THE BOARD OF LAW EXAMINERS OF THE
STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA POLICY FOR
SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS FOR DISABLED APPLICANTS
The Petition and all supporting medical and testing documentation must be filed by the applicable deadline as ONE COMPLETE PACKET. Piecemeal submissions are not acceptable.
February 2014 Exam = First Tuesday in December (December 3, 2013)
July 2014 Exam = First Tuesday in May (May 6, 2014)
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PETITION FOR SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS HAS A SEPARATE FILING DEADLINE FROM THE GENERAL APPLICATION. THE GENERAL APPLICATION IS DUE BY THE DATES LISTED UNDER BAR EXAM DEADLINES.
It is the policy of the Board of Law Examiners of the State of
North Carolina to administer the bar examination in accordance with the
Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADA), and to provide reasonable
accommodations for qualified disabled applicants including persons with
learning disabilities and persons with health impairments. The bar examination will
be administered to all qualified eligible applicants in a manner that does not
discriminate against those applicants with disabilities.
Persons needing special accommodations on examinations should make written request to the Board to obtain the necessary information, procedures and written forms. Appropriate current documentation is required by the Board with each petition submitted.
Upon written petition to the Board the manner in which the examination is administered to an applicant may be modified, provided such modifications do not result in a fundamental alteration to the examination or other admission requirements, impose an undue burden, or jeopardize the security or integrity of the examination.
An applicant must submit a written request for special testing accommodations on forms prescribed by the Board no later than the first Tuesday in December for the February examination and the first Tuesday in May for the July examination. Relief from the filing deadline may be granted for good cause which shall be shown by proof of a substantial and material change in the applicant's condition from the condition that the applicant possessed prior to the deadlines set out above. Requests for test accommodations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Applicants must submit a current medical verification prepared by a licensed professional qualified to diagnose such disability, which provides information on the diagnosed disability or impairment, the applicant's current level of impairment, and the rationale for the accommodations requested on the bar examination. The Board may have this medical verification reviewed by a licensed professional retained by the Board to verify the nature and extent of any disability or impairment.
In addition to the medical verification the Board may require the applicant to provide additional information in support of applicant's request. This information may include but is not limited to information concerning special accommodations provided during the applicant's high school, undergraduate and law school education and certification from official representatives of the school(s) where such accommodations were provided.
Accommodations granted elsewhere do not necessarily entitle an applicant to accommodations on the bar examination, although considerable weight is given to documentation relating to past accommodations received in similar testing situations or in response to an IEP or Section 504 plan.
The Board may also require the applicant at the applicant's own
expense to undergo a physical examination to be conducted by a licensed
professional designated by the Board verifying the nature and extent of the
The Board may rely upon the opinion of the licensed professional(s) retained or designated by the Board in determining whether and/or to what extent to grant the applicant's request.
1. Disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the applicant. In the bar examination setting, the impairment must limit an applicant’s ability to demonstrate, under standard testing conditions, that the applicant possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities tested on the bar examination.
2. Physical Impairment is a physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the body’s systems.
3. Mental Impairment is any mental or psychological disorder such as intellectual disability (formerly termed “mental retardation”), organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, or any specific learning disability.
4. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
5. Reasonable accommodation is an adjustment or modification of the standard testing conditions, or an appropriate auxiliary aid or service, that ameliorates the impact of the applicant’s disability without doing any of the following:
a. fundamentally altering the nature of the bar examination, including but not limited to compromising the validity or reliability of the examination; or
b. imposing an undue burden on the Board of Law Examiners; or
c. jeopardizing examination integrity or security.
6. Qualified professional is a licensed physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other health care provider who has appropriate training in the field related to the applicant’s disability.
GENERAL STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES
the nature and extent of an applicant's disability, the exam may be
administered to the applicant in a separate room at the examination site.
2. Applicants assigned to a separate testing room will be monitored by the Board's staff.
3. The Board may provide at the request of a blind or sight impaired applicant the MBE in Braille or in large print provided such request is made at least 90 days in advance. The Board may also provide the essay in Braille or in large print with at least 60 days notice.
4. The applicant may choose and use the services of a special assistant. This person may not provide substantive assistance to the applicant, but may read the essay and/or the MBE questions to the applicant. The special assistant may type or write the applicant's answers to the essay questions and fill in the MBE answer sheet at the applicant's direction.
a. If the applicant chooses to use a special assistant the applicant must provide background information regarding the special assistant to the Board. The special assistant shall not have any legal related employment or education.
b. The Executive Director must approve the special assistant.
may allow a disabled applicant additional time to complete the MBE and the
essay portions of the examination. The additional time shall not extend past
the designated day as prescribed for each portion of the
examination. Rest breaks may also be allowed.
6. An applicant seeking special testing accommodations due to a learning disability, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD) or a similar type disability or disorder, must provide appropriate documentation provided by a licensed professional qualified to diagnose such disability including but not limited to a licensed physician, learning disability specialist or psychologist.
a. The documentation must:
-include the testing procedures followed, the tests used to assess the disability, the tests results and an interpretation of the test results.
-reflect the individual's present achievement level, be as comprehensive as possible and be dated no more than three years prior to the request for special testing accommodations.
-include test results for at the least the following characteristics: intelligence, capillary reading rate, reading comprehension, spelling, mathematical comprehension, memory and processing skills if applicable for that particular disability.
b. Prior to consideration of this request an analysis of the documentation will be assessed by the Board's expert on learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD or similar disability or disorder.
shall determine the security measures necessary to ensure that any special
testing accommodations approved under this policy do not compromise the
security or integrity of the examination or the integrity of the applicant's
Revised October 18, 1995
Revised August 22, 1996
Revised September 7, 2011
I. REQUESTS FOR SPECIAL TESTING ACCOMMODATIONS
A. REGULAR REQUESTS
1. A regular request for special testing accommodations shall be on forms prescribed by the Board and shall consist of the following:
a. A petition for special accommodations including a description of the applicant's disability and the special accommodations requested;
b. A declaration from an appropriately qualified medical or psychological authority certifying the nature and extent of the disability; attesting to the need for the requesting accommodations, and explaining why the requested accommodations are necessary;
c. A statement of an official of each law school that provided special accommodations to the applicant while the applicant attended the law school.
The applicant may file any additional documentation in support of the request.
2. The petition for special testing accommodations shall be filed by the applicant by the applicable deadlines.
B. EMERGENCY REQUESTS
applicant may file an emergency request for special accommodations
after the applicable deadline if all of the following conditions are met:
applicant's application to take the bar examination was timely
filed and completed in all other respects;
b. At the
time of the filing of the application the applicant did not have
c. After acquiring the disability the applicant promptly submitted both of the following:
i. An emergency request on forms prescribed by the Board providing the date and circumstances under which the disability arose.
ii. A complete request for special testing accommodations.
C. AVAILABILITY OF
All forms necessary to complete a regular or emergency request for special testing accommodations shall be available at no charge from the office of the Board of Law Examiners.
II. BOARD DECISIONS
A. PROCEDURES FOR REVIEW OF REQUEST
1. The Executive Director shall review all requests for special testing accommodations that are properly filed in accordance with the Board's policy. Requests that are not timely filed, that are incomplete, or that otherwise do not comply with the requirements of this policy may be rejected from consideration. An applicant may be requested to submit additional information in support of the request. The Board may seek the assistance of a medical, psychological or other authority of the Board's choosing in reviewing a request.
2. In reviewing a regular request the following procedures will be observed:
a. After a determination is made, the applicant will be notified in writing at the address provided by the applicant on the petition.
b. If a
request is denied, the applicant will be notified in writing at the address
provided by the applicant on the petition. The denial shall
include a statement of reasons for denial.
c. The applicant may appeal to the Board the denial of a petition or the granting of a petition with different accommodations than requested. The appeal shall be filed within ten days of the applicant's receipt of the notice of denial or notice of accommodations approved. The appeal shall be conducted on the basis of the record and the applicant shall be limited to a written argument in support of the appeal.
d. The Board shall affirm, reverse or modify the decision of the Executive Director and prepare a written ruling with reasons for the decision. A copy of the Board's decision will be sent to the applicant at the address provided by the applicant on the request. The Board's decision on appeal shall be final.
3. In reviewing an emergency request the following procedures will be observed:
a. Before deciding the merits of an emergency request, it shall first be determined by the Executive Director whether the request qualifies as an emergency request under the Board's policy. If it does not qualify as an emergency, the Board may deny the request.
b. The request may be denied if it is not practicable in the time remaining before the examination:
i. To arrange special accommodations that would provide testing conditions that are reasonable and comparable to those conditions provided to other applicants; or
ii. For the Board to take all steps reasonable and necessary for it to reach a fair determination on the merits of the request before the examination.
c. A determination shall be made on the emergency request and the applicant will be notified of the determination as soon as reasonable.
d. The decision on an emergency request shall be final and is not appealable.