Testing is part and parcel of a student’s education journey. Even our students with disabilities also have to sit both formative and high-stakes testing. Tests are periodically given to all students to measure their achievement and understanding. For students with disabilities, special accommodations can be requested to make testing a more level playing field for them. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, (ADA) testing accommodations are changes to the regular testing environment that allow individuals with disabilities to demonstrate their true aptitude or achievement level on standardized exams or other high-stakes tests. Individual accommodations are determined for each student by his or her IEP team.
In this section:
Changes to timing means that we’re increasing the time allocated to complete a test or assignment. If we were to make a change to the testing schedule, it might mean changing the date or time of the test to better accommodate our students.
If a student has a setting accommodation, we’d need to take a look at the location of the test. Where would be better suited for the student to take the test? Or is there something that needs to change about the conditions of the test? For example, would noise canceling headphones be appropriate?
Making an accommodation to the way that a student responds to testing involves how they complete activities or test answers. This might involve a scribe or some kind of assistive device.
Making a change to how students access test questions and information falls under presentation accommodations. Changes include giving them access to testing materials without having to rely on standard print.
The ADA outlines a wide range of testing accommodations that might be required by students in special education during formative assessment or high-stakes tests.
Testing accommodations can pose more questions than answers, including: how do accommodations work with online state assessments, which students should get accommodations, and which tools are available or embedded?
In this on-demand webinar, Ruth Ziolkowski, Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Partnerships for Don Johnston and Texthelp, will guide you to: