a year ago
Admissions Advice

Would I receive any ACT accommodations for tinnitus?

So I've had tinnitus since a little after school became online (I would say I got it around May 2020). About a month ago I got an informal diagnosis but hopefully this week I'll get an official one on paper. Since it's distracting and it kind of heightens my hearing so I easily notice annoying sounds like tapping and even breathing, I'm wondering if I can get any accommodations for this for the in-person ACT. According to the ACT website, "The ADA defines a disability as a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity compared to the average person in the general population. The guidelines of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th or 5th Edition (DSM-IV or DSM-5), are used to substantiate the presence of a disabling condition."

From what I found online, tinnitus does qualify under the guidelines of DSM-5, but I did not find any FAQs or anything answering it. What kind of accommodations would I get? I'm guessing it would fall under either a psychological disorder or a hearing impairment and I'd get to wear headphones or something either to block out sound or maybe play tinnitus therapy music (usually they're just ambiance or low beeping with ambiance). I'll shoot them an email for now since I cannot apply for accommodations until I apply for a test, but I'm trying to get an idea. I suppose my doctor's appointment this week will help too but I can't wait lolol.

So if you have any experience with ACT accommodations or find anything useful on it, let me know! Thank you!


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Accepted Answer
a year ago

I found these 2 resources for hearing impairment provisions for both the SAT and ACT. What's probably most important is that you get an answer directly from College Board or ACT.org with regards to your diagnosis and whether it qualifies as a hearing impairment. I understand that it's clearly a hearing distraction but most of the standardized testing services give extra time for persons either deaf or hard of hearing. Your condition doesn't seem to be either but more like interference with your environment which makes it perhaps harder to focus and concentrate.

If you currently receive an accommodation for this in High School, then you have a precedent to argue with the testing service. I don't know what your expectations are or how they will rule on your application.





Good luck with your standardized testing.


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