Test-Maker Says It’s No Longer Divulging Students’ Disabilities
A major standardized test-maker says it has changed its ways after being accused of illegally disclosing students’ disabilities.
ACT, Inc. said that it is no longer including information about disabilities on score reports sent to colleges.
“As part of our ongoing process to review and improve our data governance practices, ACT determined that it will no longer include voluntary, self-reported information about students’ disabilities in ACT college reporting,” said Ed Colby, a spokesman for ACT.
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The change, which took effect “on or about” Sept. 15, came in the wake of a class-action lawsuit against the company.
In the suit, students with disabilities alleged that details about their disabilities and the accommodations they received were sent to colleges on score reports and sold to schools, scholarship programs and other groups that market to prospective college students. They claim the information was left off of score reports sent to the students and their high schools.
The complaint accused ACT of violating the federal Americans with Disabilities Act as well as multiple California laws.
Colby from ACT said that the company does not believe its past practice was illegal and noted that the information was provided by students voluntarily as part of a student profile survey. But, the company opted to make the change, Colby said, “because we respect student privacy.”
What’s more, Colby indicated that ACT stopped notating on score reports whether students received accommodations as of 2003.
Nonetheless, the lawsuit against the test-maker is ongoing, according to attorney Rahul Ravipudi who’s representing the students.
“We are happy to learn that in response to our lawsuit, the ACT has agreed to stop its practice,” Ravipudi said. “However, this agreement to stop the practice is only for the pendency of this lawsuit and the ACT has not agreed to permanently stop such practices.”
“This case will proceed unless and until the ACT permanently stops collecting and sharing disability data to universities,” Ravipudi said.