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Thread: Standardized exams -- Request for Disability Accommodation

  1. #1

    Standardized exams -- Request for Disability Accommodation

    A friend of mine (T4 complete) is hoping to go to medical school and has scheduled to take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) in May. He would like to request additional time and perhaps a separate testing room as part of his accommodations request -- both are allowed.

    Specifically, he'd like to know what language people's doctors have used successfully when making their case for accommodations. For those who've required special accommodations, how did your doctor frame your request?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    I had extended time for the GRE – just in case. I didn't need it. I'm pretty sure my Dr. just noted my limited hand function (C6), which could've presented a time limitation for the written portion. I don't recall how the request was framed, but it was a short letter (a paragraph or so).

    I was offered a separate testing room when I arrived (w/o request) b/c the desk was bigger. Again, not needed, but I guess it was nice.

    I can't think of any need for accommodation w/ a textbook T4 injury, unless there are some other circumstances not mentioned here (learning disability, etc).

    Just my $0.02.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by -scott- View Post
    I had extended time for the GRE – just in case. I didn't need it. I'm pretty sure my Dr. just noted my limited hand function (C6), which could've presented a time limitation for the written portion. I don't recall how the request was framed, but it was a short letter (a paragraph or so).

    I was offered a separate testing room when I arrived (w/o request) b/c the desk was bigger. Again, not needed, but I guess it was nice.

    I can't think of any need for accommodation w/ a textbook T4 injury, unless there are some other circumstances not mentioned here (learning disability, etc).

    Just my $0.02.
    Textbook accommodations for any SCI might include time extensions for (additional) bathroom breaks and, perhaps, neuropathic pain to the extent that it can interfere with concentration. But finding justifications for additional time is not what he's seeking -- he's curious to see how the language was framed. I guess it would be instructive to know if anyone has experienced being denied a request for accommodations.

  4. #4
    Fair enough.

    I don't recall how the language itself was framed... most likely matter-of-fact though.

    I highly doubt that a denial would occur following a letter from a M.D. on official letterhead.

  5. #5
    The person's disability services should provide guidelines, but if they don't here is what is most likely needed.

    It should be on the doctor's professional letterhead.

    Clinical diagnosis: a clear diagnostic statement of the students condition, prepared by a qualified diagnostician.

    Effect on student: a description of the manner in which the diagnosed condition limits the student in a specified major life activity and the severity of the limitation. For purposes of accommodations under the ADA, does the diagnosed condition substantially limit the student in a major life activity, such as walking, seeing, hearing, learning,etc.?

    Test results (if applicable)

    Recommended accommodations
    : specific modifications such as extra time for tests or other assignments, use of a calculator, books on tape, special diet, private room,etc. based on the diagnosis and its effect on student, and supported by test results.

    The information the doctor provides should help to guarantee equal access for your friend, to which they are entitled by law. The school is responsible for compliance under federal statutes and regulations.

    Hope this helps your friend!
    Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know that, so it goes on flying anyways--Mary Kay Ash

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212 View Post
    A friend of mine (T4 complete) is hoping to go to medical school and has scheduled to take the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) in May. He would like to request additional time and perhaps a separate testing room as part of his accommodations request -- both are allowed.

    Specifically, he'd like to know what language people's doctors have used successfully when making their case for accommodations. For those who've required special accommodations, how did your doctor frame your request?

    Thanks.
    I took the MCAT last september. I tried to get extra time and was denied.
    Study hard, take as many practice tests on a timer as possible.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by captainwelch View Post
    I took the MCAT last september. I tried to get extra time and was denied.
    Study hard, take as many practice tests on a timer as possible.
    Were you given an explanation for the denial?

    Hope you did well. How's the application process going for you?

  8. #8
    I took the written portion of the BEI (Board of Evaluators for Interpreters for the Deaf) last November, which was called TEP (Test of English Proficiency). It is a state-mandated, timed test, but I was able to get a wheelchair accessible desk. I wasn't allowed extra time, a separate testing room or bathroom breaks due to the rules of administering the test (90 minutes allowed to complete the test).

    It will be the same when I go for the interpreting portion of the test because they are trying to find out if I am able to keep up with the pace needed for sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign interpreting. I am, however, allowed to keep a bottle of water with me for that portion so if my medication time comes around during that time, I will be allowed to take it.

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