Guide to Accommodating Accessibility Requirements

Updated 1 month ago by Amy Tranter

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This document provides an overview of making adjustments to assessments to accommodate the needs of candidates living with a disability or impairment. The implementation of any adjustments should be made in consideration of local legislation.

Click here to view the video overview for Accommodating Accessibility Requirements for the Criteria platform.

Click here for assessment accessibility considerations for various individual needs, including physical, psychological, sensory and neurodiversity conditions, as well as temporary and chronic illness.

Section 1: Making Reasonable Adjustments

1. How can I accommodate a candidate living with a disability in an assessment process?

When candidates share information about disabilities during recruitment processes, the likely impact of the disability on performance in any recruitment assessments should be considered. The candidate’s ability to perform in the role should also be considered. If the disability is likely to detrimentally impact the candidate's performance in an assessment but will not affect their ability to be successful in the role, then the assessment process should be reasonably adjusted to accommodate their needs. 

2. What is a reasonable adjustment?

A reasonable adjustment is a change made to the testing approach which removes or reduces disadvantages experienced by candidates living with a disability, so they have an equal opportunity to perform as other candidates.

3. When is a reasonable adjustment recommended? 

A reasonable adjustment is recommended when there is a risk that the standard assessment process may unfairly disadvantage a candidate, due to a disability or impairment. For example, if the disability may impair performance in part of the selection process but would not impact job performance, then that component of the selection process should be adjusted. Various definitions of disability are used in legislation across different countries and regions, so Criteria recommends taking into account the requirements of relevant legislation to enable inclusive recruitment processes (e.g., within Australia this includes the Fair Work Act, 2009 and Disability Discrimination Act, 1992). 

The Fair Work Act (2009) provides protection of certain rights, including the right to be free from unlawful discrimination. Under the Fair Work Act, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against former, current or prospective employees due to race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer's responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin. 

Physical disabilities could include sensory deficits, such as sight or hearing impairment, and mobility impairments, such as confinement to a wheelchair and cerebral palsy. Common mental disabilities include attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and other learning disabilities. 

The Disability Discrimination Act (1992) refers to direct and indirect discrimination. Direct discrimination means the person is treated less favourably, explicitly because of a disability. Indirect discrimination means the outcome of an action may be less favourable to or likely to disadvantage the person living with a disability, even if not explicitly intentional.  

In instances where an assessment may unfairly disadvantage candidates living with a disability, the employer should make reasonable adjustments to the testing process, so all candidates have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their suitability for the position. 

4. Who is responsible for implementing reasonable adjustments? 

The recruiting organisation is responsible for ensuring that their assessment and recruitment processes are fair and do not discriminate against individuals. As such, they are responsible for implementing reasonable adjustments for candidates with disabilities.  If you are at all unsure about the appropriate adjustment to a Criteria assessment, please contact our Customer Support team. 

5. How should recruiting organisations decide on appropriate reasonable adjustments to Criteria assessments?  

Each request for a reasonable adjustment should be considered individually, based upon the information provided by the candidate regarding their abilities and requirements. Criteria recommends considering whether the disability would impact the candidate’s inherent capability to do the job (e.g. someone with a severe visual impairment would not be suitable for a driving role) or whether suitable reasonable adjustments can be made to the job role which mean the job can still be achieved (e.g. assistive technologies provided to enlarge visual displays for partially sighted candidate in a computer-based role).   

Criteria recommends gathering documentation which confirms the candidate’s experience of the disability, such as from a medical practitioner, to ascertain reasonable adjustments for the assessment. The nature of the disability, as well as the content and format of the assessment should be considered when determining a reasonable adjustment. 

 It is recommended to discuss the needs of the candidate with them, to find the most appropriate adjustment to an assessment. Discussing the format of the assessment with the candidate can help to ascertain whether it is a task they are able to perform.

It may be helpful to consult relevant disability organisations for advice and guidance on the possible implications of a specific disability, and the sort of adaptations or accommodations that may be appropriate. Information on the reasonable adjustments can be implemented for Criteria assessments is provided below. 

6. How should employing organisations gather information from candidates about their accessibility needs?

Giving candidates the opportunity to share information about the disability they live with and accommodations they may need to assessments or other parts of the recruitment process, as early as possible, allows more time to explore the options and implement adjustments. For example, giving candidates the opportunity to provide information in an application form or via contact to a specific team.

In order for candidates to feel comfortable providing information regarding disabilities and reasonable adjustment needs, Criteria recommends explaining why you are asking for this information. For example, “In order to understand how to best accommodate your needs in the recruitment process, and in the role should you be successful, it would be helpful for us to understand a bit more about your experience of the disability.” Taking a supportive and encouraging tone throughout interactions with candidates regarding disabilities and accommodating accessibility needs will enable a more positive candidate experience. 

7. What if a candidate is uncomfortable providing information about a disability or impairment?  

Candidates may not wish to share information about a disability they live with and may wish to proceed with the standard recruitment process. If a candidate does wish to partake in an adjusted assessment but is uncomfortable to share information about the disability or impairment with the client, Criteria Psychologists can gather information and make a recommendation as to the most appropriate adjustment to Criteria assessments.

8. What reasonable adjustments can be implemented for Criteria Assessments?  

Reasonable adjustments should be determined based on the information gathered about the candidate’s experience of the disability and their needs, as well as the requirements of the role and the nature of the assessment. A suitable reasonable adjustment to Criteria assessments may fall into one of the following categories: 

  1. Time adjustment (view list of assessments)
  2. Alternative assessment method 
  3. Progress candidate to the next recruitment stage  

Time Adjustment

Some Criteria assessments can be adjusted to provide additional time to candidates experiencing a disability or impairment to complete the assessment. This is generally appropriate when the disability means the candidate requires more time to perform the tasks associated with the assessment. For example, a candidate with dyslexia may need longer to read and interpret words and the “Proof it” mini-game in Cognify could be extended to provide proportionate extra time for the candidate.

Alternative Method  

If the assessment of the ability is considered reasonable based on the information gathered, but using a psychometric assessment is not appropriate, an alternative method of assessing a candidate’s abilities may be used. For example, it would be inappropriate for a sight impaired candidate to complete a timed assessment of cognitive ability developed for sighted individuals, and an alternative method of assessing the underlying ability could be recommended, such as a work sample or an interview.  

Progression to next stage  

It may not be appropriate to assess some characteristics in individuals who have certain disabilities, and therefore progressing them to the next stage in the recruitment process may be most appropriate. For example, imagine a candidate with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who explains that they experience difficulties in perceiving emotional cues from others. Assessing emotional intelligence (an ability which directly relates to perceiving emotional cues) would not be appropriate for this candidate. In such a case, the assessment should be omitted and the candidate could be progressed to the next stage of the recruitment process, where alternative information about their suitability for the role could be gathered.   

9. A candidate has completed testing and then informed me that they require a reasonable adjustment due to a disability – what can I do?

As the candidate has shared that they experience a disability which may have impacted their performance on the assessment, their results are unlikely to be an accurate reflection of their ability, nor comparable to those of other candidates. Criteria recommends gathering documentation which confirms the candidate’s experience of the disability and the likely impact on the assessment, such as from a medical practitioner if possible, to ensure a fair process for all. 

Criteria recommends emphasising other parts of the recruitment process to determine the candidate’s suitability for the role. This could include, for example, gathering supplementary information through interviews, assessment centre exercises, work samples or references. Research shows that using varied methods to determine candidate suitability for a role leads to the most valid hiring decisions.

Where the candidate’s documentation recommends a specific time adjustment and you would like the candidate to complete the assessment again with the appropriate time adjustment applied, this can be applied at the job level or for individual candidates. Please note, when the candidate has completed the assessment within the last 12 months, completing the assessment again may lead to a slight inflation of their scores against their true ability due to practice effects. Criteria recommends considering the whole recruitment process for the position and whether re-testing with the time adjustment is necessary and appropriate.  

10. How should results from an adjusted recruitment process be interpreted? 

Care should be taken when interpreting results from any adjusted recruitment process, as direct comparisons cannot be made between candidates who have completed the standard process and those would have completed an adjusted process.   

Criteria recommends considering the differences between the processes and emphasising aspects of the recruitment process which are not directly affected by the disability in determining the candidate’s suitability. The goal of any recruitment process is to gather information to understand strengths and weaknesses of all candidates, disabled and non-disabled, in a fair way. As such, gathering information from multiple methods across a recruitment process is recommended for the most valid and defensible hiring decisions.  If you are unsure about how to interpret the results of an adjusted Criteria assessment, please contact our Customer Support team. 

11. What else should recruiting organisations consider in relation to reasonable adjustments? 

Psychometric testing is one part of the recruitment process. Criteria recommends considering whether adjustments may be appropriate for other parts of the recruitment process, based on the information provided by the candidate about their experience of living with a disability or impairment. For example, if a client determines it appropriate for candidate to have 50% extra time for psychometric assessment, it may be appropriate to also implement 50% extra time for assessment centre or work sample exercises.  

12.  How does Criteria ensure its assessments are as accessible as possible to candidates with disabilities?

There are multiple ways that Criteria aims to make its assessments as accessible as possible.

Candidates complete tutorials before starting all Criteria assessments and are encouraged to spend as much time as they need to ensure they are comfortable with the format of the assessment before continuing. If candidates identify during the tutorial that the format of the assessment may be detrimental to their performance due to a disability, they may exit the tutorial and contact the recruiter to request a reasonable adjustment to the assessment process. 

Cognify and Emotify have been independently assessed as being accessible to candidates with all 6 forms of colour blindness. In addition, the reading age required for completion of Cognify and Emotify is lower than the equivalent traditional assessments, which makes them accessible to a broader range of test-takers. 

Section 2: Time Adjustments to Criteria Assessments

1. When is a time adjustment recommended? 

Some Criteria assessments can be adjusted to provide additional time to candidates living with a disability or impairment to complete the assessment, when appropriate. To implement time adjustments which result in a fair testing process, Criteria recommends following the guidance below.

  1. Gather information to confirm whether a time adjustment is appropriate.
    1. Consult with the candidate on whether a time adjustment is appropriate for their needs, i.e. whether their disability means they need more time to complete tasks associated with the assessment. It is possible that a disability may mean an alternative method of assessment or omitting the assessment is more appropriate for the candidate.
    2. Medical documentation which explains the candidate’s experience of the disability can help to confirm whether a time adjustment is appropriate.
  2. If no time adjustment recommendation is available, or if you think the assessment may not be appropriate for the candidate, you may consider an alternative reasonable adjustment.

2. How do I set up a time adjustment?

To apply a time adjustment to a candidate’s assessment, follow the following steps outlined here.

3. How do I know if an assessment has been time-adjusted? 

In the Criteria platform, a time adjustment icon is displayed next to the candidate’s name.

Once the candidate has completed testing, an Extended tag is displayed in the candidate’s summary and score reports to indicate that a time adjustment has been applied to enable a fair testing process.

In the Reporting area under Manage, you can add a column to your report to indicate whether a time adjustment was given to your candidates. The values in the report will indicate which time adjustment was provided:

  • N/A
  • 1.5x 

4. How should time-adjusted assessment scores be interpreted?  

Like all psychometric tests, Criteria assessments are carefully designed to be delivered in a standardised way. Adjusting the time allowed for completion of a test means a deviation from this standardised process, which means extra care should be taken when interpreting such results. Specifically, clients should consider the candidate’s level of performance compared with the requirements of the job, as opposed to numerically comparing them with other candidates.  

Psychometric testing is one piece of information about a candidate’s suitability for a role. Therefore, Criteria recommends gathering additional information to determine the suitability of a candidate through other parts of the recruitment process. For example, through interviews, assessment centre exercises, work samples or references. Using multiple criteria can lead to more valid and defensible recruitment decisions.  

If you are unsure about how to interpret the results of an adjusted Criteria assessment, please contact your Customer Success Manager or our Customer Support team.

Section 3: Applicant Tracking System Integrations

1. How can reasonable adjustments (including time adjustments) be managed effectively in Applicant Tracking System (ATS) integrations?

Criteria recommends adding a flag or note within the ATS for candidates when a reasonable adjustment has been applied and noting why that decision was taken, to ensure the candidate is managed appropriately during the recruitment process. Where a reasonable adjustment requirement has been discussed with a candidate, Criteria recommends clarifying with them how this will change the standard testing process as early as possible.

If invitations for testing are automatically sent via an integration and due to a candidate’s needs it has been decided that they will complete a time adjusted assessment, the candidate should be advised to disregard the automatically generated testing email. Once the time adjustment has been set up in the Criteria platform, the candidate should be contacted and asked to complete testing.

2. Can time adjustments be set up via Applicant Tracking System integrations?

If you are interested in making time adjustment via an ATS integration, please contact your Customer Success Manager or our Customer Support team to discuss your options. 

Section 4: Additional Resources

Various organisations provide guidance on accommodating accessibility needs within the recruitment process and within the workplace. Two such organisations with freely available resources are: The Australian Network on Disability and the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, including how to be disability inclusive. Please note Criteria are not associated with these organisations and are not responsible for the information they provide. Organisations related to specific disabilities can also provide specific guidance. You may also be interested in our White Paper Improving diversity and reducing unconscious bias.


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