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Testing and Examinations

Section 309 of the Americans with Disabilities Act fills the gap regarding testing and examination not defined by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or Title II of the ADA. Any educational facility that receives federal money or is a public facility because it is a function of the state or local government as defined under Title II of the ADA is required to make any examination accessible to persons with disabilities. This requirement includes physical access to the testing facility, as well as any modification of the way the test is administered to assist the disabled. Modifications may include offering extended time, written instructions, or the assistance of a reader.

Many licensing and testing authorities are not covered by Section 504 or Title II. In these cases, a provision in the ADA was included to assure that persons with disabilities are not prohibited from or disallowed in any educational, professional, or other examination opportunity because a test or course is conducted in an inaccessible location or is offered without the needed modifications to assist the disabled student. Modifications may include offering an examination with the assistance of a reader, in a braille or large print format, transcribers, or the proper computer equipment to help the disabled person.

Examiners may require proof of disability, but requests for documentation of the disability must be reasonable and must be limited to support for the modification or aid requested. The student or testing applicant may be required to bear the cost of providing such documentation for examination officials. Appropriate documentation would include:

  • Letter from physician or psychiatrist or other qualified individual
  • Evidence of prior diagnosis
  • Evidence of prior accommodation

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