Accommodations for Continuing Education (CE) Online Participants

FINRA has made every effort to make the CE Online Program as user friendly as possible for all participants, regardless of physical, sensory or cognitive ability.

In most cases, participants who have required accommodations in the past will no longer need to apply for accommodations when using the CE Online Program, which offers the following features:

  • Allows participants to complete the CE Regulatory Element using a personal or work computer in any location
  • Gives participants unlimited time during the 120-day enrollment window, as well as the ability to stop and resume a session and have the system bookmark their place
  • Provides participants with the freedom to use whatever assistive technologies they ordinarily use during the course of a regular day, including, but not limited to, the following:
    • Color contrast overlays or transparencies
    • Guide-line reader
    • Magnification lens or system that enhances visual function
    • Masking devices
    • Screen magnification
    • Adaptive and large print keyboards
    • Oversized track ball mouse

These kinds of assistive technologies do not require accommodations approval through FINRA.

NOTE: Text-to-speech technology is currently not supported by CE Online.

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If Additional Assistance is Required


FINRA recognizes that some CE participants may require additional assistance beyond what CE Online provides.

Participants or firms may choose to apply for an accommodation for reader, a recorder or both, if needed. FINRA offers the flexibility to use your own reader/recorder, as outlined below, to complete CE Online. If you believe that the below accommodations are not adequate in your specific case to complete CE Online, please contact FINRA’s Accommodations Team directly to make appropriate provisions by calling 800-999-6647 Option #2.

Readers

A reader is a human assistant who reads aloud to the participant during the CE Online session. The reader is permitted to read directions, learning material, questions and answer choices from the CE Online session.

The reader:

  • Must be able to effectively read aloud using the appropriate speed, tone and pace that is understandable by the CE participant
  • Must read the instructions and learning material word for word as presented on screen
  • Must read/describe what is exactly shown on graphs, charts and diagrams and must not explain or attempt to interpret what is depicted
  • Must not coach the participant, nor attempt to explain, clarify, elaborate, paraphrase or interpret, any of the instructions or CE learning material in any way

Recorders

A recorder is a human assistant who helps the participant operate the computer during the CE Online session. The recorder allows a participant to respond to the assessment activities, but the recorder does not alter the experience of the CE Online session. The recorder must only record the answer choices selected by the participant.

Unless the participant requires a reader as well, the recorder is not permitted to read content or instructions to the participant during the CE Online session.

If necessary, one person may serve as both reader and recorder. However, the requestor must specifically request to have the assistant serve in both roles. Additionally, the reader/recorder must meet the specific requirements set by FINRA.

Requirements for Readers and Recorders


FINRA requires that whoever serves as the reader and/or recorder uphold certain professional conduct and expectations. FINRA does not require that the reader and/or recorder be a registered representative. However, the reader or recorder must meet the following requirements:

  • Readers and recorders must be at least 18 years or older.
  • Readers and recorders must not be employed by or associated with organizations that develop or offer services related to securities industry CE programs or test prep services.
  • Readers and recorders must be proficient working with computers and Internet browsers.
  • Readers and recorders must maintain confidentiality during all stages of the administration. Assistants are reminded that disability matters are confidential and should be treated accordingly.
  • Readers and recorders must provide assistance to the participant in a discreet and confidential manner.
  • Readers and recorders must understand that CE materials, learning content, answers or solutions to the assessment activities (together, the CE content) must never be copied or shared, in whole or in part, with anyone for any reason. This includes reproducing CE content through memorization, copying, publishing or sharing via email, social media or other Internet technology.
  • Readers and recorders must act with honesty and integrity, and they must report any violations of the CE Online Rules of Conduct to FINRA’s Whistleblower hotline (1-866-96-FINRA or 1-866-963-4672).
  • Readers and recorders must remain impartial during the CE Online session.
  • Readers and recorders must not explain or attempt to interpret any of the instructions or learning materials. Reading and recording must be performed verbatim without clarifying, elaborating, interpreting or otherwise providing assistance with the meanings of words or answers.

FINRA also requires that the reader or recorder agree to the CE Assistant Attestation Form, which FINRA provides after it has approved the CE Accommodations Verification Request Form.

How to Request a Special Accommodation


To request a reader, a recorder or both for a CE Online session, the requestor must complete the following procedure.

  1. Have a licensed medical professional complete the CE Accommodations Verification Request Form. See Instructions for Licensed Medical Professionals.
  2. Sign and submit the CE Accommodations Verification Request Form to FINRA’s Accommodations Team via fax or email.

    FAX: (202) 303-3901
    Email: SARequest@finra.org

  3. FINRA will review the request and all supporting materials within 3 business days.
  4. Upon approval, FINRA will send the requestor the CE Assistant Attestation Form. The requestor must submit the completed CE Assistant Attestation Form to FINRA prior to initiating the CE session.
  5. FINRA will process the CE Assistant Attestation Form within 2 business days and will send a confirmation to the original requestor. The participant is then free to complete the CE Online session with the designated reader/recorder.

Safeguarding Your Privacy


Disclosing a disability is voluntary. FINRA understands that some participants have not made their firm or sponsoring organization aware of their disability status. For privacy reasons, a participant may wish to submit the request without notifying the firm or sponsor, and FINRA respects that decision. FINRA will not disclose any information related to a disability or a request for accommodation unless permitted by the participant or required by federal law.

The participant may request an accommodation, or their firm may request an accommodation on behalf of the participant with the participant’s approval. Throughout this process, FINRA will communicate directly with whoever submitted the accommodation request—whether that is the firm or the participant.

If the participant opts to maintain confidentiality, then the firm will receive no indication from FINRA that the participant has requested or received an accommodation. The Web CRD system will not record the accommodation request.