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ILLINOIS BOARD of ADMISSIONS to THE BAR

Nonstandard Testing Accommodation

Nonstandard testing accommodation (NTA) may be provided to qualified applicants with disabilities in connection with an Illinois bar examination to the extent such accommodation is reasonable, consistent with the nature and purpose of the examination, and necessitated, in each instance, by the disability of the applicant. The burden of proof is on the applicant to establish both the existence of a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the corresponding need for the specific NTA requested.

The ADA defines "disability" as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the individual's major life activities." "Substantially" means "considerable" or "specified to a large degree." Comparison to the average person in the general population is made when determining whether a disability substantially limits a major life activity. Additionally, the effects of corrective and mitigating measures, both positive and negative, will be considered in determining whether an applicant is substantially limited in a major life activity.

Under the ADA, the Board can require specific documentation to verify that an applicant is an individual for whom accommodations are required. The Board does this by requiring completion of various forms by the applicant and his or her medical or psychological authority, as well as by educational institutions, testing entities, and employers from whom the applicant has received NTA. Detailed diagnostic information and documentation is required, of course, from the applicant's medical or psychological authority.

Applicants must file fully completed NTA forms and supporting documents simultaneously with the paper portions of their applications. Any diagnosis or injury occurring after the final late filing deadline will NOT be accommodated in Nonstandard Testing under any circumstances. The forms and fees of those applicants will be carried forward to the next examination when proper and complete verification of accommodations requests can be made. All requests for nonstandard testing accommodations are submitted to an independent consulting expert of the Board for review and recommendation. After the final late filing deadline, there is simply not sufficient time for applicants to file proper NTA requests, to request and submit all of the proper forms from providers, employers and educational institutions, for the Board’s consulting experts to review all documentation and make recommendations, and then for the Board to make necessary arrangements for administering the exam with appropriate nonstandard testing accommodations.

Accordingly, applicants can obtain NTA forms and instructions at any time by visiting the information & applications page. The forms and instructions are also available with examination application forms during periods of time that bar examination registration is open.

 


 

Administrative Accommodation

 

An administrative accommodation provides a courtesy arrangement for applicants with certain health-related issues in standard test rooms following the standard testing schedule.  Applicants can obtain administrative accommodation information and request the form at any time by visiting the information & applications page. The forms and instructions are also available with examination forms during periods of time that bar examination registration is open. This form with medical documentation must be received by our office no later than February 1 for a February exam, and no later than July 1 for a July exam.