I saw that ETS will present at this week’s AHEAD Conference on Equity and Excellence (AHEAD = Association on Higher Education and Disability). One of their presentations is titled “ETS Updates and Tips for Assisting Test Takers with Accommodation Requests.”
Regular readers of this space will know that about seven months ago ETS entered into an ADA Settlement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office “to resolve allegations of discrimination in violate of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Said the U.S. Attorney’s Office at that time:
“The settlement resolves allegations that Educational Testing Service (ETS), a New Jersey non-profit organization that administers standardized tests, engaged in discrimination in violation of the ADA by creating unlawful hurdles to individuals with disabilities who sought testing accommodations. Among other things, the United States alleged that ETS unlawfully denied requests for testing accommodations or failed to timely consider requests for testing accommodations, effectively denying those requests.”
“This agreement compels ETS to make systemic reforms and ends an unfair process for considering requests for testing accommodations. Through this settlement, thousands of Americans with disabilities will be given a fair shot in seeking admission to higher education.”
You can read the allegations in the settlement agreement. The alleged violations affected test-takers with learning disabilities, anxiety disorders and visual impairments attempting to write the GRE and Praxis exams.
Per the settlement agreement, within the first six months of this year, relevant members of ETS’s management team must attend ADA training courses that will teach them to better understand their obligations to test-takers. A record of attendance must be provided to the United States.
Every six months for the next three years ETS must provide written updates describing its progress in meeting the requirements established in the settlement agreement.
ETS must pay financial compensation to the plaintiffs named in the settlement.
ETS denies that it violated the ADA.
You may think that this is just ol’ Goodine taking another enthusiastic swipe at the ETS. But I write this no enthusiasm. I feel nothing, but I realize that if I don’t note this no one will, so there ya go.
I love all of my friends at ETS and am enthusiastic about their mission and values. Professionals within the organization probably can provide a lot of good advice about eliminating barriers to higher education affecting learners with disabilities (especially in light of the above). But context matters, I think.