Assignment 1: testing and assessment: ethical pitfalls

Whereas counselors do not typically conduct in-depth assessments for educational placement or psychological assessment, they are often the recipients of such information from outside professionals. The following cases outline some ethical issues that counselors may encounter when working with testing and assessment.

Please respond to the following vignettes.

Case 1

You are a counselor working with students placed in a special program for learning disabilities. A new child has moved into your program. When you try to engage this student in conversation, you notice that this student does not seem to speak much English. You review his or her test results completed by the school psychologist and notice that no mention is made of his or her language difficulties. He or she appears to have been tested on an aptitude test in English. His or her low score on this test has been used to place him or her in your program. You call his or her parents and find out they are from Guatemala. You call the psychologist who did the testing, and the psychologist states he or she only has tests in English.

Case 2

You are working as a counselor at a residential facility for persons with physical disabilities. One of your clients, an 18-year-old young man, has cerebral palsy, which prevents him from speaking clearly or writing with his hands. He has begun to use a computer language system to express himself over the past year. You notice he learns this system quickly and uses it to converse on a variety of topics. In reviewing his test results, you see that this young man is classified as severely to moderately developmentally disabled. At the time of the testing, the young man had no means of communication other than pointing. Because of this classification, his work placement options have been very restricted. Your agency has limited funds and normally has persons tested every 3 years.


In a minimum of 300 words, post to the Discussion Area your response to the following:

  • Using an ethical decision-making model, outline your response to both situations.
  • Be specific in every step of your chosen module. For example, identify specific ethical standards that apply to this case in the appropriate step.
  • You may (and are encouraged to) respond in an outline form (i.e., develop a response to each ethical decision-making step); however, do not simply list the steps of the module but integrate them into a complete answer.

Support your discussion with resources from professional literature in your response. Professional literature may include the Argosy University online library resources; relevant textbooks; peer-reviewed journal articles; and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu or .gov).


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