[NFBC-Info] Blind Students and Advocates Resolve Dispute with College Board over AP Exams

National Federation of the Blind webmaster at nfb.org
Fri May 29 21:15:20 UTC 2020






BALTIMORE, MARYLAND (MAY 29, 2020): Kaleigh Brendle, a blind
advanced-placement (AP) high school student from New Jersey, and the
National Federation of the Blind [2] (NFB), the nation's leading advocate
for the equal education of the blind, have resolved their dispute with the
College Board [3] over its administration of the advanced placement
examinations to blind and deaf-blind students during the coronavirus
pandemic. Ms. Brendle and the NFB filed complaints with the United States
Department of Education and Department of Justice on behalf of themselves
and four other named students, as well as the class of all other blind and
deafblind students. The complaints alleged that the students' rights were
violated when the College Board instituted a digital-only format for the
exams because of the pandemic and did not provide hard-copy Braille tests
and/or hard-copy tactile graphics to students who had requested and been
granted those accommodations. The complaints have been withdrawn in light
of today's resolution. 

Without admitting wrongdoing, the College Board has agreed [4] to allow
certain students to re-take AP exams using hard-copy tactile graphics
(including charts, coordinate planes, diagrams, maps, etc.) and to
administer hard-copy Braille tests to students who were already approved
for Braille and who request to take or re-take their exams with hard-copy
Braille. Students will be able to take the Braille tests by September 15,
2020. For students who re-take exams with hard-copy tactile graphics or
hard-copy Braille, any prior answers or test scores will be disregarded.
The College Board will also provide a letter to affected high school
seniors explaining the delay in testing and scoring so that these seniors
can provide that information to institutions of higher education. 

In a separate letter not related to the complaints, the College Board has
also agreed to consult with the National Federation of the Blind on
procedures for administering the SAT and SAT subject tests to blind and
deafblind students. 

"My fellow blind and deafblind AP scholars and I never sought
confrontation, compensation, or publicity. We desired only to receive fair
treatment and to be provided with the materials we require in order to
succeed," said Kaleigh Brendle. "We raised our voices on behalf of those
who could not, with the hope that every student who needed Braille would
receive it. We are grateful to the College Board for listening to and
understanding our concerns and working with us to institute change. Now, we
can resume preparing for these influential exams and shaping our futures as
empowered advocates of equality and opportunity." 

"It has been a privilege to work alongside these courageous students who
raised their voices about the unfair treatment they received during an
already stressful time," said Mark Riccobono, President of the National
Federation of the Blind. "This swift and equitable agreement exemplifies
the power of collective action. We look forward to further cooperation and
collaboration between the College Board and the organized blind movement to
improve opportunities for all blind and deafblind scholars." 

Ms. Brendle and the National Federation of the Blind were represented by
Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum [5] and Kevin Docherty [6] of Brown Goldstein Levy
LLP [5]. 



The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), headquartered in Baltimore, is
the oldest and largest nationwide organization of blind Americans. Founded
in 1940, the NFB consists of affiliates, chapters, and divisions in the
fifty states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. The NFB defends the rights of
blind people of all ages and provides information and support to families
with blind children, older Americans who are losing vision, and more. We
believe in the hopes and dreams of blind people and work together to
transform them into reality. Learn more about our many programs and
initiatives at www.nfb.org [7]. 


Chris Danielsen
 Director of Public Relations
 National Federation of the Blind
 410-659-9314, extension 2330
 410-262-1281 (Cell)
 cdanielsen at nfb.org 



 		 National Federation of the Blind | 200 E Wells Street | Baltimore, MD
21230 | 410-659-9314 

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