A class action lawsuit was filed against
The nation-wide lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by with Panish Shea & Boyle LLP and Miller Advocacy Group. They claim that ACT violated the civil rights of disabled students.
The plaintiffs allege that the Iowa City-based testing company acquired the disability status of students taking the ACT college entrance exam and then disclosing that confidential disability information on score reports to colleges and other programs. They also allege ACT sold the information to other for recruitment and enrollment purposes. This activity is a direct violation of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA),
“ACT flags students’ test scores, discloses their confidential information to colleges pre-admission, and stigmatizes students with disabilities in the admissions process,” Rahul Ravipudi of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP, said. “Not only does this unlawful practice violate the privacy, security and confidentiality of information entrusted to ACT by the students in its care – it does so for profit, and at the expense of America’s most vulnerable students who are striving to further their education.”
Their complaint states two ways that ACT illegally uses student’s disability information:
- ACT “flags” student score reports by disclosing detailed student disability information and the use of accommodations on the score report it sends to colleges. This information is collected through questions on the online ACT Student Profile Section filled out when students register to take the exam. On exam day students also fill out the Student Information Form.
- ACT sells the detailed student disability data to various postsecondary organizations including colleges, scholarship programs, and other third parties who use it for recruitment and marketing related to the admissions process.
The plaintiffs allege unlike ACT sending the score report to colleges; this information was sent without the student or high school’s knowledge.
“I was shocked to learn that ACT was using my disability information against me and making it more difficult for me to get into college and get the money I need to go to college,” Halie Bloom, one of the plaintiffs said. “I’m speaking out, because I know that someone has to
Bloom is a college-bound, 2018 high school graduate who had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) under the IDEA and a 504 Plan under the Rehabilitation Act since middle school, and she took the ACT several times with approved accommodations. ACT acquired Ms. Bloom’s disability status from her testing registration and annotated her score reports with “learning or cognitive disability” that requires special provisions. ACT disclosed Ms. Bloom’s disabilities on all ACT Test score reports sent on her behalf to colleges to which she applied and thereby flagged her score reports. She had no expectation that ACT would include her disability status with her score reports or otherwise ever disclose her confidential disability information.
Read the complaint filed below: