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Providing GED Accommodations to GED Testers: A Summary of the Request and Approval Process. Tara Goodman Diane Vaccari. GEDTS Requirements. Section 8.1 GEDTS Policies and Procedures Manual.

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providing ged accommodations to ged testers a summary of the request and approval process

Providing GED Accommodations to GED Testers: A Summary of the Request and Approval Process

Tara Goodman

Diane Vaccari

gedts requirements
GEDTS Requirements
  • Section 8.1

GEDTS Policies and Procedures Manual

Policy: Official GED testing centers shall provide appropriate accommodations for GED candidates with documented disabilities in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADE) and the Canadian Charter on Rights and Freedoms.

elements of a successful application for accommodations
Elements of a Successful Application for Accommodations
  • Complete information provided on the appropriate accommodations form
  • Current documentation with a letter on official letterhead from a qualified diagnostician
  • Information on functional limitations which lead to a need for accommodations
general process for requests
General Process for Requests
  • GED Manual Section 8.2
  • Upon receipt of the request:
    • GED Examiner reviews the request
    • If incomplete or on the incorrect form, Examiner advises the candidate.
    • If forms are complete, Examiner dates and sends the form with documentation to the GED Administrator
    • GED Administrator 1) approves, 2) sends back for more information, or 3) sends to GED Testing Service for review.
approval time limits
Approval Time Limits
  • Once approved, the letter will be dated.
  • The accommodations approved in the letter may be provided up to 1 year from the date of that letter.
  • If letter has expired, a re-submission of the request must occur.
    • Re-submission must come from the Chief Examiner with a request to renew the approval (with current documentation)
accommodations that may be approved
Accommodations that may be approved
  • Extended time (1x or 2x)
  • Audiocassette (2x)
  • Scribe
  • Calculator for Part II
  • Talking Calculator for the Entire Mathematics Test
  • Private Room
  • Supervised Breaks
  • Other (example: sign language interpreter, Alpha Reader)

NOTE: A reader is not an accommodation that can be approved

accommodations not requiring ged administrator approval ged manual section 8 9
Accommodations NOT requiring GED Administrator Approval (GED Manual Section 8.9)
  • Large print
  • Colored transparent overlays
  • Clear transparent overlays with highlighter
  • Temporary Adhesive/Post-it Notes
  • Ear plugs
  • Magnifying device
  • Straightedge
  • Priority seating
  • Fluorescent lighting adjustment
  • One test per day
selecting the correct form
Selecting the Correct Form
  • The most appropriate form should be considered for the request to avoid confusion on the part of the reviewers
    • Requests on the incorrect form will still be reviewed, but the documentation may differ for each type of request
  • For students with more than one disability type, advise them to use the form that will cover the most accommodations requested (0r submit both forms, if necessary)
    • Include documentation for all types of disabilities
    • Document with summary information that there are two types of requests included
chief examiner signature
Chief Examiner Signature
  • Chief Examiner should complete and sign this section after all other sections have been completed by the candidate. The signature indicates that the packet is complete. The Chief Examiner signature date should not be prior to the candidate or other signature dates on the form.
universal information for all requests see ged manual section 8 3
Universal Information for ALL requests (See GED Manual Section 8.3)
  • Need appropriately licensed professional
    • Advocate can fill out certain sections of the form but diagnosing professional must be appropriate
    • Need licensure or certification detail for the diagnostician
    • Signed reported on letterhead
  • Clear diagnosis of the disability (should avoid words such as “appear to have”, “data suggests”)
  • Substantiation of diagnosis
  • Summary of functional limitations
  • Specific recommendations for accommodations
what are functional limitations
What Are Functional Limitations?
  • Diagnosis alone is not sufficient
  • If medications effectively treats the condition without limitations, then accommodations are not needed.
  • Examples:
    • Physical – “Client is limited in ability due to weakness in extremities and limited dexterity of hands”
    • Emotional/Mental – “Panic disorder results in limited ability to focus and respond in testing situations”
most common problems with the application
Most Common Problems with the Application

Missing information in the documentation

Lack of functional limitations provided

Diagnostician license number

Incomplete justification

Request is not supported by the existing documentation

Congruence between accommodations requested on the form and the supporting documentation provided by the diagnosing professional

inappropriate diagnosing professionals
Inappropriate Diagnosing Professionals
  • Any not listed on the previous slide, including but not limited to, the following:
    • Any Nursing Professional
      • Licensed Practical Nurse
      • Registered Nurse
      • Nurse Practitioner
    • Physician Assistant
    • Licensed Mental Health Counselor
    • Licensed Social Worker
letter from a diagnosing professional
Letter from a diagnosing professional
  • Must be on official letterhead
    • NO prescription pads (we are not a pharmacy!)
  • Must be signed by the diagnosing professional
    • NOT the supporting professional like an ARNP or a PA
  • Must include information on functional limitations linked to the recommended accommodations.
    • A diagnosis alone is not sufficient documentation for an accommodations request
best practice
Best Practice
  • A best practice is to provide candidates who are seeking to request accommodations with the sample letters included the following document (see Appendix C)
  • http://www.fldoe.org/workforce/ged/pdf/ged_accommodation_manual.pdf
documentation checklist
Documentation Checklist
  • DSM-IV code(s)
  • Letter on official letterhead
  • Diagnosing professional’s license number
  • Functional limitations
  • Additional supporting documentation and history should be provided, if available.
documentation
Documentation
  • Letter on official letterhead from an approved diagnostician within the previous 6 monthswith an original signature
  • Must include documentation from the diagnosing professional on functional limitations with recommended accommodations.
  • Additional supporting documentation and history should be provided, if available.
  • Must include the diagnostician’s license information on the form (See Section 3)
common problems
Common Problems
  • Old documentation
  • Requested accommodations not linked to the functional limitation
    • Calculators are commonly requested but rarely justified
  • No functional limitations provided
  • Documentation from an inappropriate diagnosing professional
sample letter language
Sample Letter language
  • “Candidate A is under my professional care and is diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder (DSM-IV=). Although on medication xxx, the candidate still has difficulty with concentration and organization of thought processes. This candidate should be allowed extra time during testing situations.”
  • Avoid words like “may have” or “seems to have” or “could have”
  • Do not list medications only without functional limitations (implies that the condition is under control with the medication)
documentation checklist24
Documentation Checklist
  • DSM-IV code(s)
  • Letter on official letterhead, stating the diagnosis of ADHD and providing supporting diagnostic evidence.
  • Diagnosing professional’s license number
  • Original signature of the diagnosing professional
  • Functional limitations
  • Additional supporting documentation and history should be provided.
documentation25
Documentation
  • Letter on official letterhead from an approved diagnostician within the previous 3 yearswith an original signature
  • Must include documentation from the diagnosing professional on functional limitations with recommended accommodations.
  • Additional supporting documentation and history should be provided.
  • Must include the diagnostician’s license information on the form (See Section 3)
common problems26
Common Problems
  • No clear statement of the disability
  • No supporting documentation – should include history and testing information
  • No indication of functional limitations
    • Calculators are commonly requested without appropriate justification
  • Requested accommodations not linked to the disorder
sample letter language27
Sample Letter language
  • “Candidate A is under my professional care and is diagnosed with AD/HD. Although on medication xxx, the candidate still has difficulty with inattention, distractibility and hyperactivity. These symptoms are not due to other emotional/mental health or learning disabilities. This candidate should be allowed extra time and a private room during testing situations. ”
  • Avoid words like “may have” or “seems to have” or “could have”
  • Do not list medications only without functional limitations
documentation checklist29
Documentation Checklist
  • DSM-IV code(s) and disability
  • Letter on official letterhead
  • Diagnosing professional’s license number
  • Functional limitations
  • Additional supporting documentation and history should be provided, if available.
documentation30
Documentation
  • Letter on official letterhead from an approved diagnostician with an original signature
  • Must include documentation from the diagnosing professional on functional limitations with recommended accommodations.
  • Additional supporting documentation and history should be provided, if available.
  • Must include the diagnostician’s license information on the form (See Section 3)
common problems31
Common Problems
  • Diagnosis without information on functional limitations
  • Documentation from a non-approved diagnosing professional
  • Requested accommodations not linked to the functional limitations
    • Example: calculator for diabetes
sample letter language32
Sample Letter language
  • “ Candidate A is under my care and has epilepsy. She/he has problems with concentration and memory related to medication and surgical side effects. It is recommended that she/he is provided with additional time on the GED exam to compensate for this limitation.”
  • Avoid words like “may have” or “seems to have” or “could have”
  • Do not list medications only without functional limitations
documentation checklist34
Documentation Checklist
  • DSM-IV code(s) and disability
  • Letter on official letterhead
  • Diagnosing professional’s license number
  • Complete achievement and cognitive score information provided in required forms
documentation35
Documentation
  • Letter on official letterhead from an approved diagnostician within the previous 5 years
  • Older documentation (more than 5 years) can be accepted under the following conditions:
    • The evaluation was conducted after the applicant’s 17th birthday, AND
    • A certifying professional provides a written statement on that professional’s letterhead, stating why he/she believes there has been no change in the learning disability or the need for the requested accommodation.
gedts model for approval of a learning or other cognitive disability request
GEDTS Model for Approval of a Learning or Other Cognitive Disability Request
  • Diagnosis of a learning disability by a qualified diagnostician is not sufficient for approval of accommodations.
  • GEDTS has developed a standard for evaluating whether a candidate requires accommodations on the exams.
    • Low cognitive scores are not sufficient; must have a discrepancy
    • Low achievement scores are not sufficient; achievement scores must be lower than the cognitive scores
approved achievement tests 3a
Approved Achievement Tests (3A)
  • Woodcock-Johnson III: Tests of Academic Achievement
  • Woodcock-Johnson III: Tests of Academic Achievement Normative Update
  • Weschler Individual Achievement Test
  • Weschler Individual Achievement Test-2
  • Weschler Individual Achievement Test-3
  • Peabody Individual Achievement Test – Revised Normative Update (PIAT-R-NU)
  • Kaufman Tests of Educational Attainment (KTEA)
  • Kaufman Tests of Educational Attainment-2 (KTEA-2)
  • Woodcock-Johnson Reading Mastery Revised Normative Update
  • Key-Math Revised Normative Update
  • Key-Math-3
approved cognitive tests 3b
Approved Cognitive Tests (3B)
  • Woodcock-Johnson III: Tests of Cognitive Abilities
  • Woodcock-Johnson III: Tests of Cognitive Abilities Normative Update
  • Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children-III (WISC-III)
  • Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children-IV (WISC-IV)
  • Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III)
  • Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale-IV (WAIS-IV)
  • Stanford-Binet-4
  • Stanford-Binet-5
tests commonly submitted but not approved by gedts
Tests Commonly Submitted but Not Approved by GEDTS
  • Reynolds Intellectual Ability Scales (RIAS)
  • Weschler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI)
  • Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT)
  • Cognitive Ability Scales (CAS)
  • Wide Range Achievement Test (WRAT3 or 4)
  • McGrew-Werder Mini Achievement Battery
  • Diagnostic Assessment Battery (DAB)
  • Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE)
  • Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT)
  • Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children-2 (KABC-2)
  • Response to Interventional Procedures
why are these tests not approved
Why are these tests not approved?
  • According to GEDTS trainers, these exams are primarily used to determine whether a full battery assessment for a learning disability should be conducted. They are not sufficient for a learning disability diagnosis.
complete all required information on the form
Complete all required information on the form
  • DO NOT EVER COMPLETE SECTIONS 3A AND 3B WITH THE WORDS “SEE ATTACHED”
  • Intelligence and achievement scores that may be reviewed are listed in the form
  • Only WISC-IV and WAIS-IV are not listed, but can be used
complete all required information on the form42
Complete all required information on the form
  • For WISC and WAIS-IV, index scores are required to complete a review.
  • For Woodcock Johnson III, Cognitive, standard scores and GIA score must be provided
potential limitations on the approval
Potential Limitations on the Approval
  • Approval letters may limit the accommodations to a single test, depending on the disability.
    • For example, for a student with a math disability only, extra time may only be provided for the math examination.
    • Or, for a student with a writing disability, extra time may only be provided for the language arts-writing exam.
common problems44
Common Problems
  • Tests not approved by GEDTS
  • Forms are not completely filled out
  • Missing score information
  • Old documentation
  • No discrepancy between cognitive and achievement
ged office review process
GED Office Review Process
  • All accommodations requests are being reviewed by Florida GED Testing Office staff members
  • Reviews take place a minimum of once per month
  • Each request is read by 3 qualified GED staff members prior to approval/not approval decision
completing section 3
Completing Section 3
  • Diagnostician or Advocate must submit all of the requested information, including licensure information.
section 4
Section 4
  • Do not ever complete this section; this is for the GED Administrator final decision summary.
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