After the candidate makes a request for a testing accommodation and submits the necessary supporting documentation, ABIM conducts an evaluation of the request.
Review of the Requested Accommodation
ABIM will conduct a review of the impairment and testing accommodation requested. This review is conducted at no expense to the candidate.
After reviewing the supporting documentation, ABIM may need to request additional information to verify the existence of a disability and the need for a testing accommodation.
ABIM cannot delay administration of an examination pending submission of any missing documentation. In addition, in some cases, ABIM may require an independent review. Therefore, if, in ABIM’s judgment, it is not clear whether a candidate is disabled or whether a requested accommodation is needed, ABIM may engage an outside expert at its own expense to review all submitted documentation and to render an opinion.
ABIM's review will entail an assessment of the following issues:
- Does the candidate have a disability? In other words, does the candidate have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities as compared to most people in the general population?
- Will the candidate’s disability prevent the results of the applied-for examination from accurately reflecting the candidate’s medical knowledge or clinical judgment or other factor the examination measures?
- Would provision of the requested accommodation enable the results of the applied-for examination to accurately reflect the candidate’s medical knowledge or clinical judgment or other factor the examination measures?
- Would the requested accommodation fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge the examination is intended to test, or would it impose an undue burden on ABIM?
- If ABIM cannot provide the requested accommodation of a candidate with a disability, are there alternative accommodations that can be made available to the candidate?
The determination of each of these issues will be made in accordance with applicable provisions of the ADA and any applicable state or local laws and regulations.
Notification of Approval or Refusal
Upon completing its review of a candidate’s request for an accommodation and all supporting documentation, ABIM will notify the candidate in writing of its determination regarding the requested accommodation and the basis for that determination.
Whether a given testing modification is appropriate will be evaluated based on the candidate's impairment and the individual circumstances of the candidate's case, taking into account the candidate's specific limitations and needs.
If it is determined that a requested modification would fall into either of these categories, ABIM will contact the candidate to determine whether some other form of modification will satisfy their needs.
Will my current accommodation be granted for future exams?
Once granted, a testing accommodation will be offered for any future examination administration. To request the same accommodation you should reapply for an ABIM-approved accommodation.
Why was my accommodation declined?
ABIM is unable to accommodate individuals who are not disabled. Further, as a matter of fairness to all candidates and consistent with ADA principles, ABIM is unable to grant requests that would:
- Fundamentally alter the measurement of the skills or knowledge that a particular examination is intended to test.
- Result in an undue burden on ABIM.
If your request for accommodation is declined, ABIM will explain the reason for its denial in writing.
My accommodation was granted. What are my next steps?
Once an accommodation is granted, the Special Exams Coordinator will tell you how to schedule the seat.
My accommodation was declined. What are my next steps?
If ABIM declines to accommodate the candidate because it has concluded that the requested accommodation either constitutes a fundamental alteration or an undue burden, ABIM will notify the candidate of any available alternative methods of accommodation which it is prepared to offer. If no alternative accommodations can be identified by ABIM, it will inform the candidate of this fact and invite the candidate to identify any other form of testing accommodation that they wish to be considered.
Requests for Reconsideration
If a candidate is dissatisfied with ABIM's determination concerning their request for accommodation, the candidate may request a reconsideration of the determination. To do so, the candidate must send a letter to ABIM stating in detail why the candidate believes the determination was incorrect. The candidate should include with this letter any additional documentation that the candidate wishes ABIM to consider. Requests for reconsideration must be received by ABIM within 60 calendar days of the date appearing on ABIM's written determination concerning the candidate’s request for accommodation. Requests for reconsideration should be emailed to:
Special Exams Coordinator
Requests for reconsideration will be reviewed by the leadership of ABIM. Upon review, ABIM may grant or deny the request or seek additional information from the requesting candidate.
If a request for reconsideration is successfully resolved after the applicable registration deadline, ABIM cannot guarantee that the candidate will be able to sit for the current examination with an accommodation, particularly when the accommodation requires time-intensive preparation, such as special formatting. In such cases, registered candidates are welcome to sit for the examination in the current administration without accommodation or to request a refund for the examination fee.