The impact of having a learning disability is lifelong. The problems that make education challenging for many people with disabilities continue at home, in the workplace, and socially.
Having a disability usually leads to lots of paperwork in the workplace and many disabled people struggle with helping their kids with homework and making ends meet.
For many schools, recognizing the challenges that so many adults with disabilities face, has become a priority, and adult education departments that provide GED® prep programs have worked hard to provide appropriate accommodations.
Many high school students with learning disabilities struggle to finish their schools’ curriculum and go on to earn a high school equivalency (HSE) diploma.
Because of the unique symptoms a student with a disability faces, a traditional education could not meet their specific needs. The HSE diploma, usually obtained through passing the GED exam, is a useful alternative to students with disabilities.
Learning programs specifically targeted toward students with disabilities are often hard to find locally, but with some perseverance, you may find an education program designed with these students in mind.
Common learning disorders and disabilities that students may have are including ADHD/ADD and other psychological or intellectual disorders.
Not all prep locations can provide everything required to help people with disabilities, but major prep sites and all testing centers provide accommodations for individuals with physical and mental disabilities.
All GED testing centers, and all GED testing operations, must provide the GED test for students with disabilities.
For eligible people, the GED test is available in audio format (or reader), Braille, Large-print, Using a scribe, Extended time and/or breaks, and Private rooms for testing, to mention a few.
All test centers and operations need to be in compliance with all requirements of the ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act.
All GED testing needs to be offered in places that are accessible to individuals with disabilities, and in a way that they can freely take the GED test.
This implies that all GED testing sites need to be ADA-accessible, and this also means that testing sites must provide accommodations to all persons with documented disabilities.
If candidates want to receive accommodations, they need to timely submit a request form that includes proper documentation (from a qualified diagnostician).
If the request is valid and done within the proper time frame, the State GED Administrator, usually through the GED Manager Program, will grant approval for the accommodations.
A GED Examiner may not be providing accommodated GED testing to an applicant if he/she doesn’t have prior permission from the state’s GED office, as providing any accommodations without holding prior approval may lead to the closure of the GED testing site.
The GED is entirely computer-formatted, but there are accommodations that require, for example, providing large print versions of the GED test.
In such cases, prior approval is also required, and in doubt, please contact a GED testing site near you to learn all about their possibilities and accommodation policy. You can find a full list of GED testing sites in the U.S., including phone numbers, here.
GED test centers must provide accommodations
GED testing centers are required to provide accommodations to all applicants that are granted approval for their accommodations by the states’ GED Offices.
Though this website’s free GED practice tests are not for everyone, most students will be able to benefit from this great option to get ahead fast.
After the student has received approval for his or her testing accommodations, the candidate and the Examiner together should schedule a suitable test date.
Regulations demand that state GED Examiners schedule the accommodated test session within six weeks after the applicant requests the testing session, and testing sites are prohibited from charging a candidate with any sort of fee on top of the standard fee for an accommodated GED testing session.
Testing accommodations do in no way ensure that an applicant will pass the test, the accommodation is merely intended to create a ‘level playing field’ for individuals with documented disabilities.
The applicants that are granted accommodations are, just like anyone else, required to meet all of their state’s eligibility requirements.
Some states require GED applicants, for example, to first passing the GED Ready® practice test, though they may also take this test under the condition of the approved accommodation.
The role of the adult educator
Adult educators are the best persons to help students with disabilities. They may use various instructional strategies to support students with disabilities get all set for the four GED modules (subtests) that may be taken one at a time.
The educator can inform applicants about which testing accommodations are available on GED testing and help them during the request and approval process. Many students can get optimally faster with these free online GED video lessons that include transcripts and sample questions.
The educator can also provide all sorts of documentation to support the accommodations request, and this sort of documentation could include the applicant’s history, instructional strategies, and materials used for the applicant, and test results with and without the requested accommodation.
The adult educator may well act as an applicant’s advocate who helps him or her with completing all sorts of forms or contact the diagnosing professional for putting the required information on the form.
If a disabled applicant does hold copies of the reports from licensed diagnosticians, an advocate, or the educator, the educator can help the student transcribe all requested information onto the proper forms from the original report. For all students that sign up for a GED prep class counts that they, in general, need to take the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) first so they can be placed in appropriate prep classes.
He can attach a copy of relevant reports to the request, and submit all requested information. GED Testing Service has released several forms for requesting GED test accommodations, and all these forms are specifically addressing the applicant’s disability and are clearly stating what documentation is needed.
The request forms for GED testing accommodations are divided into the following main sections:
- ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder)
- Emotional/Mental Health, Learning & Other Cognitive Disabilities
- Physical/Chronic Health Disabilities
Accommodations for disabled students
For examinees who are deaf or hard of hearing, signed and captioned instructions videos are available, as well as printed test instructions and keep in mind that you can take the four GED tests one at a time so think about which subtest you should take first.
Candidates can request these instructions in writing and timely at the Chief Examiner, as well as interpreted instructions. Candidates who are hard of hearing or deaf, and to who English is not their first language, may request some extended time.
These candidates may compose their essays on video and later translate this to Standard Written English.
For examinees who are visually impaired or blind, there are GED test versions in large print, on audiocassette, and in Braille.
They may also use various aid devices such as closed-circuit TV, talking calculators, or visually adaptive devices, and for students who cannot complete standard answer sheets, there are scribes and Braille-writing devices.
Students with Dyslexia are allowed extended time and they can use audiocassette, students with Dysgraphia have extended time and can use a scribe, students with Dyscalculia can use a calculator and have extended time, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) students are allowed extended time, frequent breaks, and can test in private rooms.
Licensed diagnosticians are required to certify the disability of a candidate, so let’s see who qualifies to certify a so-called ‘Disability Type’.
There are many school psychologists, psychiatrists, professional learning disability psychologists, educational specialists who are ADHD disorder psychologists, physical disabilities physicians, licensed professional counselors, and several specialists in a specific field such as audiologists, mental disabilities psychologists, and psychiatrists.
The fact that for a student English is the second language is not considered a reason for accommodations because of the absence of any disability.
Chief Examiners may allow for the use of several devices and adaptations without prior written consent or approval from a GED administrator, GEDTS-certified staff, or GED Testing Service. To learn more about the subjects addressed in the four GED subtests, click on the link.
It is part of the Chief Examiner’s duties to check these devices and materials and make sure that they’re not containing any unauthorized or illegal testing aids. Though standard GED testing is computer-formatted, Chief Examiners can allow paper-based tests as well as:
- Colored transparent overlays. These are devices that are resembling tinted overhead transparencies and are commonly used by visually impaired individuals and students who have difficulty decoding symbols and written words.
- Highlighter and clear transparent overlays. The combination of a highlighter and untinted, clear overlays may be used by candidates who are using a highlighter when they’re reading. Highlighting occurs on the clear overlays and is protecting the testing booklet from getting marked. Every overlay that’s used must be collected after each test session.
- Temporary adhesive, such as Post-It Notes, that indicate spatial directions. Temporary ‘sticky’ notes may be placed on their answer sheets by students with spatial disorientation. A student may, for example, flag the answer sheets for bottom, top, left, and right.
- Earplugs, Students may be allowed to use earplugs as a concentration aid. There are quite a few bigger and busy GED test centers where earplugs are routinely distributed among all candidates.
- Large Print Testing. Students may request to the Examiner to be allowed to use large print editions of the paper-based GED test yet under regular time limits. All GED test centers are recommended to order at least one (but preferably more) large print versions for this purpose every year.
- Magnifying Glass. During testing, examinees may use their preferred type of magnifying device. At regular testing sessions, when a candidate is using a magnifying glass, the Examiner must place those candidates in such a way that other candidates cannot see their test materials.
In conclusion, accommodations for students with disabilities may include large-print format, audio format, reader format, braille format, calculator, talking calculator, usage of a scribe, supervised extra breaks, extended time, private testing room, and more.
The GED exam includes four individual modules (independent subtests) that cover the academic subject areas of Social Studies, Science, Mathematics, and Literacy (writing and reading combined).
Last Updated on September 3, 2021.