Arrangements for Candidates with Disabilities

An Overview

FINRA in compliance with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides testing modifications and aids to candidates with disabilities and/or learning impairments that substantially limit a major life activity (e.g., learning, speaking, hearing, vision). FINRA makes arrangements to offer examinations/sessions in a place and manner appropriate to persons with disabilities according to the ADA.

 

The candidate must be able to provide professional documentation/clinical diagnostic data confirming the diagnosis of a disability. The candidate must complete and submit the FINRA Special Accommodations Eligibility Questionnaire and Special Accommodations Verification Request Form. If the appropriate forms are not completed, the request cannot be considered. While candidates are free to suggest any sort of accommodation, all are advised that FINRA will make the final decision on a case-by-case basis based on what accommodation(s) can be provided.  FINRA’s process for determining appropriate accommodations provides for the flexibility or customization to accommodate special needs.

 

Note: Candidates with transitory or temporary conditions that are not "impairments or disabilities" (e.g., pregnancy, sprains, fractures) are not eligible for special testing accommodations under the ADA. Those in need of accommodations should contact FINRA for information about a possible special testing arrangement that can be handled on a case-by-case basis.

 


 

What Aids or Services Can Be Provided?

All testing sites are wheelchair accessible for persons with disabilities.

 

Modifications for testing arrangements to facilitate the use of the wheelchair as requested by the candidates (e.g., desks with appropriate height) are available.

 

Auxiliary aids or services that can be requested by candidates with disabilities include but are not limited to:

  • Extra Examination/CE Session Administration Time
  • A Reader/Recorder (to provide visual and/or computer navigational assistance)
  • Large Print Examination Booklet
  • Private testing room

Where feasible, the examination/CE session will be provided during normal business hours at the nearest convenient testing center.

 


 

FINRA Special Accommodations Forms

The Special Accommodations Eligibility Questionnaire must be completed by the candidate or the registration/compliance department of the sponsoring firm. The Special Accommodations Verification Request Form must be completed by a professional who is licensed or whose credentials are appropriate to diagnose and treat the candidate's disability as well as make recommendations for appropriate testing accommodations.

 

FINRA will review the documentation and the professional's recommendation to determine whether it is reasonable, appropriate, and will not alter the fundamental nature and purpose of the examination. FINRA may need to contact the professional in order to gain additional information about the nature of the candidate's disability and the candidate's testing needs. Based on this diagnosis and the associated recommendations, FINRA will consider the need for modification (e.g., extra time, reader) to the standard testing conditions. Thereafter, FINRA will notify the candidate or member firm in writing as to what special accommodation, if any, can be provided.

 

Credentialed/licensed professionals (e.g., psychologist, psychiatrist, physician) submitting the documentation and completing the Special Accommodations Verification Request Form must have knowledge of the candidate's specific disability and current functioning. The qualified professional should also have a "professional/clinical relationship" with the candidate, having treated and/or consulted with the candidate within the last five (5) years.

 

Documentation (e.g., professional reports/evaluations) of the existence and/or history of the disability must accompany the request for the special testing arrangements. Persons with emotional or psychological disorders must submit documentation from an appropriate mental health professional and include a diagnosis from the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual Disorders (DSM).

 

The DSM is a complete psychological/psychoeducational report and identification of all professionally recognized standardized tests/assessments given to confirm the diagnosis. Persons with learning disabilities must provide a DSM diagnosis or another diagnosis from appropriate tests such as the Woodcock-Johnson or Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). A copy of the complete psychoeducational evaluation report on the standardized assessments for learning disabilities must be provided. All subtests and total scores must be reported. No request will be considered without the complete reporting of standardized assessments administered.

 

Documentation submitted (e.g., psychoeducational reports, test/assessment results) should be no more than five (5) years old. If the documentation is more than (5) years old the candidate will be instructed to have an appropriate professional update the evaluation to reconfirm the diagnosis. Any documentation submitted must establish the candidate's current functioning and need for testing accommodation.

The applicant is responsible for the cost of providing the documentation of the disability; however, there is no cost to the candidate for any modifications or auxiliary aids or services during or associated with the examination administration.

 

Please Note: All documentation and forms submitted are confidential. Information contained in these documents will be used solely for the determination of special accommodations. No information will be released to anyone without the written consent of the candidate.

 

If you have further questions, please contact FINRA at (800) 999-6647, Option #2.

 


 

Instructions To The Licensed Professional Completing The Form

You must be a licensed or qualified professional whose credentials are appropriate to diagnose and evaluate the candidate's disability. You are asked to make recommendations that are reasonable and appropriate for the candidate's disability in taking a computerized test. Your recommended accommodations should not fundamentally alter the measurement of the knowledge and skills that the examination is intended to assess. Your recommendations will be considered, but are not binding.

 

You must have diagnosed, treated/evaluated, or consulted with the candidate within the last five (5) years and you must have knowledge of the candidate's current functioning with the disability. The accommodations you recommend are based on your professional knowledge of the candidate and his or her disability.

 

You and the candidate should consult, and come to agreement as to the appropriate and reasonable accommodation(s) needed for the examination.

 

With the Special Accommodations Verification Request, please be sure to enclose copies of records/reports/evaluations/assessments that confirm the diagnosis. This documentation may be no more than five (5) years old. A copy of the professional report on the standardized psychoeducational assessments given to identify a learning or related disability must be provided for those so diagnosed. Test scores and their interpretation must be discussed in the report.

 

You must provide a DSM-III or DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) Report; a diagnosis from other appropriate and professionally recognized, psychological or standardized educational assessment/evaluation (e.g., Woodcock-Johnson, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Nelson-Denny Reading Test) is also acceptable.

 

In the case of a psychological disorder (other than a specific learning disability) where no formal testing has been done, please include a psychological report that confirms the disability. Due to the sensitive nature of information this report may contain, you can prepare a profile summary that provides sufficient detail. The report should confirm the means by which the disability diagnosis was made, describe the candidate's current functioning, and confirm the need for testing accommodations. The report must be typed and presented on the professional's stationery/letterhead. The report should include the following information:

  1. Date of evaluation/observation;
  2. Date of report;
  3. Reasons for referral;
  4. Brief overview of general observations and identification of those behaviors which meet the DSM criteria for diagnosis;
  5. History of the course of the disability and current functioning;
  6. Any test results;
  7. Multiaxial format for DSM codes or listed diagnoses;
  8. Recommendations. The report should provide sufficient information to confirm the existence of the disability and establish the need for testing accommodation.