With some jobs and higher educations up in the air because of the pandemic, some college graduates and workers are looking to online certification programs to improve their future job prospects or salary.
Certificates may be highly desirable or required for certain jobs.
The federal government runs a online certification finder HERE at Career One Stop.
Many colleges and businesses offering certifications, many might ask, do ADA or the American for Disabilities Act rules apply? Are accommodations possible for certification exams and will my results indicate if I used accommodations?
From the US Department of Justice:
“The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures that individuals with disabilities have the opportunity to fairly compete for and pursue such opportunities by requiring testing entities to offer exams in a manner accessible to persons with disabilities. When needed testing accommodations are provided, test-takers can demonstrate their true aptitude…”
When I contacted LinkedIn Learning, which has a variety of certification tests and programs, Julius from the “Disability Answer Desk Support” assured me that they do indeed provide accommodations for tests and in fact he provided the following steps:
For your request to adjust the time limit while taking a skills assessment, please follow these steps:
1. Go to the specific Skill quiz.
2. In the overview page, look for the Accessibility Settings (default to Off) which can be found at the bottom most part of the page.
3. When you click on Accessibility Settings, it will say, “All questions are timed”. Click on the box for “I need extra time” and then click “Apply”. This should extend the time while taking the assessment.
Another person at the Disability Support desk said that the team could help any test-taker with a need for text-to-speech software, or any Microsoft accessibility features.
Cisco used to have a dyslexic CEO (John Chambers), and over the years we’d heard from a range of employees who said that the company was well organized for employees with dyslexia.
I saw that both Cisco and Microsoft (who has been outspoken about meeting the needs of neurodiverse workforces), both use the Pearson VUE platform for test accommodations.
HERE is the page for Pearson VUE’s information about “Reasonable Accommodations.”
It was interesting to me that the requirements included testing within 5 years, both an IQ and Achievement test. The guidelines were explicit in mentioning that “tests that are designed and normed for use with adults”, presumably excluding prior tests using an IQ test such as the WISC that is normed only up to the age 16.
The requirements for additional testing may be burdensome from the cost perspective; it’s also surprising given the Department of Justice’s mention (see right) that “past testing accommodations in similar test settings is generally sufficient to support a request for the same testing accommodations for a current standardized exam or high-stakes tests.”