Certainly! Preparing for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam is a rigorous process that requires dedication, discipline, and a considerable amount of study time. For CPA candidates with disabilities, there may be additional challenges to navigate. However, with the right accommodations and considerations, these candidates can also achieve their certification goals. Here are some important points and special considerations for CPA candidates with disabilities:


  1. Understanding Your Rights

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand that candidates with disabilities are protected under laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States. These laws ensure that you have the right to reasonable accommodations for taking the CPA exam. Knowing your rights is the first step in advocating for the accommodations you may need.


  1. Requesting Accommodations

Accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the exam process that allow candidates with disabilities to demonstrate their true abilities without being hindered by their disability. These can include, but are not limited to, extended time, additional breaks, a separate testing room, or the provision of assistive technology. Each candidate’s needs are unique, so accommodations are tailored to the individual.

To request accommodations, you’ll need to submit documentation of your disability to the board of accountancy in your jurisdiction or the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA), depending on where you are applying. This process should be started well in advance of your intended exam date, as it can take time to review your application and implement accommodations.


  1. Preparation Resources

Look for CPA exam preparation resources that cater to various learning styles and needs. Many resources offer accessible options, such as video content with captions, text-based materials in accessible formats, and software that’s compatible with assistive technologies like screen readers. Tailoring your study materials to suit your learning preferences and requirements is key to effective preparation.


  1. Practice and Time Management

Practicing under conditions similar to those you will have during the exam, including any accommodations, can help you manage time effectively and reduce anxiety. Make use of practice exams and question banks that offer flexibility in how you interact with the content. Time management is crucial, especially if you receive accommodations like extended time.


  1. Support Networks

Having a support network can make a significant difference. This can include family, friends, educators, and even online communities of other CPA candidates with disabilities. Sharing experiences and strategies with others who understand the unique challenges you face can provide not only practical advice but also emotional support.


  1. Physical and Mental Well-being

Preparing for the CPA exam can be stressful, and it’s important to take care of your physical and mental health. Regular breaks, exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient sleep are all crucial. Additionally, consider seeking support from a counselor or therapist if you’re struggling with stress or anxiety related to the exam.


  1. Communication with Test Centers

Once accommodations are approved, communicate with your test center to confirm that they are aware of your accommodations and that everything is in place for your exam day. Early communication can help prevent any last-minute issues.



With the right preparation, accommodations, and support, candidates with disabilities can successfully navigate the challenges of the CPA exam. It’s about understanding your rights, advocating for your needs, and utilizing the resources available to you. Remember, the goal of accommodations is to provide a level playing field, ensuring that all candidates have an equal opportunity to demonstrate their competence and achieve their CPA certification.