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AHA Disabilities Act

AHA Disabilities Act


Students who enter the program with a disability or handicap must notify the course coordinator or lead instructor by the beginning of the third class.

Any alterations in testing or clinical rotations during the course do not ensure that the same alteration will be made for the student in the national-testing situation. If a student needs accommodation for a disability at a national-testing site, the student must notify the coordinator by the beginning of the third class. Any accommodation for disability at the national-testing site must be pre-arranged with the national examination program. It is not the responsibility of PERCOM to arrange or make decisions regarding the national approval of any disability or handicap that might affect the candidate during the testing process, nor does PERCOM take any responsibility for any refusal or denial of lack of acceptance by the national examination or state certifying organizations. Disabilities and Handicaps that are to receive an accommodation at the national-testing site shall be confirmed by a physician’s statement of disability/handicap or any other requirements as listed by the national testing or state certifying organizations or agencies.

Your Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act ( ADA ) has many implications for students in EMS courses. The intent of the ADA emphasizes that individuals not be excluded from jobs or training due to a disability, nor shall such disability influence the result of the examination process that is a prerequisite for a job. Passing the written and skills exams during an EMS Course and passing the National or State Certification Exam are prerequisites for a job as an EMT or Paramedic.

The law permits testing that requires the use of sensory, manual, or speaking skills, where tests are intended to measure the essential functions of the profession. For example, an applicant with dyslexia could be required to take a written exam, if the ability to read and process is an essential job function. and the exam measures the ability to read. Skills performance must be done within a certain time frame and utilizing certain equipment. The performance measurement for time and accuracy is an essential job function. Therefore, a person with a disability may not be denied the opportunity to take an exam, but the person may be required to take the exam within a certain time frame or to meet a certain criteria.

Some Points of the AHA

  • Prospective students should read and understand the Functional Job Description before entering the program.
  • Students cannot be discriminated against on the basis of the disability in the offering of the education program.
  • There can be NO accommodation during the screening tests or course testing that will compromise or fundamentally alter the testing of knowledge or skills that are required to function safely in the profession. The following are examples in which no accommodation can be giving:
    • No additional time frames for skills set with specific time frames.
    • No unlimited time to complete written exam.
    • No written exam to be given by oral reader.
    • No specialized or simplified exam or reading material below the ninth grade reading level.

Requesting Accommodation

To request accommodation, please contact the program coordinator as soon as possible. For more information concerning the AHA, contact the Association on Higher Education and Disability at (614)488-4972 or the Texas Governor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities at (512)463-5739