Test Accommodations


NBEO will provide reasonable test accommodations to all qualified candidates in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Candidates should be aware that a diagnosis of impairment, by itself, is not sufficient to warrant test accommodations. There also must be compelling evidence that a candidate has a substantial limitation in a major life activity when compared with the average person in the general population. It is the candidate’s functional limitations that will determine the appropriateness of any test accommodations.

To request accommodations, candidates must complete the Request for Test Accommodations Form. Candidates should submit the completed form to NBEO by email at accommodations@optometry.org.

Candidates should additionally submit a report from a qualified professional that substantiates the requested accommodations and demonstrates the candidate’s functional limitations. More information about what should be included in the report can be found in the Documentation Guidelines for Psychoeducational Evaluations.

In addition, candidates typically will be asked to furnish a letter from their optometry school that delineates the accommodations that they are receiving in optometry school, and the month/year that those accommodations began. Candidates may also be asked to furnish evidence of accommodations received prior to optometry school.

Further, candidates typically will be asked to furnish their OAT scores; if a candidate had accommodations when taking the OAT, documentation of the provided accommodation(s) will be requested. Candidates may also be asked to provide SAT/ACT scores and/or school transcripts and may be asked to provide a personal statement to explain why they are seeking accommodations and to address any gaps in their documentation.

NBEO reserves the right to obtain, and typically does obtain, an expert psycho-educational professional’s review of a candidate’s disability information.

NBEO will notify candidates by email regarding the outcome of a test accommodation request.

Pearson VUE has a list of items that are considered to be comfort aids and do not require accommodations; this list can be found by clicking here. Comfort aids will be subject to inspection at the test center. Candidates who want to bring any item into the testing room that is not on the Pearson VUE list should have prior approval through the test accommodation process. Any candidate who needs to bring into the testing room supplies related to diabetes should contact NBEO about securing accommodations.

Candidates should note that they must complete the Request for Test Accommodations Form for every exam and every exam administration for which they are requesting accommodations. Candidates who received accommodations on a previous NBEO exam generally do not need to resubmit their supporting documentation, but still need to submit the Request for Test Accommodations Form.


Exams administered at Pearson Vue
For NBEO computer-based examinations, the deadline for applying for test accommodations is 60 days prior to the exam date. However, candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for accommodations far in advance of this deadline in order to maximize their opportunities for finding a seat at a desirable Pearson VUE test center. It can take several weeks to process a candidate’s accommodation application, especially if additional documentation is requested. Candidates who apply at the deadline, or even near the deadline, run the risk of being approved for accommodations, but then needing to travel hundreds of miles to the nearest Pearson VUE testing center that has seating available where the candidate can take advantage of their approved accommodations.

Candidates can, and are encouraged to, apply for accommodations even before registration opens for an exam. However, candidates cannot obtain seating for an exam with accommodations until they have registered for the exam.

Candidates who need last minute accommodations due to a recent-onset health situation (e.g., a recent-onset injury that prevents a candidate from sitting for long periods of time) should contact NBEO at accommodations@optometry.org.

Exams administered at the National Center of Clinical Testing in Optometry
There is no specific deadline date for applying for accomodations on Part III, ISE, or LSPE. However, candidates should apply for accommodations prior to registering for any of these exams .