11/10/2020
Standardized Testing and Type 1 Diabetes

Test taking can be stressful and it can be hard to predict blood sugars on testing days.  It is very reasonable to request accommodations for test taking in school and for all standardized tests. The Berrie Center receives many requests for letters for accommodations for the ACT and SAT. In general, the ACT/SAT will allow students to bring in all necessary supplies for diabetes management, as well as “stop the clock” and extended breaks to attend to blood sugars. The SAT/ACT does not consider type 1 diabetes (T1D) an indication for receiving extended time on tests (i.e. time and a half).

It is of the utmost importance to start this process early to ensure that you get the proper accommodations.  Work with your school’s college counselor during this process. Having an up to date 504 plan with academic accommodations in school can make the process more efficient. Make sure to know the deadlines for applying for special accommodations, which can be found on the SAT/ACT websites.  The ADA also has a helpful guidebook:

http://main.diabetes.org/dorg/PDFs/Advocacy/Discrimination/going-to-college-with-diabetes.pdf

The Berrie Center will write you a letter documenting:

-Your diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

-An explanation of how diabetes is a disability including the effects of high and low blood sugars.

-A request for the following modifications: access to all diabetes supplies (pump/CGM/testing supplies/snacks and drinks), and “stop the clock” as well as extended breaks as needed to attend to your blood sugars and treat high and low blood sugars if they arise. 

-At your request, we can recommend time and half testing, but our recommendation does not guarantee approval.

Make sure to send us your request for a letter at least one month before you need to submit it.  Watch deadlines!  The testing companies are very strict. Once all of your documentation is submitted, it can easily take another few months for it to be approved. 

On the day of testing, be sure to bring all documentation with you in case you need to show it to the proctor.  

One final note:  Once you have made it through the college application process and have enrolled in college, notify the college’s office of disability of your diabetes diagnosis.  This is very important in case you need to reschedule a test due to your diabetes, or would like certain housing accommodations, etc.