COMPUTER-BASED TESTING FOR EXAMINEES
WITH DISABILITIES: ON THE ROAD TO
Randy Elliot Bennett
Educational Testing Service
This chapter examines how the advent of computer-based testing (CBT) might improve postsecondary admissions assessment for examinees with disabilities. We begin by reviewing the context and current status of testing examinees with disabilities, using "comparability" as a fundamental standard. Next, we assess the implications of computer-based testing for improvements in this comparability. We conclude by introducing the concept of "generalized accommodation" as one avenue for potentially resolving the comparability issues raised by modified tests.
In 1973, Congress passed the Rehabilitation Act, Public Law 93-112. Section 504 of that act called for nondiscrimination on the basis of handicap in all programs receiving federal funds.1 The implementing regulations, which included educational admissions and recruitment, contained several test-related stipulations ( Non-discrimination on Basis of Handicap, 1977). First, the regulations essentially required that tests accurately reflect the capabilities of disabled applicants and not their impairments (except where those 'impairments overlapped with the skills the tests were intended to measure). Second, in the event of adverse impact, tests were____________________