Students with disabilities in Alaska will be allowed to use a range of accommodations on the state’s high school exit exam and still be able to receive high school diplomas, under a legal settlement announced last week.
The settlement in the class action on behalf of such students will let them use oral presentations, spell-checkers, voice-recognition software, help from test proctors, and other state-approved accommodations on the Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam.
Disability Rights Advocates, an Oakland, Calif.-based organization, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Anchorage, Alaska. Stephen Tollafield, a lawyer for the group, said he believes that the accommodations planned for Alaska are the most comprehensive of any state’s. (“Special-Needs Students To Receive Diplomas,” April 14, 2004.)
Alaska officials hope to have the testing accommodations available by this fall.