Many people suffer with issues that can impact their ability to take exams. Whether this is because of ADHD, neurological issues, or other medical problems, different approaches are needed to maximize an individual’s results.
Did you know that Salesforce offers a series of accommodations (allowances) for those with medical issues? In this article, we’ll explore what accommodations are available, who can apply for them, and how to do so.
What Exam Accommodations are Available?
Salesforce allows an extra 30 minutes for an exam if you are dyslexic or if English is not your first language. But what I didn’t know until very recently, is that they provide additional time and other accommodations as well.
You can access allowances if you need:
- To read out loud.
- Additional breaks – up to 25 minutes in total. This can include toilet breaks, eating, drinking, stretching, and pacing within view of your webcam.
- To use a screen reader (JAWS and NVDA in particular).
- To wear earplugs.
- The ability to check blood sugar monitoring devices such as CGM or PDM.
- To hold a pen or pencil (but not to write with it).
- Text magnification – this is built into the software.
Who Qualifies for Exam Accommodations?
Salesforce does not have a list of conditions that qualify. Instead, if you have a particular need and can provide a doctor’s note that confirms the condition and requirements, you can apply for accommodations. This excludes screen readers which no longer require a note.
Salesforce recommends the Job Accommodation Network as a useful starting point – this is a good resource for helping to understand reasonable accommodations.
Once submitted, Salesforce processes your request to the best of their abilities and lets you know what can be done. This can even lead to a named (remote) exam invigilator who is specifically aware of your needs being assigned to you for your exam.
How to Ask for Accommodations
1. Log in to Trailhead.
2. Go to Trailhead Help (the question mark towards to the top right-hand corner of the screen).
Once in the Help screen:
3. Select “Contact Trailhead Help”.
4. Next, select “Certifications”.
5. From the following page, select “Certifications” → “Certification Exam Registration” → “Other Certification Registration Question”. You will then see the “Log a Ticket” button become available.
6. Submit your request.
You should expect an initial response from Salesforce within two working days. Salesforce requests that, for online/virtual exams, you make the request at least 14 days beforehand, and for in-person exams at testing centers, you make the request at least 30 days beforehand.
Hopefully, this article has opened your eyes to the different accommodations people with neurological or medical conditions are entitled to. Everyone deserves an equal opportunity to gain their Salesforce qualifications, so take advantage of whatever allowance will help you to achieve the best results possible.
If you want to read more, here are some resources to help:
- Disability Topics Trailblazer Group.
- Salesforce’s article on requesting accommodations.
- Jaime Jarosz shares her reflections on how to ensure a stress-free exam environment.
- Chrome browser-related resources to reduce distractions and improve productivity.
- Insights on the benefits of screen-readers and other technologies.
I am particularly indebted to Yumi Kawai-Nakasone for reaching out to me, and to the research on accommodations that she did, which made this article possible. Thanks also to Salesforce for going the extra mile in explaining their processes.