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RULE §3.45Special Accommodations

(a) In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), every registration examination must be conducted in an accessible place and manner, or alternative accessible arrangements must be afforded so that no qualified individual with a disability is unreasonably denied the opportunity to complete the licensure process because of his/her disability.

(b) Special accommodations can be provided for examinees with physical or mental impairments that substantially limit major life activities. Available accommodations include the modification of examination procedures and the provision of auxiliary aids and services designed to furnish an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to demonstrate his/her knowledge, skills, and ability.

(c) The Board is not required to approve every request for accommodation or auxiliary aid or provide every accommodation or service as requested. The Board is not required to grant a request for accommodation if doing so would fundamentally alter the measurement of knowledge or the measurement of a skill intended to be tested by the examination or would create an undue financial or administrative burden.

(d) Procedure for requesting accommodation:

  (1) To protect the integrity of the testing process, an Applicant requesting an accommodation must submit documentation regarding the existence of a disability and the reason the requested accommodation is necessary to provide the Applicant with an equal opportunity to exhibit his/her knowledge, skills, and ability through the examination. The Board shall evaluate each request on a case-by-case basis.

  (2) An Applicant requesting an accommodation must have a licensed health care professional or other qualified evaluator provide certification regarding the disability as described in subsection (e) of this section.

  (3) An Applicant seeking an accommodation must make a request for accommodation on the prescribed form and provide documentation of the need for accommodation well in advance of the examination date. If the form is submitted less than sixty (60) days prior to the examination date, the Board will attempt to process the request but might not be able to provide the necessary accommodation for the next examination.

(e) The following information is required to support a request for an accommodation or an auxiliary aid:

  (1) Identification of the type of disability (physical, mental, learning);

  (2) Credential requirements of the evaluator:

    (A) For physical or mental disabilities (not including learning), the evaluator shall be a licensed health care professional qualified to assess the type of disability claimed. If a person who does not fit these criteria completes the evaluation, the Board may reject the evaluation and require another evaluation, and the request for accommodation may be delayed.

    (B) In the case of learning disabilities, a qualified evaluator shall have sufficient experience to be considered qualified to evaluate the existence of learning disabilities and proposed accommodations needed for specific learning disabilities. The evaluator shall be one of the following:

      (i) a licensed physician or psychologist with a minimum of three years' experience working with adults with learning disabilities; or

      (ii) another professional who possesses a master's or doctorate degree in special education or educational psychology and who has at least three years of equivalent training and experience in all of the areas described below:

        (I) assessing intellectual ability and interpreting tests of such ability;

        (II) screening for cultural, emotional, and motivational factors;

        (III) assessing achievement level; and

        (IV) administering tests to measure attention and concentration, memory, language reception and expression, cognition, reading, spelling, writing, and mathematics.

  (3) Professional verification of the disability, which shall include a description of:

    (A) the nature and extent of the disability, including a description of its effect on major life activities and the anticipated duration of the impairment;

    (B) the effect of the disability on the applicant's ability to:

      (i) evaluate written material;

      (ii) complete graphic sections of the examination by drawing, drafting, and lettering; and

      (iii) complete computerized sections of the examination that require data entry via keyboard and the manipulation of a mouse.

    (C) whether the disability limits the amount of time the Applicant can spend on specific examination tasks;

    (D) the recommended accommodation and how it relates to the applicant's disability;

    (E) the professional's name, title, telephone number, and his/her original signature;

    (F) any other information necessary, in the professional's opinion, to enable the exam provider to understand the examinee's disability and the accommodation necessary to enable the examinee to demonstrate his/her knowledge, skills, and ability.

(f) Documentation supporting an accommodation shall be valid for five (5) years from the date submitted to the Board except that no further documentation shall be required where the original documentation clearly states that the disability will not change in the future.

(g) The Board has the responsibility to evaluate each request for accommodation and to approve, deny, or suggest alternative reasonable accommodations. The Board may consider an Applicant's history of accommodation in determining its reasonableness in relation to the currently identified impact of the disability.

(h) Information related to a request for accommodation shall be kept confidential to the extent provided by law.

Source Note: The provisions of this §3.45 adopted to be effective April 4, 2004, 29 TexReg 3466

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