Revised April 18, 2016
- An accommodations website for candidates, providing them with accommodations request forms, documentation guidelines, FAQs, etc.
- Assurance that all candidate records are kept confidentially and securely to meet HIPAA and FERPA compliance standards.
- A rigorous Appeals process for candidates who are not approved for accommodations (which protects candidates as well as test sponsor), including subcontracting to independent external experts to do a second-opinion review of appealed cases.
- Includes a staff and consulting pool of Doctoral-level disability specialists, who are nationally-recognized experts in the field, as well as intake specialists, candidate/customer service staff, and bilingual staff.
- Paradigm maintains accommodations webpages with all instructions, forms, and guidelines for candidates.
- Paradigm collects accommodations requests and supporting documentation from candidates; ensures all required documentation has been submitted; we reach out to candidates if not complete.
- Paradigm provides all customer service to accommodations candidates, including answering general or specific questions about the process, and questions from professionals who are working with them such as doctors and psychologists.
- Paradigm proactively reaches out to candidates, as needed, to ensure that their accessibility needs will be met, gathering more information from candidates if there are concerns or questions.
Process: Making a decision
- Paradigm’s experts review candidate accommodations requests and supporting documentation using policies and procedures that meet industry best-practices and are consistent with the ADA, and that are endorsed by the client.
- Paradigm consults with professional and legal resources, as needed, including a panel of nationally-recognized disability experts in fields such as psychology, low vision/blindness, deaf and hard-of-hearing, ADHD, learning disabilities, and physical disorders.
- Paradigm follows client-provided guidelines to make recommendations to client about appropriate accommodations decisions.
- Client has the final decision on accommodations, but has the ability to leverage Paradigm’s expertise in guiding those decisions to meet industry- and legal best-practices.
- Paradigm accommodations staff and consulting experts stay up-to-date on industry best-practices, new technologies, new laws, new measurement tools for diagnosing disabilities, etc. by attending workshops, training courses, conferences, and other advanced learning programs.
- Paradigm staff expertise helps ensure that accommodations decisions will meet the access needs of candidates with disabilities, while at the same time balancing legal requirements, test-security considerations, and test-validity concerns.
- Paradigm communicates the accommodations decision to candidates.
- Paradigm answers follow-up questions from candidates.
- Paradigm handles all subsequent accommodations submissions (e.g., candidate provides additional documentation for consideration).
- Paradigm manages a rigorous Appeals Process using industry experts to provide second opinions.
- Paradigm helps ensure that accommodations can be successfully implemented by the test-delivery vendor—or if not, work with the candidate and/ or client to develop an out-of-the-box solution.
- Paradigm experts are available for additional consultation as needed.
Client set-up and training
Paradigm provides either half-day or full-day onsite training/consultation to new clients, which includes:
- Discussion of how the process works, from each party’s perspective (client, candidate, Paradigm, and test-delivery vendor)
- Discussion of roles and responsibilities for each party
- Review of client’s accommodations webpages and language regarding accessibility, and client’s other policies and procedures around accommodations, to ensure consistency with Paradigm’s approach and legal requirements
- Discussion about accommodations and other adjustments that the client can/won’t allow
- Discussion of “hot topics” in the field of accommodations, accessibility, assistive technologies, and disability law as these apply to high-stakes testing.
- Specific training on use of the .sftp site for client sign-off of accommodations decisions