-mailed back saying “she [meaning me] can have someone read the study guide to her [me]”

I would like to know if anyone else is having any problems with ETS. If yes, please contact me by e-mail at: larissa.mccormick@gmail.com or just respond to this post.

I am putting together a binder with interviews I have conducted about the lack of accessible information and the problems that it causes for students and test takers with disabilities. I am also collecting statistics and information about the rights of people with disabilities. I will send my finished product to government agencies and any other organization that may be able to help. Again, if you or anyone that you know wants to answer some questions about their experiences with ETS and accessibility please respond to this post or e-mail me.
[Modified by: Larissa on October 24, 2009 08:55 PM]

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Joined Oct 24, 2009
Posts: 6

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So I eventually did mange to get accessable study materials form ETS to take the GRE and my teaching exams. It turned out that ETS had some materials but had not trained their customer support staff to know of its existence.

There now seems to be more readily available audio study materials that can be read by a screen reader. I don't know if you read using Brail but they also have brail materials (which was the only alternative study material that they offered me originally. As you can imagine it was very useless to me).

I also have the email address of the assisted director of disability policy at ETS. I honestly don't know if she is still at ETS but I have had some success getting ahold of her in the past. Feel free to contact me for her email address and contact information if you need it. She requested that I not post it on the internet.

The thing that has not really improved in testing for people with LDs, IDs and TBIs the need for a full nuro-psychological evaluation to provide accommodations which as you might know is very expensive to get accommodations for one test. Also, as of a few years ago, people who got accommodations for a reader still needed a human reader as apposed to just a screen reader which I still don't think is fair. It certainly decreases the independence of people taking the test. I don't know if that has changed. I really want to do something about with of these issues but need to get more people behind me to make a good argument for it.

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