Zach’s Story: Navigating Test Accommodations

Sep 30, 2020

[Subtitles available in English & Spanish | Subtítulos disponibles en español y inglés]

Video Description Link:

Video Description:
Text insert appears: Zachary’s Story, Navigating Test Accommodations. A white man signs.
The first test took place when the second year of school was ending and it was a knowledge assessment of what we had learned in those prior two years, which was a lot. It was a comprehensive test. I think it was an 8-hour test with 400 questions, I believe. Was it 400? It was something like that. There were 2, 3 maybe more like 4-5 questions that were related to audio, such as listening to a heart rhythm. I wasn’t sure how to do that.
After doing some research, I had to fill out request forms in order to use my cochlear implant during the test – I do use one. Filling out the forms was required because my school was very strict about what could and couldn’t be brought into the testing room to prevent students from cheating. For example, some students would put tiny earpieces in their ears and listen to the answers being fed by someone else in another room. Even watches and rings were forbidden because they could contain answers, so you couldn’t wear anything at all like that in the testing room
They accepted my request for using my cochlear implant for the audio part of the test, but there were only two audio-related questions and it was awkward wearing headphones over my cochlear implant, so my strategy was just to look for hints and clues and that’s what I did at that time.
For the second test, I had to go to Pennsylvania and they had an examination room set up with 12 simulated patients, which took all day. The purpose was to test your skills to see if you could conduct proper physicals and other medical examinations.
I requested an interpreter for this, and that was a little bit of a challenge, going back and forth with the school about that, but it all worked out in the end. They said, however, because I requested an interpreter and I had accommodations, that meant if I pass the test, I would get a ‘P’ for ‘Pass’, but with an ‘O’ below followed by the statement, “For more information on the ‘O’ being received, please contact us.” I had a discussion with them about it as I was reluctant to do it. I wondered, when my prospective employers review my application, they would see the ‘O’, they may think something is wrong. It should not be there.
Anyway, I didn’t have any interaction with the interpreter before that test and the interaction I did have with the interpreter was curt. Every time I left the room, a CART provider would have 10 minutes to document what happened with the patient and the interpreter was required to leave the room.
The interpreter was not allowed to voice for me, so I had to voice myself the whole time. There were a few words that I found myself struggling to enunciate. I gave up and asked the interpreter to voice them for me. They were up in arms about that. That was when I learned I was not allowed to do that. I had to voice everything I said myself.  I had to change some of the words I said to be clearer, such as the word ‘allergies’, instead I would say, “Is there anything you can’t take?” The patient would understand me just fine and they were able to answer my questions.
Throughout the day I had no interaction with the interpreters. They would stand in the room and interpret during the test and then leave once the test was complete. The CART provider did the same. It was a stressful day, but I passed.
I passed, and I’m happy about that. I haven’t taken my third test yet, which will take place in February. It’s the same idea, but it’s a two-day test with 8 hours a day.
Video Description:
NDC Logo appears above text, black lettering on a white background:
“This video was developed under a jointly-funded grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) #HD326D160001. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the positions or policies of the federal government.”
Next to it, three logos appear. The first reads “IDEAs that Work” with an arrow drawing a circle from “IDEAs” to “Work” and the words “U.S. Office of Special Education Programs”. The second logo shows a red-and-blue star with text next to it that reads “TA&D”. The third logo shows a blue circle around a tree. In the blue circle are the words “U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.”

Do you have questions? Email us at: [email protected]

© National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes
Video licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International

Save This
ClosePlease login
Topic(s): eLearning
Type of Resource: Videos

Need Help?

Fill out this form to get help from the NDC team.  Can’t see the form below? Click here to contact the NDC team.