Disabled students suing ACT over alleged disclosure of disability

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG TV9)- A California law firm is suing Iowa City-based ACT on behalf of several disabled students. The claim, filed last month, is ACT disclosed confidential information about disabilities to colleges without permission.

Some students with disabilities get extra time taking the ACT college entrance exam to reflect physical or other limitations. That is noted on the test form.

But the class action suit filed by a Los Angeles law firm claims ACT included the disability status of students in the score reports sent on to colleges and did so without permission or knowledge of the student.

The lawsuit against the Iowa City company was filed on behalf of disabled students from California, Colorado and Nevada.

The students claim they did not give ACT permission to disclose any physical or learning disabilities and that disclosure might impact their chances for admission or scholarships.

A press release from the law firm claimed “this is putting a scarlet letter on these kids so they’re not going to be judged on their merits, but by a stigma set up by ACT.”

A spokesperson for ACT in Iowa City noted the company does not comment on pending litigation.

But the email also noted, “ACT’s general policy is to provide individually identifiable information to a third party only at the direction of the individual.”

Because the suit seeks class-action status, if successful, it could impact other disabled students taking the ACT test.