(A) Policy. It is the policy of the Nebraska State Bar Commission to administer the bar examination in a manner that does not discriminate on the basis of disability. An applicant who is otherwise eligible to take the bar examination may file a request for special testing accommodations. (Appendix D).
(a) A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of the applicant and that substantially limits the ability of the applicant to demonstrate, under standard testing conditions, that the applicant possesses the essential skills, level of achievement, and aptitudes that the Nebraska Supreme Court and the Commission require for admission to the practice of law in Nebraska;
(2) “Qualified applicant with a disability” means an applicant with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices; the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers; or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for admission to the practice of law in Nebraska.
(a) Fundamentally altering the nature of the examination or the Commission’s ability to determine through the bar examination whether the applicant possesses the essential skills, level of achievement, and aptitudes that are among the essential eligibility requirements set forth in § 3-112, that the Nebraska Supreme Court and the Commission have determined are required for admission to the practice of law in Nebraska;
(3) a statement from any educational institution or employer that provided special accommodations to the applicant while the applicant attended the educational institution or was employed by the employer, certifying the accommodation provided; and
(4) an authorization for release of records from the applicant’s physician(s) and/or other appropriate health care or mental health professional(s) for the purpose of assessing the disability, and accommodations which may be required.
(D) Filing of requests. A request for special testing accommodations for an examination must be filed with the applicant’s Application to take the bar examination and by the deadline in § 3-114(B).
(E) Forms. All forms necessary to complete a request for special testing accommodations will be available at no charge from the Director of the Nebraska State Bar Commission. The applicant may file any additional documentation in support of the request.
(F) Review. The Commission will review all requests for special testing accommodations that are properly filed in accordance with this Rule. Requests that are not timely filed, incomplete, or otherwise do not comply with the requirements of this policy may be rejected for consideration by the Commission. The Commission may ask an applicant to submit additional information to support the applicant’s request. (Appendix D).
(G) Additional professional assistance. The Commission may seek the assistance of a medical, psychological, or other expert of the Commission’s selection in reviewing a request. (Appendix D).
(H) Independent evaluations. The Commission may ask the applicant to submit to an independent evaluation conducted by an appropriate health care professional selected by the Commission. The cost of the independent evaluation shall be paid by the Commission.
(I) Disability after initial application. If an applicant becomes disabled after the timely submission of an application for examination and admission and such applicant seeks reasonable accommodation in testing on account of such disability, the applicant shall file an emergency request for reasonable testing accommodation on forms prescribed by the Commission.
(2) The Commission’s denial of a request will be in writing and sent to the applicant by certified mail to the address provided by the applicant on the request. The Commission’s denial will include an explanation for denial. The Commission will also provide the applicant with a copy of the written report of any expert it has consulted in reviewing the request.
(3) The applicant may appeal the denial of a request to the Supreme Court in accordance with § 3-126.
(L) Determination by Commission. The Commission will have sole discretion to determine what special testing accommodations are reasonable accommodations. The Commission may provide accommodations different than those requested by the applicant if the Commission determines that the accommodations provided will effectively ameliorate the impact of the applicant’s disability.
(N) Confidentiality. All requests for special testing accommodations, supporting documentation, and information developed by the Commission with respect to the requests will remain confidential; however, the Commission may reveal the contents of an application to its experts in assessing and commenting on the matters contained in the application. (Appendix D).
§ 3-115 amended July 25, 2013, effective August 1, 2013.