Question: If I have a disability, should I still take career-related assessments?
Answer: Yes, people with disabilities should use assessment tests for the same reasons that everyone else
uses them: to identify their strengths and areas for which they might need additional training.
Assessments can help!
Use careful thought before taking selection tests. Career counselors can work with you to help
you choose appropriate guidance and selection tools.
Question: Some tests will be hard for me to take because of my disability. Will they make accommodations for me?
Answer: They need to! The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (1980) requires employers who have fifteen or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations so that qualified individuals with disabilities have equal employment opportunities. If you have problems obtaining accommodations, you may want to contact the local agency working with employment questions for individuals with disabilities. They will have experience in working with employers and training sites.
Information regarding ADA issues is available at www.ada-infonet.org
Question: What accommodations can be made so that I can take an assessment?
Answer: Take the initiative and request accommodations. Explain what special assistance you require. Be ready to document your need for accommodations. Some of the accommodations people have requested are: accessible parking or ramps so that you can get to the test site, "up-front" seating, extra time between sections of the test, or a special size testing area. Other accommodations you could request include braille or audiotape tests with the option of oral response, large-print test booklets, a proctor to mark your answer sheet, a sign language interpreter, or extra time to complete the test.
Standardized tests present still a different challenge. Standardized tests, by definition, should be given in the same way to all participants. So it may be hard to make accommodations. The employer should, however, make every attempt to meet your needs. If, after exploring all possibilities with the employer, the accommodation you need is not possible, then ask the employer to waive the test. Instead of test scores, present your work record, recommendations from teachers and past employers, your life experience, and training.
Question: Who makes the arrangements for accommodations?
Answer: For most accommodations, let the staff at the testing site know what you need ahead of time. They will make the arrangements. If you have, or know about, special resources (such as a sign language interpreter) that the testing site might not have, let them know.