In the Nick of Time: A Pan-Canadian Examination of Extended Testing Time Accommodation in Post-secondary Schools

Laura Sokal, Alina Wilson


Extended testing time accommodation (ETTA) is the most common accommodation assigned to post-secondary students with disabilities. We examined data on the processes of providing and monitoring the use of ETTA at 48 Canadian post-secondary institutions who provided accommodations to over 43,000 students with disabilities in every province in Canada. Findings indicated that students with learning disabilities were the most likely to be allocated ETTA. The most common duration of ETTA by far was 150% of the standard testing time provided to other students, and was typically assigned in over 70% of cases-- despite there being no valid empirical evidence to support this practice. In almost half of the institutions following this practice, this duration of ETTA was typically awarded upon intake based on guidelines, policies, or the belief that research exists to support this procedure, and in over 40% of these institutions there were no procedures in place for monitoring and modifying ETTA allowances once assigned. There was evidence of some exemplary practices in terms of the decision-making processes that went into determining and monitoring individual student’s ETTA durations. However, concerns were raised in some cases by the rationales for providing specific durations of ETTA, and by the lack of monitoring that together comprised ‘blanket’ accommodations.


Post-secondary; Disabilities; Accommodations; Extended time

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