IAAP Certification Rebuttal to NFB Resolution 2020-20

July 15, 2020 the National Federation of the Blind Resolution Committee approved Resolution 2020-20 regarding the processes and practices for IAAP Certification. IAAP provided fact checks to the resolution committee and want to make the same fact checking available to the public.

You can read the full set of NFB 2020 Resolutions as approved at the following URL: https://www.nfb.org/resources/speeches-and-reports/resolutions/2020-resolutions
IAAP has been actively working with other credentialing organizations and vendors in the text/exam vendor environment and are working to establish a coalition of credentialing organizations, test/exam delivery vendors, and accessibility professionals and vendors to establish shared understanding of accessibility and usability in the assessment vendor environment.

Below is the fact checking we provided to the NFB Resolutions Committee and leadership.

The IAAP written response to the NFB Resolutions Committee:

The NFB IAAP Resolution contains false facts about our exam protocol as well as other details.  IAAP has disputed all of the concerns in writing.   The Resolution was prompted by a candidate who expressed concerns of heath risk of being forced to go to a test center for an exam.  The candidate took their IAAP exam on July 15th through our on-line proctoring service.  
Below is a list of fact checks for the NFB Resolution 2020-20.  

WHEREAS, the IAAP offers its tests at specialized testing centers, as well as at professional conferences such as CSUN, and most recently online at home because of COVID-19; and 

 IAAP Response: 
  • IAAP has offered online, remote, fully accessible exams since 2016. 
  • IAAP accessible exams are available to all candidates as a choice of exam delivery and format options, not new due to COVID-19. 
  • IAAP does not offer our exams as part of the CSUN Conference (using their name requires the use being included in the actual conference program) 
  • Use of the name CSUN for activities associated with the conference without express permission is not acceptable 
  • IAAP does often host exams in the same city on days prior/after industry conferences. For example, we offer hosted exams in Anaheim, CA on a specific date. 

WHEREAS, the IAAP discriminates against blind test-takers because it does not offer blind test-takers the same access to these multiple testing options as it does to sighted test-takers; and 

 IAAP Response:
  • IAAP offers every candidate the choice for all four test delivery options. 
  • The IAAP Certification webpage for locations and formats indicates which platforms are and are not accessible for various types of assistive technologies. 
  • The choice of which exam platform and delivery is and has been up to the candidate. 

WHEREAS, the IAAP contracts with Kryterion Global Testing Solutions (KGTS) to provide the testing centers, and these testing centers refuse to make reasonable modifications to allow their services to be accessible to blind test-takers; and 

 IAAP Response:
  • The test delivery industry provides what they consider test center ADA reasonable accommodations for blind people and people with physical disabilities: reader, recorder, private room; for Deaf people: ASL interpreters. 
  • We are monitoring Kryterion and their current plan for their system redesign and their pursuit of accessibility as part of their enterprise solutions roadmap. 
  • IAAP and one other group working closely with the accessibility community and blind practitioners are the only two organizations that offer a fully functional and accessible exam option due to the lack of accessible platforms in the test delivery industry. 

WHEREAS, for instance, KGTS uses biometric eye scanners for identification as a requirement to access online testing, a function which most blind people cannot perform; and 

IAAP Response:

  • To the best of our knowledge, eye scanning is not part of Kryterion’s biometric profile system. 
  • IAAP does not use any of the biometric components beyond selection of a photo for visual verification to a government issued photo identification. 

WHEREAS, KGTS frequently refuses to work with blind test-takers and simply refers the individual to the IAAP; and   

IAAP Response:             

  • To the best of our knowledge, Kryterion does not refuse to work with blind test takers. 
  • To the best of our knowledge, Krtyerion has an accommodations system, like other test delivery partners in their industry, with a request for accommodations that are then approved by the exam owner’s approval process. 
  • IAAP has not had any candidates request to use a reader/recorder in a private room at a Kryterion Test Center. 

WHEREAS, instead of forcing KGTS to accommodate blind test-takers, the IAAP requires the blind test-takers to sit for a privately proctored exam and to employ their own proctors, at their own expense; and 

IAAP Response:

  • IAAP accessible Privately Proctored exams are open to all candidates. 
  • IAAP accessible Privately Proctored exams are not a requirement for blind people. 
  • There are no fees or expenses, beyond the exam fees, to be encumbered by anyone utilizing IAAP accessible Privately Proctored exams. 
  • If candidates are unable to identify someone willing to be a volunteer to proctor for them, IAAP will identify a volunteer, or provide a remote proctor 

WHEREAS, to no avail, blind test-takers have challenged the IAAP’s discriminatory testing policies by filing complaints explaining these issues: Now, therefore   

IAAP Response and Timeline:

  • One candidate made allegations on June 22, 2020. 
  • The IAAP processes and policies in place were agreed to, confirmed, and utilized by the candidate. 
  • The candidate’s concerns were responded to in a timely manner. 
  • The candidate had success using the current IAAP process and procedures for an accessible exam on July 15. 
    • Emails with the candidate’s misperceptions were presented to IAAP. 
    • IAAP responses with our existing practices were provided. 
    • Candidate agreed to the existing IAAP policies and processes. 
    • The candidate used the existing options and agreed that the process and policies met their needs. 
    • The candidate successfully completed the fully accessible exam with no problems. 
    • The candidate stated openly and in public on social media that the process and procedures worked well for them. 
    • The candidate stated openly and in public on social media and to the NFB resolutions committee that the exam was fully accessible to them using JAWS. 
    • The candidate made a statement to the NFB Resolutions committee that the accessible exam is kept locked away, which IAAP does not find to be true. 

If you are interested in participating in the Coalition to Advance Accessibility in the Assessment Vendor Environment (placeholder name) please join us to advocate and advance accessibility for professional, corporate, and educational testing and exam delivery. You may submit your interest via this Coalition Interest online form. URL follows: https://accessibilityassociation.formstack.com/forms/coalitiona11yassesmentvendors

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