College admissions testing company ACT Inc. has agreed to pay out $16 million to California students with disabilities who alleged their rights were violated when the company flagged their disability status to colleges and excluded them from a beneficial recruitment program, according to a settlement announced Thursday.
A class-action federal lawsuit filed in California in 2018 alleged that ACT violated the Americans With Disabilities Act and California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act by indicating to colleges on students’ score reports whether those students had received special testing accommodations or otherwise indicated they had a disability.
The lawsuit also alleged that ACT discriminated against students with disabilities by making it harder for them to participate in a student search service called Educational Opportunity Service, which the company sells to colleges to help them identify potential recruits — and then allowed colleges to filter the data based on disability status.
A consent decree announced as part of the settlement prohibits ACT from engaging in any of these practices.
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