facebook pixel Skip to Main Content
Idaho State University home

Technical Standards


History and Rationale:

The landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, P.L. 101-336 (“ADA” or “the Act”), enacted on July 26, 1990, provides comprehensive civil rights protections to qualified individuals with disabilities.  The ADA was modeled after Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which marked the beginning of an equal opportunity for persons with disabilities.  As amended, Section 504 “prohibits all programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance from discrimination against individuals with disabilities who are ‘otherwise qualified’ to participate in those programs.”  With respect to post-secondary educational services, an “otherwise qualified” individual is a person with a disability “who meets the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or participation in the recipient's education program or activity.”

            Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title II and Title III are applicable to students with disabilities and their requests for accommodations.  Title II covers state colleges and universities.  Title III pertains to private educational institutions; it prohibits discrimination based on disability in places of “public accommodation,” including undergraduate and postgraduate schools.

            Given the intent of Section 504 and the ADA, the development of standards of practice for a profession, and the establishment of essential requirements to the student's program of study, or directly related to licensing requirements, is allowable under these laws.  In applying Section 504 regulations, which require individuals to meet the “academic and technical standards for admission,” the Supreme Court has stated that physical qualifications could lawfully be considered “technical standard(s) for admission.”

Institutions may not, however, exclude an “otherwise qualified” applicant or student merely because of a disability, if the institution can reasonably modify its program or facilities to accommodate the applicant or student with a disability.  However, an institution need not provide accommodations or modify its program of study or facilities such that (a) would “fundamentally alter” and/or (b) place an “undue burden on” the educational program or academic requirements and technical standards which are essential to the program of study.

Use of the Guidelines:

The following Guidelines embody the physical, cognitive, and attitudinal abilities an Entry-Level Athletic Trainer must be able to demonstrate in order to function in a broad variety of clinical situations; and to render a wide spectrum of care to athletes and individuals engaged in physical activity.  The Guidelines serve to recognize abilities essential to the development of these Entry-Level abilities.  Further, the Guidelines reflect the necessary and required skills and abilities identified for the Entry-Level Athletic Trainer as detailed in the NATA Athletic Training Educational Competencies and the BOC, Inc., Role Delineation Study. 

Technical Standards:

Compliance with technical standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for the BOC certification exam.



The Athletic Training program at Idaho State University is a rigorous and intense program that places specific requirements and demands on the students enrolled in the program.  An objective of this program is to prepare graduates to enter a variety of employment settings and to render care to a wide spectrum of individuals engaged in physical activity.  The technical standards set forth by the Athletic Training program establish the essential qualities considered necessary for students admitted to this program to achieve the knowledge, skills, and competencies of an entry-level athletic trainer, as well as meet the expectations of the program's accrediting agency (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education [CAATE]).  The following abilities and expectations must be met by all students admitted to the Athletic Training program.  In the event a student is unable to fulfill these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, the student will not be admitted into the program.

Compliance with the program’s technical standards does not guarantee a student’s eligibility for the BOC certification exam.

Candidates for selection to the Athletic Training program must demonstrate:

  1. the mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize, integrate concepts and problem solve to formulate assessment and therapeutic judgments and to be able to distinguish deviations from the norm.
  2. sufficient sensory function and coordination to perform appropriate physical examinations using accepted techniques; and accurately, safely and efficiently use equipment and materials during the assessment and treatment of patients.
  3. the ability to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and colleagues, including individuals from different cultural and social backgrounds; this includes, but is not limited to, the ability to establish rapport with patients and communicate judgments and treatment information effectively. Students must be able to understand and communicate the English language at a level consistent with competent professional practice.
  4. the ability to record the physical examination results and a treatment plan clearly and accurately.
  5. the capacity to maintain composure and continue to function well during periods of high stress.
  6. the perseverance, diligence and commitment to complete the athletic training education program as outlined and sequenced.
  7. flexibility and the ability to adjust to changing situations and uncertainty in clinical situations.
  8. affective skills and appropriate demeanor and rapport that relate to professional education and quality patient care.