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ADA Testing Accommodation

POLICY


Applicants who request testing accommodations pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) must make the request on the ADA Accommodations Forms.  The Georgia Board of Bar Examiners (Board) administers the Bar Examination in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of disability against a qualified Applicant.  An Applicant who is otherwise eligible to take the Georgia Bar Examination may file a request for testing accommodations, if, by virtue of a disability, the Applicant cannot demonstrate under standard testing conditions that he or she possesses the essential skills and aptitudes that the Supreme Court of Georgia and the Board have determined are appropriate to require for Admission to the Practice of Law in Georgia.

USE OF LAPTOP COMPUTERS


Applicants who make the request for ADA accommodations and want to use a personal laptop computer to write the Essay and MPT portions of the Georgia Bar Examination MUST answer “YES” when completing the Bar Examination application when asked if they plan to use a laptop computer to write the MPT/Essay portions of the examination.  Only those applicants who select “YES” will receive Laptop Registration Information during the laptop registration period specified in the deadlines for that examination.   Applicants who do not receive the email notice outlined above within a reasonable amount of time after the published opening date for Laptop Registration should call the Office of Bar Admissions to confirm his or her eligibility to receive Laptop Registration Information. Laptop Registration for the February Exam will begin in December and in mid-May for the July Exam. The published Laptop Registration deadline WILL NOT be extended. If you have already submitted your Bar Examination application and selected “NO” to the laptop question above and have now decided to take a portion of the examination on laptop, you must contact the Office of Bar Admissions.  Laptop testing for the Georgia Bar Examination will be administered using the ExamSoft World Wide, Inc. SofTest software. 

DEFINITIONS


The American with Disabilities Act provides comprehensive civil rights protection for qualified individuals with disabilities.  An individual with a disability is a person who: (1) Has a physical impairment  or a mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, (2) Has a record of such an impairment, or (3) Is regarded as having such an impairment.

A qualified individual with a disability means an Applicant with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to Rules, Policies or Practices; the removal of architectural, communication or transportation barriers; or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for Admission to the Practice of Law in Georgia.

Major life activities include functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.  An individual who currently uses illegal drugs is not protected by the ADA when a decision not to provide accommodations is made based upon his/her current illegal use of drugs.

Physical impairment means any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organ, respiratory (including speech organs), cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine.

Mental impairment shall mean any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.

Reasonable accommodations mean an adjustment or modification of the standard testing conditions that ameliorates the impact of the Applicant’s disability without doing any of the following: (1) Fundamentally altering the nature of the examination or the Board’s ability to determine through the Bar Examination whether the Applicant possesses the essential skills and aptitudes that the Supreme Court of Georgia and the Board have determined are appropriate to require for Admission to the Practice of Law in Georgia, (2) Imposing an undue burden on the Board, (3) Compromising the security of the Bar Examination, or (4) Compromising the integrity, the reliability, or the validity of the Bar Examination.

PROCEDURE


A request for testing accommodations shall be on forms prescribed by the Board.  The REQUIRED FORMS are detailed below.  You may print and copy the forms as many times as necessaryNOTE:  EVEN IF YOU WERE APPROVED FOR ACCOMMODATIONS FOR A PRIOR EXAM, YOU MUST SUBMIT FORM “A”  IF YOU WISH TO RECEIVE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR A SUBSEQUENT EXAM. Click here to access the ADA Testing Accommodation forms.

  •      *Petition for Testing Accommodations  -  FORM A  (Must be completed by the Applicant).
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    •      *Certificate of Medical/Psychological Authority  -   FORM B  (Must be completed by a Physician, Psychologist or Professional licensed to diagnose and treat your disability).
      NOTE: Your petition for accommodations WILL NOT be considered if FORM B is not completed by provider and returned to the Office of Bar Admissions by the posted deadline. Please note that the reviewing consultant requires recent testing and/or evaluations to be submitted with Form B--typically within the past 5 years with regard to attention/learning/psychological disabilities and within the past 1 year with regard to physical/visual/hearing disabilities.
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    •      *Certificate of Accommodations - FORM C (Must be completed by an Official of your undergraduate or graduate institution, an Official of a national standardized examination, e.g.  ACT; SAT; or LSAT, on which you received testing accommodations, or an Employer who provided you with accommodations).
      NOTE: You MUST copy and complete FORM C as many times necessary to send to each school, testing entity or workplace where you received accommodations.
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    •      *Authorization for Release of Information  -  FORM D  (For release of records from the Applicant’s medical and/or psychological authorities for the purpose of determining whether the Applicant is a qualified individual with a disability).
      NOTE: You MUST copy and complete FORM D as many times necessary to send to each provider. 

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF ADA FORMS


Bar Examination Deadline
February December 1
July May 1

The REQUIRED FORMS and associated documentation MUST be received in the Office of Bar Admissions by the deadline posted above.  Failure to provide all documentation by the deadline may result in you not being considered for the accommodations requested. Click here to access the ADA Testing Accommodation forms. 

MAIL ALL FORMS, DOCUMENTATION, AND CORRESPONDENCE TO:

Leigh Burgess, Assistant Director
Office of Bar Admissions  
244 Washington Street, SW 
Suite 440 
Atlanta, GA  30334

If you have any questions about the Board's Testing Accommodations Policy, contact Leigh Burgess at (404) 656-4217.