§ 97.509 Administering VE requirements
(k) The administering VEs must accommodate an examinee whose physical disabilities require a special examination procedure. The administering VEs may require a physician’s certification indicating the nature of the disability before determining which, if any, special procedures must be used.
The above is the only specified requirement to the Volunteer Exam Coordinators (VEC) regarding accommodating/providing a test for people with any kind of disability. How a test team provides accommodation is usually specified within the policies and procedures of the VEC.
In the case of teams that test under the Laurel VEC, such as the Patriot VE Team that I run, the Laurel VEC Policies and Procedures allow for reading an exam to an applicant. This is usually done by three examiners who would take turns reading the question. My particular team has also provided exams in applicants homes as they were unable to get to a test location due to physical disabilities, however there is no requirement on VE teams to do so.
Since my team moved to the ExamTools testing program, which is a computer based application, we have conducted two exams for applicants who were visually impaired using the ExamTools application. The program works with all the programs that visually impaired people use to read and navigate the internet. One we conducted in the persons home, the other the applicant came to a regular test session. In both instances the applicants passed without any problems.
So if you are in need of accommodation to take a ham exam you should reach out to a local team. Teams usually list tests on the ARRL web page. Laurel teams are also required to list exams on the Laurel web page.
Since COVID some teams offer online exams, using the ExamTools program. These teams, regardless of their VEC affiliation, list their exams at hamstudy.org/sessions/remote (the practice side of ExamTools). Not all Laurel teams use ExamTools, those that do will be listed on hamstudy.org however they do not offer remote exams.
Remote/online exams require you to have an internet connection, use the camera on your computer and sometimes a second camera (ie using your cell phone). As my team doesn’t offer remote exams I can’t specify how the programs used by a visually impaired person can be used when a remote exam is done. However, I’m sure that some of the teams that are offering remote exams have conducted some.
If you need accommodation and are not having any luck finding a local team to help you feel free to contact me through my teams email and I’ll see what I can do to find a team to help. [email protected]