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Part III Test Accomodation Instructions

NBEO® Part III Clinical Skills Examination (CSE®)

In accordance with the following guidelines consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), the NBEO® will provide reasonable test accommodations for all qualified Part III CSE candidates. Candidates should note that a diagnosis of impairment by itself is not sufficient to warrant testing accommodations. There also must be compelling evidence that there is a substantial limitation in a major life activity when compared with the average person in the general population, and that this limitation would impact a candidate’s ability to take Part III CSE under standard conditions. The need for test accommodations must be adequately justified in all cases. The goal is to provide reasonable test accommodations to all disabled candidates who qualify for them while at the same time avoiding the dispensation of accommodations to unqualified candidates. The NBEO strives to provide a fair testing environment for all examination candidates.

Candidates must apply for accommodations and receive notice of their request resolutions BEFORE registering for Part III CSE. If accommodations are approved, the candidate should contact the National Center of Clinical Testing in Optometry (NCCTO®) to schedule an exam with the provided accommodations. If the candidate’s request is denied, standard registration procedures apply.

Candidates request disability test accommodations by completing the Request for Test Accommodation Form and submitting it to the NBEO by email (see information in the red box below). This request form should be sent by the candidate.

All accommodation request forms must be complemented by the delivery to the NBEO of current, written, qualified disability documentation supporting the accommodation requested. The supportive documentation must address specific components that are listed in the Documentation Guidelines/Requirements and must be prepared by appropriate, well-credentialed professionals.

Evaluations performed by trainees are accepted only if accompanied by a cover letter prepared, signed, and dated by the trainee’s professional psychoeducational supervisor. This letter must:

  1. Certify that the document provides a valid assessment of disability
  2. Attest that all aspects of the evaluation have been reviewed and repeated where necessary
  3. Itemize the supervisor’s test accommodation recommendations
  4. State that all components of the assessment have been approved by the supervisor composing the letter

The NBEO reserves the right to obtain an expert psychoeducational professional’s review of candidates’ disability information. The NBEO reserves the right to request additional justifying disability records prior to making an accommodation decision. The source of any disability documentation may be verified by the NBEO.

Any non-standard item that a candidate wishes to bring into the exam room is considered a test accommodation and should have prior approval through the test accommodation process. This would include crutches, infusion pumps, pillows, and the like. Any such belongings brought to the exam center will be inspected by NBEO when the candidate checks in to take the exam.

Disability documentation can be sent to the NBEO via email at nbeo@optometry.org

Test Accomodation Request Outcomes

  1. Request Approval: When the NBEO determines that an accommodation is justified and appropriate, the candidate will be notified by the ADA Coordinator of the approved accommodation.
  2. Request Denial: When the NBEO denies a request for accommodation, the candidate will be notified by the ADA Coordinator with a written explanation of the reason(s) for denial. The candidate may APPEAL the denial decision. All test accommodation appeals may be initiated by use of the Appeal Form found on the NBEO website here. An Appeal Form must be completed and submitted to initiate a staff-level appeal. The form must be accompanied by additional supportive disability documentation. Only in the event of a staff-level appeal denial, the candidate may choose to initiate a judicial-level appeal by completing a second Appeal Form and providing additional evidence of disability.

Separate test accommodation requests must be submitted prior to each attempt of the NBEO Part III Clinical Skills Examination. Previously submitted, current, acceptable evidence of disability typically does not have to be re-sent to the NBEO from the information sources though additional evidence of disability may be needed to support the requested accommodation.

Candidates with physical conditions not covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) but which limit functionality may request test accommodations for Part III CSE. Examples of such conditions include, but are not limited to, a broken bone that would require the use of crutches in an exam room or use of a pharmaceutical infusion pump to assist with temporary medical circumstances.

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