64B-1.005: Licensure Examination Format; Examination Procedures for Candidates with Disabilities
PURPOSE AND EFFECT: It is the purpose of this rule to clarify changes made to Chapter 456, F.S. regarding special testing accomodations.
SUMMARY: The proposed amendments will clarify the department’s procedures for special testing accommodations related to national examinations. The proposed amendments will affect and clarify the time frame that a candidate may request special testing accomodations based on religious beliefs.
SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF ESTIMATED REGULATORY COSTS: No Statement of Estimated Regulatory Cost was prepared.
Any person who wishes to provide information regarding a statement of estimated regulatory costs, or provide a proposal for a lower cost regulatory alternative must do so in writing within 21 days of this notice.
SPECIFIC AUTHORITY: 456.004(5), 456.017(1) FS.
LAW IMPLEMENTED: 456.017(1) FS.
IF REQUESTED WITHIN 21 DAYS OF THE DATE OF THIS NOTICE, A HEARING WILL BE SCHEDULED AND ANNOUNCED IN FAW.
THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE IS: Jennifer Wenhold, Manager of Testing Services, Division of Medical Quality Assurance, Bureau of Operations, 4052 Bald Cypress Way, Mail Bin C-90, Tallahassee, Florida 32399
THE FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE IS:
64B-1.005 Special Testing Accommodations
Licensure Examination Format; Examination Procedures for Candidates with Disabilities
(a) The term “disability” means, with respect to an individual:
1. A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individual;
2. A record of such an impairment; or
3. Being regarded as having such an impairment.
(b) A physical or mental impairment means:
1. Any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genito-urinary, hematic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or
2. Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, english as a second
foreign language, or of environmental, cultural or economical disadvantage.
(c) Major life activities are activities that an average person can perform with little or no difficulty which include: walking, talking, hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for one’s self and performing manual tasks.
(2)(a) The department will provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations to candidates with physical, mental, or specific learning disabilities to the extent permitted by cost, administration restraints, security considerations and availability of resources. Accommodations made will vary depending upon the nature and the severity of the impairment.
(b) For national examinations the national vendor will determine the
what accommodations are available to candidates who demonstrate to the department the necessity of such accommodations due to disability.
(3)(a) Candidates requesting special testing accommodation due to a disability shall file a request for special testing accommodation no later than sixty (60) days prior to the first day of the examination on form DH 1307, Application For Candidates Requesting Special Testing Accommodation in Accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, for which special testing accommodation is requested. Form DH 1307 is hereby incorporated by reference, and can be obtained from the Division of Medical Quality Assurance, Bureau of Operations, Testing Services,
, before the examination.
(b) In addition to form DH 1307, the candidate shall provide the department with documentation of their disability completed by a practitioner licensed pursuant to Chapter 490, (Psychology), Chapter 458 (Medical Practice), Chapter 459 (Osteopathy), Chapter 461 (Podiatry), Chapter 463 (Optometry), Chapter 468, Part I (Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology), or Chapter 460 (Chiropractic Medicine), Florida Statutes, or by a comparable practitioner licensed in another jurisdiction in the United States. Such documentation shall be sufficient to allow an independent reviewer to evaluate the diagnosed condition(s) and shall include:
1. The diagnosis and duration of the candidate’s condition;
2. The name of the test(s) used for diagnosis; and
3. Recommendations regarding appropriate accommodations and testing environment.
4. Reasonable accommodations shall be made for candidates who qualify. All accommodations must be directly linked to the amelioration of the identified functional limitations caused by the asserted disability. Permissible accommodations include:
a. Additional Time: Provided for candidates requiring extra time to take an examination. However, in no event shall a candidate be provided an untimed examination.
b. Alternate Setting: Individual and small group examination administrations shall be available to qualified candidates.
c. Alternate Recording of Responses: The candidate’s responses can be recorded by a proctor or by another method approved by the department. In the event answer sheets are machine-scored, the proctor shall transcribe the candidate’s responses onto a machine-scannable answer sheet. In these instances, the candidate will verify that the answer marked was the candidate’s intended option.
d. Alternate Format: The test booklet can be produced in an appropriate manner as approved by the department on a case-by-case basis, based on the practitioner’s recommendation.
e. Assistive Devices: The candidate will be allowed to use appropriate assistive devices approved by the department based on the practitioner’s recommendation.
(4) The department reserves the right to request further evidence on the necessity of the accommodation when the information submitted to substantiate a candidate’s need for the requested accommodation is insufficient, incomplete, inconclusive, unclear, or does not substantiate the need for the requested accommodation.
(5) In no case shall any modifications authorized herein be interpreted or construed as an authorization to provide a candidate with assistance in determining the answer to any test question. No accommodation or modification shall be made that adversely affects the security or integrity of the examination.
(6) If a candidate approved for special testing accommodations receives a failing grade on his or her examination and requests an examination review, the candidate will receive the same approved accommodation at the review.
(7) Candidates requesting special testing accommodation due to religious beliefs shall submit their request to the department no later than 60 days from the date of the first day of the examination.
(8) National examinations used by the department may require that special testing accommodations be reviewed and approved by the National vendor.
Specific Authority 456.004(5), 456.017(1) FS. Law Implemented 456.017(1) FS. History–New 9-7-98, Amended 7-20-03,_________.