Disability Evaluation for Accommodation on Licensing Exams Based on the ADA: Why Do Clinicians Fail to Adopt a Forensic Perspective?

  • John D. RanseenEmail author
  • Timothy Allen


The legal basis for receiving exam accommodation within postsecondary educational environments, on university entrance exams and licensing exams, is the ADA. Even when evaluations are conducted to recommend accommodation on licensing exams, where a clear forensic perspective should be the norm, this perspective is not routinely adopted. To explain why the gap between suggested and actual practice continues to be so wide, these types of accommodation-focused evaluations are contrasted with two other areas of forensic evaluation practice, competency to stand trial and worker’s compensation disability, for which a forensic perspective is the norm. Factors influencing the lack of forensic perspective adopted in accommodation-focused assessments include general problems with current clinical practice, the lack of a set of clearly defined forensic guidelines for performing these evaluations, the ongoing confusion regarding the standard for disability determination under the ADA, and the difficulty of obtaining evidence that would directly support the provision or denial of specific exam accommodations.


Disability ADA Exam accommodations 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Both authors currently work as consultants for multiple testing organizations reviewing documentation submitted on behalf of applicants requesting accommodation.

Informed Consent

This article involved no human experimentation or need for informed consent.

Animal Rights

No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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