Add Your Epinephrine Auto-Injector to Your SAT Test Day Checklist

If you’re a teenager with a food allergy, you probably hear a litany of advice all the time.

“Don’t forget to check the label before you eat.”

“Make sure you tell the restaurant about your food allergy.”

“You have to wear your medical alert bracelet.”

And perhaps most of all, “Don’t forget your epinephrine auto-injectors.”

Living in a state of vigilance is part of the food allergy experience, and that means taking your epinephrine auto-injectors (EAIs) everywhere, even if you don’t expect to eat. You’ve been preparing to take responsibility for your food allergies your whole life.

And as you get closer to college, you’ll start new preparations, like taking the Scholastic Aptitude Test – the SAT. You may spend months studying for test day, learning the rules, understanding what you can and cannot bring with you. Two pencils, check. Photo ID, check. Calculator, check. Epinephrine, check.

But when 17-year-old Danielle Giorgi showed up to take her SAT, she was told she couldn’t bring her EAIs in with her. As a teen with food allergies and an advocate for herself, Danielle knew she couldn’t stay without them and didn’t take the test.

You may recognize the name Giorgi because Danielle’s twin sister, Natalie, tragically passed away from anaphylaxis to peanuts at the age of 13. After Natalie’s death, her family founded the Natalie Giorgi Sunshine Foundation to spread public awareness, provide education about emergency response and increase the availability of EAIs.

Knowing that other teens faced with this situation might make another choice, like leaving their EAIs in their hot car while taking the test, Danielle’s father, Louis, did something he’s done many times before. He began advocating to make sure this didn’t happen again.

Within four days, the College Board, which manage the SAT, not only had clarified that EAIs are allowed in the testing room, they began adding language to their website and testing manuals to help prevent confusion in the future.

If you’re preparing for the SAT and have a food allergy, here’s what you need to know:

  1. EAIs ARE allowed in the testing room.
  2. EAIs must be brought in a clear plastic bag and stored under your desk during the test.
  3. You do not need any special accommodation or documentation to bring your EAIs into the testing room with you.
  4. If you arrive at your testing site and have any trouble, call the College Board’s Services for Students with Disabilities at 212-713-8333.

Any questions relating to the epinephrine policy can also be emailed to the Services for Students with Disabilities at ssd@info.collegeboard.org.

Special thanks to the Giorgis for their amazing advocacy work on behalf of the millions of students with food allergies.

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