[IPAC-List] Test Anxiety and the ADA

Johnson, Thomas H. johnsont at CityofRochester.gov
Tue Sep 30 14:08:55 EDT 2014

RE: ". . . the request is for additional time on a substantially speeded test."

We try to be as flexible as possible in making test accommodations but I think the question of extending time on a speeded test requires consideration of reasonableness.

Our 911 entry tests include a listening/keying test, requiring candidates to input information in a prescribed format based on simulated emergency calls.  The computer takes candidates through the calls at a fixed pace.  I believe that honoring requests for additional time would not be "reasonable" due to (1) the cost of making adjustments to the computer program, (2) test validation based on the established time constraints (i.e., therefore, additional time would seriously undermine the validity of assumptions made about the test score), and (3) the main purpose of the test being to ensure that candidates can multi-task to listen, code, and input quickly and accurately, which is critical on the job.

You may want to look at your justification for using a substantially-speeded test and the consequences of providing additional time when considering the request for reasonable accommodation.

Often, providing additional time is reasonable, but there are situations where it may not be.

My two cents.


Thomas Johnson, HR Coordinator
City of Rochester
Department of Human Resource Management
30 Church Street (Room 103A)
Rochester NY 14614

Phone (585) 428-7242
Fax (585) 428-6651

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