Applicants with Disabilities and Qualifications for Testing Accommodations
The UCNS recognizes that physicians with disabilities may wish to take the certifying examinations and will attempt to make accommodations for applicants with verified disabilities. Applicants who request accommodations because of a disability must do so at the time of application. The application and documentation substantiating the disability must be included with the subspecialty certification examination and be submitted by the subspecialty examination's posted application deadlines.
The Board supports the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act and will provide reasonable accommodations during testing to provide equal opportunity for persons with disabilities. Applicants are reminded, however, that "auxiliary aids (and services) can only be offered if they do not fundamentally alter measurement of skills or knowledge the examination is intended to test" (Americans with Disability Act, Public Law 101-336 & 309 [b]). To this extent, the UCNS will provide equal opportunity for persons with disabilities. Documentation requesting reasonable accommodations must identify the disability and provide a rationale for specified modifications to standard testing procedures.
If the UCNS deems it necessary, an independent assessment may be requested at the expense of UCNS. Documentation and other evidence substantiating the disability includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- A report diagnosing the applicant's disability written by a professional appropriately qualified to evaluate the disability. The report must be printed on the certified examiner's letterhead, with the examiner's credentials, address, and telephone number given in the letterhead or title. The report must include the candidate's name, date of birth, date of testing, and it must be signed by the examiner.
- A history of the disability, including previous settings in which accommodations have been granted. Having had prior accommodations granted does not necessarily influence the decision of the UCNS to grant or deny a current request for accommodation. If there is no history of prior accommodations, the examiner must explain why current circumstances necessitate accommodations.
- Diagnostic information about the specified disability using standard nomenclature from sources, such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders V (DSM-V).
- Specific recommended accommodations with a rationale for why each accommodation is needed. A description of any functional limitations associated with the disability is important to the UCNS's evaluation of the request.
The UCNS does not discriminate among applicants on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or marital status.
Review of Documentation
Each report is reviewed carefully before accommodations are provided. If the UCNS does not find appropriate and sufficient evidence to grant accommodations, the applicant will be informed that the request has been denied. If a request has been denied, a written appeal may be submitted.
Testing accommodations may include, but are not limited to:
- Assistance in indicating answers
- Extended testing time
- Large screen font
- Large print examination
- Separate examination room
- Use of assistive devices