This article elaborates on the important identification proof for TOEFL test takers with disabilities. Browse through the article to know the detailed information on the documents required for TOEFL test takers with disabilities.

Identification Proof for TOEFL Test Takers with Disabilities

Educational testing Service (ETS) is the deciding authority that administers the eligibility criteria for TOEFL test takers and carefully scrutinizes the proceedings of the test and delivering the final result to the test takers. ETS provides equal opportunities to all test takers who fulfill the necessary norms of the test. It also encourages the disabled candidates who desire to take up TOEFL. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the organization which provides provisions for test takers who are disabled. “Disability” according to ADA is, “A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits your ability to perform one or more major life activities, as compared with most people in the general population.”

The ETS provides test accommodation (an accommodation is any alteration to the standard internet based TOEFL) for all the candidates who have a valid learning disability approved by ADA.

The documents provided should fulfill the following criteria to be eligible for ETS to offer the required test accommodations:

1. Evaluation Should Be Done By A Professional

The evaluation of documents and diagnosing the learning disabilities should be done by an evaluator who is a professional. To be accepted as an evaluator, the evaluator should have the following documents:
  • License or Certification in profession
  • Specialization details
  • Employment details
  • State in which the practice is made

Along with these the evaluator should also have an additional training program on assessing the disabilities among adults and adolescents also. All reports should be in official letterhead and should have information typed in English language along with the date and signature of the evaluator.

2. Only Latest Documents Are Accepted

ETS accepts the learning disability which is for lifelong in test taker and which is also recognized by ADA. It provides the accommodations which are reasonable depending on the impact of the disability on test taker’s performance in academics and particularly in testing circumstances. Therefore candidate should provide the recent documents which state the disability and the testing should be done at least within 5 years.

3. Providing Certification Of Eligibility (COE) As Documentation

ETS provides an alternative for disabled test takers who cannot spend more on renewing the documents after 5 years for getting accommodations. The candidate need not give reevaluated documents when the present documents are older than 5 years and can instead get a Certification Of Eligibility form that verifies the long term disability in the candidate along with the outdated documents. An authorized person should mention in COE that:
  • There is a valid evidence for long term disability in the test taker.
  • Proper measures were used to diagnose the disability and limitations in the candidate.

4. Documentation For Extended Testing Accommodations

The candidates requesting for extensive accommodations for testing will also have to submit valid documents for verification which states the current level of disability and ETS updates the details about required documents if any changes are made. The following are considered as extended accommodations given to test takers depending on the severity of the disability:
  • Reader
  • Double time
  • Calculator
  • Assistive technology
  • Separate room
  • Scribe or keyboard entry aid

5. Updating Documents

When the documentation provided by the test taker is outdated, it should be updated and the following points should be included while updating it:
  • Evidence regarding the continuity of the disability and the past records which has complete data about the initial diagnosis of the disability.
  • Update on the weakness which is continued for longer run which was also identified prior to the assessment.
  • Detailed information regarding the length and severity of the disability which has had an impact on the academics of the test taker and also the test taking in particular.
  • Report on the observations of the evaluation such as the fluency, affect, attention fatigue and concentration.
  • Details on the history of accommodations if any, and an explanation on why the accommodation is required for the particular disability.

6. Documents submitted to prove learning disability should be Comprehensive

To be identified by ADA for eligibility criteria reserved for disabled test takers, it is necessary to update the need of accommodations requested according to the present level of disability in the candidate. It may include the list of tests made, diagnosis and reports of the disability and also expert opinions on the diagnosis made.

7. Information from additional sources

The additional information on functional limitations of the candidate got from different sources are also accepted, provided it is evaluated by the concerned authority and the details should be added as a separate attachment or the details should be mentioned in the present documentation that states the level of disability.

8. ETS safeguards the confidentiality of the documents

ETS never leaks any information about the documents, medical reports or disability details submitted by test takers, unless there is a written consent by the candidate and the pressures in legal process. ETS goes a step further to safeguard the confidentiality of the documents and even withhold the additional documents which are not directly relevant to ADA’s requirements and still has grounds on which the accommodations can be requested. 

The objective of ETS is to provide the best opportunities for disabled test takers with the available accomodatory facilities, all the while following stringent stated guidelines. And in doing so it makes TOEFL test a world class test available to all interested candidates.

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