Students requesting accommodations are required to contact the Office of Student Affairs and complete a formal application detailing the nature of the problem and the specific reason for seeking accommodations. For those with a previous medical or learning history, supportive documentation verified through professional sources will be requested. Accommodations may also include a request for time-limited assistance in cases of illness or injury. All approved accommodation requests will be re-directed to the OASC and to the appropriate course leaders.
The Office of Student Affairs, in consultation with the Office of Academic Support and Counseling, uses its discretion and evaluates each case individually in approving accommodations for students, as not all students facing academic problems or difficulties qualify for such provisions.
Accommodations provided to students who do qualify include but are not limited to a separate testing space and extended time during an exam. A student may be seated with other students approved for additional time. Additional lighting, visual aids, and other types of considerations may be granted depending on the identified problem.
Students with Disabilities as Defined by the ADA
The Albert Einstein College of Medicine admits qualified students with disabilities in accordance with the requirements of Section 504 in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In cases of disability, documentation of disability is required. Our definition of "disability" is in accordance with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) 1990 guidelines in which a person with a disability has "mental or physical impairment that significantly limits major life activities such as walking, hearing, seeing, and learning." The specific guidelines are outlined in the student bylaws of the Einstein Committee on Student Promotions and Professional Standards http://blog.myalbert.einstein.yu.edu/studentaffairs/important-links/#policies. Please refer to the section on Illnesses, Disabilities and Disabling Conditions in the Bylaws for more information.
Students with Diagnosed Learning Disorders
Students with documented learning disorders as described in the current DSM may also apply for exam accommodations. As part of the application process, a recent evaluation (within three years prior to their enrollment in the medical school) conducted by a licensed/trained professional is necessary. Testing reports will be reviewed through the OASC and, if necessary, subsequent testing may be requested or advised. Students will be referred to a specialist through our offices for a learning evaluation. If a student prefers to independently arrange for a learning evaluation, prior approval of the assessor and assessment is required.
Time-Limited Exam Accommodations
In addition, students may also request temporary (time-limited) exam accommodations under special circumstances. Students who are, for example, recovering from a major surgical procedure or are facing complications associated with pregnancy may be granted extended time. Requests need to be made at least one month in advance of the exam date and supportive documentation (i.e., note from a physician) is required, at a minimum. Cases that are unforeseen, acute, or occur in close proximity to the exam date need to be reported as soon as it is feasibly possible so they may be addressed expeditiously. Approval for such accommodations will be granted by the Office of Student Affairs in conjunction with the Office of Academic Support and Counseling.
FAQ about Accommodations
How do I apply for exam accommodations for all my exams?
The process begins by meeting with the Office of Student Affairs to discuss the nature and history of the problem. You will be required to complete an Accommodation Request Questionnaire (ARQ), a release of information form, and provide supportive and/or relevant documentation. Each request is carefully reviewed; it is not retroactive and is subject to change over the course of a student's medical training. Submitted documents are kept on file in the Office of Student Affairs, Please note that the USMLE exams (Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS) have separate, independent applications for requesting extended time and a student interested in requesting accommodations will work directly with the offices of the United States Medical Licensing Examination/National Board of Medical Examiners. Information about applying for accommodtions is available at http://www.usmle.org/.
How do I apply for time-limited accommodations?
In cases of time-limited accommodations, supportive documentation (i.e., note from a physician) for the problem should be submitted to the Office of Student Affairs at least one month prior to the date of the exam. Sudden, unexpected, acute, or unforeseen circumstances can be presented and discussed with the office. A note from a physician is not a guarantee that a student will receive time-limited accommodations. Requests and approvals for time-limited accommodations will be ultimately approved by the Office of Student Affairs .
Do all learning difficulties and/or problems qualify for extended time?
No, they do not. Each case is handled independently and all factors (previous learning history/academic record) and reasons for the current request are carefully evaluated. Students with specific concerns about their approach to medical school exams should schedule a visit with the Office of Academic Support and Counseling.