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“ADA: Let Us Show You What Works” Fae Mellichamp Senior Psychometrician, PTI Shelby Keiser President, Keiser Consulting Rina Sjolund Asst. Vice President,

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Presentation on theme: "“ADA: Let Us Show You What Works” Fae Mellichamp Senior Psychometrician, PTI Shelby Keiser President, Keiser Consulting Rina Sjolund Asst. Vice President,"— Presentation transcript:

1 “ADA: Let Us Show You What Works” Fae Mellichamp Senior Psychometrician, PTI Shelby Keiser President, Keiser Consulting Rina Sjolund Asst. Vice President, ACT Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri

2 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Overview Revised Edition of CLEAR’s document “ADA: Information for Credentialing Examinations ADA vs. IDEA Identifying Functional Limitations ADA vs. Courtesy Accommodations Making Accommodations Fit Abuses of ADA Example Cases

3 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri The Americans with Disabilities Act: Information for Credentialing Examinations Revised Edition: February 2004 Updated references to the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1999) Expanded overview of best practices Broader discussion of documentation –What to tell applicants –What to look for Case studies

4 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri The Americans with Disabilities Act: Information for Credentialing Examinations Revised Edition: February 2004 Expanded and more current bibliography –New case law –Agency decisions and settlements More references and resources Added appendices –The American with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 309 –DOJ, ADA Title III Regulations –DOJ, ADA Title III Technical Assistance Manual –EEOC Regulations –USMLE Guidelines for Documenting Disabilities

5 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri ADA vs. IDEA Requirements in the Law Definition of Disability Who is Covered Services Provided Evaluation/Documentation IEP vs. Accommodations

6 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Identifying Functional Limitations Substantial impairment of vision, hearing, mobility, speech, learning, etc. which interferes with normal behavior. Average person standard (Gonzales v. NBME - 6 th Circuit) Bartlett v. NY State Board of Law Examiners – 2 nd Circuit Medication (Sutton)

7 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Typical Case Reading Disorder – sometimes w/ ADHD & anxiety Most have no childhood diagnosis or documentation Most use subjective criteria –Most say they work harder than everyone else –Most say they read slowly & need to reread –Most say assignments take them longer Most have been academically successful Most have had accommodations on SAT and/or GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc.

8 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Typical Evaluation Brief background sketch Interview w/ examinee who reports symptoms Testing: IQ, Cognitive, Achievement, Nelson Denny Reading Test

9 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Typical Results Above average IQ Average or better achievement Possible score discrepancy between IQ- Achievement Usually low NDRT Rate and Comprehension

10 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Typical Conclusions Evaluator almost always makes a diagnosis Almost all recommend extended time Usually no link between findings and recommended accommodations Usually no identification of substantial limitation in current functioning (major life activity)

11 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri ADA vs. Courtesy Accommodations People sometimes request accommodations for situations that are not considered to be disabilities under ADA Examples include pregnancy, temporary physical impairments, English as 2 nd language, diabetes Agencies may decide to grant an accommodation, such as seating near the restroom, a stool to support a broken leg, translation dictionary, snacks

12 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri ADA vs. Courtesy Accommodations Agencies need to decide whether they will strictly adhere to ADA – does the person have a substantial limitation in one or more major life activities when compared to average people? Critical to be consistent in granting (or not granting) courtesy accommodations Each Agency should establish a policy regarding courtesy accommodations

13 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri “One Size Does Not Fit All” The accommodation should match the documented need The accommodation is intended to reduce or eliminate the impact of the disability when taking THIS standardized test.

14 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri “One Size Does Not Fit All” What does the documentation tell you? –Physical Impairments –Cognitive impairments Is the evaluator qualified to recommend the accommodation?

15 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Abuses of the ADA Some candidates may attempt to use the ADA in order to gain an advantage over other candidates This is most likely in cases where obtaining extended time could result in improved performance Examples include open book examinations and speeded examinations (as opposed to power tests) Taking the exam in a private room could benefit any candidate regardless of test type

16 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Abuses of the ADA Some “abuses” are accidental Agencies may be tempted to grant accommodations in order to avoid the difficult task of saying no Fear of litigation is a factor, agency is less likely to be sued if they say yes Workload associated with properly processing requests may be a factor Tendency to take the easiest route instead of doing the right thing

17 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Example Case FL Construction Industry Licensure Examinations are open book, long exam, about half the candidates fail FL experienced an increase in requests for accommodations for learning disabilities Candidates were requesting extra time Many provided documentation from the same psychologist, most were from S FL and were found to have attended the same exam prep school The psychologist was selling LD diagnoses to construction candidates

18 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Example Case Applicant requested zero distraction test site Given individual room but complained about outside noise Offered sound-proof booth used for media production but rejected What is functional limitation that necessitates zero distraction? Documentation? Offer of “reasonable accommodation” Burden on applicant

19 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Example Case Applicant first diagnosed with ADHD while in law school. Graduated from a Big 12 university with 2.9 GPA. Aptitude assessment: average general ability with high average verbal comprehension and expression, low average non-verbal reasoning. Self report of learning & study skill demonstrated low motivation to maintain study activities. No standardized behavior rating scales reported, no documentation submitted of prior history except mother’s report. Requesting double-time for a non-speeded test.

20 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Fae Mellichamp Professional Testing, Inc Metropolitan Blvd. Ste. 102 Tallahassee, FL , fax

21 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Shelby Keiser Keiser Consulting 1355 W. Indian Creek Dr. Wynnewood, PA (610) fax (610)

22 Presented at the 2004 CLEAR Annual Conference September 30 – October 2 Kansas City, Missouri Rina Sjolund ACT, Inc. 101 ACT Drive PO Box 168 Iowa City, IA (319) , fax rina.


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