Office of the President

Revised Policy on Adaptive Testing for Disabled Students

Executive Memorandum 89-002 January 25, 1989

From: Robin S. Wilson, President

Subject: Revised Policy on Adaptive Testing for Disabled Students


This policy supersedes Memorandum AA 85-5 and is effective immediately. Students with physical and learning disabilities require special conditions when taking tests that fulfill CSU mandates for mathematics and English requirements (e.g., ELM, EPT, and WEST). Students who require special testing include the mobility impaired (writing), the visually impaired (blind), the hearing impaired (deaf), and the learning disabled.

Types of Adaptation

Testing adaptations available to disabled students include, but are not limited to:

  • Standard adaptations, consisting of extra testing time, the services of a writer for the mobility impaired, of a reader and writer for the visually impaired, and of an interpreter for the hearing impaired.
  • Special adaptations, such as spaced periods of writing on different days or at widely spaced times during a single day; use of a keyboard (typewriter or word processor); the services of a reader to read the rough draft aloud for the writer's proofreading or of a writer to transcribe the essay from the student's dictation; and use of the DSS- owned Franklin Spelling Ace (without Thesaurus) when recommended by the Disabled Student Services director or designee for the adaptive testing of a student with a spelling disability.

The special adaptations would be available only on a second or subsequent testing, except in unusual circumstances. All adaptations must be individually approved by the appropriate administrator.


Disabled students who undergo special testing procedures are held to the same standards as other students. Their examinations are scored in the regular process except for essay tests, which are separated from the other tests and scored by specially skilled readers who expect the same level of thought and development but who forgive many of the repeated editing errors that often occur on these essays.


The Disabled Student Services has responsibility for certifying students as disabled, recommending appropriate testing procedures, and funding the special testing. The Director of Testing has the responsibility for approving the recommendations and administering the tests. The Director may modify the recommended procedures following consultation with the DSS or may refer the recommendations to a review committee comprised of the Provost or his designee, the directors of DSS and Testing or their designees, and the chair of the English or Mathematics departments (as appropriate) or their designee. Recommended procedure on the WEST for students with learning disabilities that involve the intervention or another party (reader, writer, or spell checker, for example), will require the Director of Testing to convene the review committee for approval.