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ECDL for people with disability

ECDL certification is available to all candidates designed irrespective of age, gender, status, ability or race. The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) Foundation and the national ECDL Offices are committed to ensuring that no one is excluded from pursuing ECDL certification and are actively working towards ensuring accessibility to people with disabilities.  An ECDL achieved with specific approved accommodations is a full ECDL and all quality procedures must be applied to the tests and testing.

The candidates who may receive accommodations can be:

  • Candidates who are deaf or who have hearing impairment
  • Candidates who are blind or who are visually impaired, including colour deficit conditions
  • Candidates who have a permanent physical disability
  • Candidates who have speaking disability
  • Candidates who have a permanent medical condition
  • Candidates who have specific learning difficulties

Test Centres willing to test people with disability have to present a request which can be approved by the national ECDL Office of the John von Neumann Computer Society (NJSZT).

The National ECDL Office may approve the following:

  • Additional time per test up to a maximum of 100% of the normal test duration (45 minutes)
  • Use of a separate room (with the Tester present during the test)
  • Use of assistive technology (eg. screen reader program, screen magnifier, speech synthesizer etc.)
  • Use of enlarged test paper
  • Use of a sign interpreter for people with hearing impairment.  The role of the interpreter is to sign the instructions and questions when asked to do so by the Candidate. The role may include communicating a word or phrase, using sign language, or the use of writing.  This must be fully documented – the name of the interpreter must be recorded and stored with the archived test material.
  • Use of a reader. Candidates with a physical impairment, a visual impairment, or a specific learning difficulty may require the support of a reader.  A reader may read the test paper and the Candidate’s answers as requested by the Candidate. The reader should only read the exact wording and not give meanings of words, rephrase or interpret anything.  The reader should only repeat instructions and questions on the paper when specifically requested to do so by the Candidate. The reader may verbally describe any essential visual or graphical elements in test questions to blind or visually impaired Candidates. The reader should not advise the Candidate on which questions to do, when to move on to the next question, or the order in which the questions should be answered.
  • Use of an oral test. An oral test is only possible in a theory test; for example in Module 1 or other non-performance based testing. The Tester will write down the Candidate’s spoken answer. The Tester must write down exactly what is said and must not change any of the Candidate’s words.
  • An assistant for help with personal matters during the test. This must not involve help in performing the test.
  • Use of a scribe (amanuensis). Candidates whose ability to write or type is impaired may require a scribe, who will assist in writing write down his or her answer. This only applies to Module 1 - Concepts of Information Technology. A scribe/amanuensis must write down answers exactly as the Candidate dictates them. The scribe should not advise the Candidate on which questions to do, when to move on to the next question, or the order in which the questions should be answered.
  • Examination paper given in various audio formats
  • Testing outside the Test Centre in premises that are adapted to the Candidate's needs
  • Testing at the Candidate’s home or school
  • Allocation of a rest period during the test. The Candidate may require a break or pause.  This must be monitored and test conditions must apply to the resting period – the Candidate must not use this time to work on the test.  The total time working at the test, excluding the rest period, must not exceed the total allowed time.

It should be noted that if a Candidate requires an interpreter or reader, they must be accommodated in a separate room to prevent disturbance to other Candidates.


Requests for accommodations are made by completing the Accommodation Request Form. This may be completed by the Candidate or by another individual on their behalf and sent to the chosen Test Centre. The request must be sent by the Test Centre to the National ECDL Office for approval. (In case the Test Centre cannot fulfil the requested requirements for the specific accommodation the National ECDL Office may assist in finding the appropriate Test Centre.) The request must be accompanied by the evaluation of the Candidate’s functional ability concerning the requirements of the examination. This evaluation may be issued by an informed third party. An informed third party is someone who has a professional relationship with the Candidate that allows for an informed, impartial judgement to be made concerning reasonable accommodations at examination. Examples of informed third parties include a teacher or trainer, an educational psychologist, or a doctor. Where possible, this evaluation should include a recommendation as to the type of accommodation required.

The National ECDL Office approves accommodation request which reflects real needs. In some limited cases, accommodations may be granted by approved Test Centres, e.g. the Hungarian Institute for the Blind.  In these cases the Test Centre makes a separate agreement with the National ECDL Office.

The Test Centres should retain records of these accommodations so that they can be reviewed by the National ECDL Office or by the ECDL Foundation if necessary.

Conducting the test

Before the test begins, any accommodation must have been pre-approved and installed where relevant.  It is the responsibility of the Test Centre to ensure that all assistive technologies are installed and operating correctly.  The Tester must have prior information of the presence of Candidates with disability and these Candidates’ requirements and must check that they are in order before testing can begin.

  • Time Calling - For visually impaired Candidates who cannot see the clock used in test centres a member of staff must inform those candidates of the time left in each case. It is important that this is not done too often, as it is a possible cause of stress.
  • Physical space - Depending on the nature of a Candidate’s disability, he or she may require extra space to accommodate a guide dog, a wheelchair or other equipment.
  • Separate Examination Venue - Depending on specific accommodations (when sign interpreter or reader is necessary), it may be necessary that the Candidate be accommodated in a separate room to prevent disturbance to other Candidates.
  • Personal Assistance
    • A Candidate who requires assistance in personal and/or practical ways during the course of an examination may require a personal assistant.  The personal assistant and the Candidate should be given copies of these standards prior to the examination.
    • The personal assistant and the Candidate should be familiar with each other, and the candidate should not be expected to use several personal assistants during successive examinations, e.g. for each different module.
    • The personal assistant should sign that he/she attended the test with the Candidate. This record should be kept with the test, but not recorded on the Skills card.
    • A personal assistant shall not give factual help or offer suggestions to the Candidate and shall not advise the Candidate how to perform any task or answer any questions

The Test Centres

Approved Test Centres offering testing to a candidate with disabilities should ensure that there is an environment which will allow access by the Candidate.

It is important that examination venues are as comfortable as possible for all Candidates. Some candidates with disabilities may require additional items of furniture, access to a disabled toilet, increased or dimmed lighting, or blackout conditions, In addition, space may be required for assistive technology, an assistant, or a guide dog. Test Centres should retain records of the circumstances of the exam. (e.g. name of sign interpreter, reader, personal assistant) 

All other issues not covered in this document at any time shall be governed by the ECDL Rules and Regulations.