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Certification for the Disabled

by Emily Hollis

Certification Magazine

Seventeen million of the 54 million Americans with disabilities are of working age (16-64), but only 29 percent of them are employed in full-or part-time jobs. And of those who are not employed, 79 percent want to be. Information Technology offers career options for those folks, and thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991, they have access to the training and certification options that will help them start down that career path.

One example of certification training for Americans with disabilities can be found in a program offered by iTec and Lions World Services for the Blind. iTec is located in Little Rock, Ark., and offers MCSE certification training for blind and visually impaired students. The nine-month course, which culminates in a month-long internship, was first offered in February 2001, and the third is now in progress, having started in February 2002. Recruiting for a fourth course, starting in June of this year, is already in progress.

In this course, students use adaptive software that allows them to access their computers. Network diagramming is taught using custom-designed tactile devices. So far, the program has certified one completely blind MCSE, Terrence Mitchell. You can find his story at http://www.microsoft.com/enable/news/TerrenceMitchell.htm. Around two-thirds of graduates from the program have achieved MCP status, and many of those have completed multiple exams. For more information on iTecís MCSE training, go to http://www.itecworks.com.

So what do you do if you are disabled and need special accommodations for an exam? Both Prometric and VUE testing centers will accommodate your needs. You just need to make your requests known to them, in writing, along with verification of your need by a professional like a doctor, prior to scheduling your exam. You can find the forms on Prometricís Web site, at http://www.2test.com/doc/ADAForm.pdf. Or if
youíre taking your test at a VUE testing center, you can go to http://www.vue.com/contact/vuephone.html
to find out how to contact a VUE agent.

If you have any questions or concerns about certification training or testing, send them to me, Emily Hollis, at ehollis@certmag.com, and Iíll do my best to find some answers for you.

Reprinted with permission of Certification 
Magazineís Extra newsletter www.certmag.com.

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