Accommodations

Accommodations are changes in procedures or materials that increase equitable access during CAASPP or ELPAC administration. Assessment accommodations generate valid assessment results for students who need them; they allow these students to show what they know and can do. Accommodations are available for assignment to students with documented IEPs or Section 504 plans. Accommodations do not compromise the learning expectations, construct, grade-level standard, or intended outcome of the assessments. They are either provided as embedded components of the test administration system or are non-embedded. For example, braille is an embedded accommodation; the use of alternate response options is a non-embedded accommodation.

Accommodations are available for the listed, approved assessments and do not change the construct of what is being assessed. Students who receive these accessibility resources will receive a valid score.

Accommodations are assigned in TOMS by an LEA CAASPP or ELPAC coordinator or CAASPP or ELPAC test site coordinator.

Embedded

American Sign Language

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for ELA (Listening)
  • Smarter Balanced for Mathematics
  • CAST
  • Summative ELPAC (online assessments; Listening, Speaking, and Writing domains)
  • Initial ELPAC (online assessments; Listening, Speaking, and Writing domains)

Description:

Test content is translated into ASL video.

  • ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen.
  • Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed by selecting American Sign Language from the context menu, as displayed in figure 1.

    Sample test question with the context menu open and the American Sign Language option called out and a pop-up box with the ASL video over the question

    Figure 1. American Sign Language

Use:

A student who is deaf or hard of hearing and who typically uses ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment.

  • The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.
  • For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.
  • For the ELPAC Speaking domain, if a student using an embedded ASL accommodation responds using ASL, an ASL interpreter would need to appropriately scribe the response and record the student response score into the test delivery system.

Audio Transcript (Includes Braille Transcript)

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for ELA (Listening)
  • CAST (This resource is approved for use; however, there are currently no audio questions for the CAST.)
  • CSA (Listening)
  • Summative ELPAC (online assessments)
  • Initial ELPAC (online assessments)

Description:

Content that is accessed through listening during the course of the assessment with the option of closed-captioning is made available in braille or on-screen as a single text presentation (rather than one line at a time as provided by closed-captioning).

The [Transcripts] icon the student selects to request a transcript is indicated in figure 2 ; while the sample transcript is the on-screen, audio transcript that appears in a pop-up box, this accommodation also is available in refreshable braille.

Screen capture of a training test question showing the pop-up box with an audio transcript and a circle around the Transcript icon

Figure 2. Audio Transcript

Use:

A student who is deaf or hard of hearing, visually impaired, or both may have difficulty with portions of the assessment accessed through listening when the closed-captioning does not provide adequate support to assist the student’s testing.

  • A student who requires the closed-captions to be presented in braille also must have the braille embedded accommodation set.
  • When the closed-captions are presented in braille, they are available in the following braille codes:
    • EBAE uncontracted
    • EBAE contracted
    • UEB uncontracted
    • UEB contracted
  • A student who requires the closed-captioned material to be presented as a transcript will see the test in the closed-captioning in a single text presentation on screen.

Braille

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for ELA
  • Smarter Balanced for Mathematics
  • CAST
  • CSA (This resource is available in Spanish.)
  • Summative ELPAC
  • Initial ELPAC

Description:

Students with visual impairment may use a raised-dot code that individuals read with the fingertips.

  • Graphic material (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, and illustrations) is presented in a raised format (paper or thermoform).
  • Contracted, noncontracted, or both contracted and noncontracted braille are available, depending on the assessment; Nemeth code is available for mathematics.

Use:

A student with visual impairment may read text via braille.

  • Tactile overlays and graphics also may be used to assist the student in accessing content through touch.
  • Refreshable braille is available only for ELA, CAST, CSA, and ELPAC because Nemeth Code is not available via refreshable braille.
  • For mathematics, CAST, and CSA, braille is presented via embosser; embosser-created braille can be used for ELA and the ELPAC also.
  • It is not necessary to request the print-on-demand accommodation when assigning the braille accommodation.
  • Alternative text descriptions are embedded in the assessment for all graphics.
  • The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

Limitations:

Note that when braille has been selected as the test mode, the following resource limitations are in effect:

  • ASL videos are not available.
  • Text-to-speech is not available
  • Color contrast is forced into black on white.
  • Embossing options are displayed.
  • Mute System Volume options are displayed (any test presented in braille).
  • The student testing interface is forced into streamlined mode.
  • Masking is disabled.
  • Highlighting is disabled.
  • Strikethrough is disabled.
  • Expandable passage and item options are disabled.

Closed-Captioning

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for ELA (Listening)
  • CAST (This resource is approved for use; however, there are currently no audio questions for the CAST.)
  • CSA (Listening) (This resource is available in Spanish.)
  • Summative ELPAC (online assessments)
  • Initial ELPAC (online assessments)

Description:

Closed-captioning is printed text that appears on the computer screen as audio materials are presented. This accommodation starts when the student accesses the audio in the test question and does not disappear until the audio passage has reached the end of its play. Closed-captioning does not require additional manual intervention by the student. This feature is shown in figure 3.

Screen capture of a sample test question with closed-captioning displayed for an audio presentation; the closed-captioning appears in a dialog box over the question.

Figure 3. Closed-captioning

Use:

A student who is deaf or hard of hearing and who typically accesses information presented via audio by reading words that appear in synchrony with the audio presentation may need this resource to access audio content.

For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing words (sometimes in combination with reading lips and ASL) is how they access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.

Text-to-Speech Reading Passages

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for ELA
  • CSA
  • Summative ELPAC (online assessments; Listening, Speaking, and Writing domains)
  • Initial ELPAC (online assessments; Listening, Speaking, and Writing domains)

Description:

Text is read aloud to the student via embedded text-to-speech technology. After selecting the Speak Passage option, which is indicated in figure 4, the student is able to control the speed as well as raise or lower the volume of the voice via a volume control.

Sample test question with the context menu open and displaying the Speak Passage option

Figure 4. Text-to-speech—passages

Use:

This accommodation is appropriate for one of a very small number of students with a documented need in an IEP or Section 504 plan. A student who uses text-to-speech will need headphones unless tested individually in a separate setting.

Non-Embedded

100s Number Table (Mathematics)

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for Mathematics
  • CAA for Mathematics

Description:

The 100s number table is a paper-based table listing numbers from 1–100 available for reference. This accommodation is for use by students taking a mathematics assessment in any grade level.

Use:

A student with visual processing or spatial perception needs may find this beneficial, as documented in an IEP or Section 504 plan.

Abacus

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for Mathematics
  • CAA for Mathematics
  • CAA for Science
  • CAST

Description:

This resource may be used in place of scratch paper for students who typically use an abacus.

Use:

A student with visual impairment or with a documented processing impairment who typically uses an abacus may use an abacus in place of using scratch paper.

Additional Instructional Supports and Resources for Alternate Assessments

Approved Assessment(s):

  • CAA for ELA
  • CAA for Mathematics
  • CAA for Science

Description:

Eligible students shall have any instructional supports, accommodations, or both, including the language of instruction, used in the student’s daily instruction in accordance with the student’s IEP.

Use:

Administration of the CAAs to an eligible student shall be one-on-one, test examiner to student. Depending upon the student’s disability or needs, the CAAs may or may not include the student’s independent use of the testing interface.

Alternate Response Options

Approved Assessment(s):

  • All

Description:

Devices that can be used as an alternate response option include but are not limited to adapted keyboards, large keyboards, Sticky Keys, MouseKeys, FilterKeys, adapted mouse, touch screen, head wand, and switches.

Use:

A student with certain physical disabilities (including both fine motor and gross motor skills) may need to use the alternate response options accommodation. Some alternate response options are external devices that must be plugged in and be compatible with the assessment delivery platform. An alternate response option that requires a third-party software to run also requires the permissive mode test setting.

American Sign Language or Manually Coded English

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Summative ELPAC (Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two)
  • Initial ELPAC (Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two)

Description:

Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment.

Use:

What follows are guidelines for use of ASL or Manually Coded English:

  • The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.
  • For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.
  • A student using a non-embedded ASL accommodation responds using ASL, with an ASL interpreter scribing the response appropriately.

Braille

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Summative ELPAC (Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two)
  • Initial ELPAC (Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two)

Description:

Students with visual impairment may use a raised-dot code that individuals read with the fingertips. Uncontracted braille test forms are available to students in kindergarten through grade two.

Use:

A student with visual impairment may read text via braille.

  • Tactile overlays and graphics also may be used to assist the student in accessing content through touch.
  • Alternative text descriptions are embedded in the assessment for all graphics.
  • The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

Breaks

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Summative ELPAC (online assessments)
  • Summative ELPAC (Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two)
  • Initial ELPAC (online assessments)
  • Initial ELPAC (Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two)

Description:

Breaks may be given during the administration of a domain. Sometimes students are allowed to take breaks when individually needed to reduce cognitive fatigue when they experience heavy assessment demands.

The ELPAC test examiner may need to introduce special administrative considerations to support students needing this resource. The use of this resource may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

Calculator, Mathematics (Grades Six and Above)

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for Mathematics (grades six through eight and grade eleven)

Description:

A non-embedded calculator may be used by students needing a specialized calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator, which is currently unavailable within the assessment platform. This accommodation is for use on calculator-allowed questions only in grades six through eight and grade eleven.

Use:

A student who is unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed questions will be able to use the calculator that is typically used, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator. Test administrators should ensure that the calculator is available only for designated calculator questions. The non-embedded calculator should have no internet or wireless connectivity, and all security procedures need to be followed.

Students who require the use of a non-embedded calculator for all items must have an approved unlisted resource request, because the use of a non-embedded calculator for all items changes the testing construct.

Large Print

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Summative ELPAC (Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two)
  • Initial ELPAC (Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two)

Description:

Large-print test forms are available to students in kindergarten through grade two.

Use:

A student with visual impairment can use printed large-print Test Books and Answer Books.

Manually Coded English

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Summative ELPAC (online assessments)
  • Initial ELPAC (online assessments)

Description:

Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use Manually Coded English may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment.

Use:

A student who is deaf or hard of hearing and who typically uses Manually Coded English may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment.

  • The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.
  • For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.
  • A student using a non-embedded Manually Coded English accommodation responds using Manually Coded English, with an interpreter scribing the response appropriately.

Multiplication Table, Mathematics

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for Mathematics
  • CAA for Mathematics

Description:

A paper-based single-digit (1–12) multiplication table is an accommodation for use by all students taking a mathematics assessment.

Use:

This accommodation is for a student with a documented and persistent calculation disability (i.e., dyscalculia).

Print-on-Demand

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for ELA
  • Smarter Balanced for Mathematics
  • CAA for ELA
  • CAA for Mathematics
  • CAA for Science
  • CAST
  • CSA

The ability to print on demand is available only if the LEA CAASPP coordinator has received permission by contacting the California Technical Assistance Center.

Description:

Paper copies of passages, stimuli, questions, or any combination of these are printed for students.

Use:

A student with a disability may need paper copies of passages, stimuli, questions, or any combination of these.

  • A very small percentage of students should need this accommodation.
  • The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional time to complete the assessment.
  • It is not necessary to request the print-on-demand accommodation when assigning the braille accommodation.

Read-Aloud Reading Passages

(Refer also to the non-embedded read-aloud designated support for ELA, mathematics, science, and ELPAC questions.)

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for ELA
  • CAA for ELA
  • CSA

Description:

Text is read aloud to the student by a human reader or by a trained and qualified human reader who follows the administration guidelines provided in the Read Aloud Guidelines.

  • All or portions of the content may be read aloud.
  • Refer to the guidelines for choosing the read-aloud accommodation when deciding if this accommodation is appropriate for a student.

Use:

This accommodation is appropriate for a very small number of students.

  • A student should have the option of asking a reader to slow down or repeat text.
  • The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional time to complete the assessment, the use of a separate setting, or both.

Scribe (Writing)

(Refer also to the non-embedded scribe designated support for mathematics, science, and nonwriting ELA and CSA.)

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for ELA (PT full write)
  • CAA for ELA
  • Summative ELPAC (online assessments)
  • Summative ELPAC (Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two)
  • Initial ELPAC (online assessments)
  • Initial ELPAC (Writing domain for kindergarten through grade two)

Description:

Students dictate their responses to a person who records, verbatim, what they dictate. For many of these students, dictating to a scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills.

The scribe must be trained and qualified, and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Scribing Protocol.

Use:

A student who has a documented significant motor or processing difficulty(ies), or who has had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate responses to a person, who then records the student’s responses verbatim.

  • The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing overall additional time to complete the assessment.
  • It is important that the student be able to develop planning notes via the scribe, and to view what is produced while composing via dictation to the scribe.

Speech-to-Text

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for ELA
  • Smarter Balanced for Mathematics
  • CAST
  • Summative ELPAC (online assessments)
  • Initial ELPAC (online assessments)

Description:

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work).

  • Voice recognition software generally can recognize speech up to 160 words per minute.
  • Students may use their own assistive technology devices as there is currently no embedded speech-to-text functionality within the test delivery system.

Use:

A student who has a motor or processing disability(ies) (such as dyslexia) or who has had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. The student will need to be familiar with the software and should have had many opportunities to use it prior to testing.

Speech-to-text software requires that the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential. If the student uses a personal assistive technology device, all assessment content should be deleted from this device after the test for security purposes.

Using voice recognition software may be the only way the student demonstrates composition skills. Still, the use of speech-to-text does require that the student know writing conventions and that the student has the review and editing skills required of students who enter text via the computer keyboard. It is important that a student who uses speech-to-text also be able to develop planning notes via speech-to-text, and to view what is produced while composing via speech-to-text.

Word Prediction

Approved Assessment(s):

  • Smarter Balanced for ELA
  • Smarter Balanced for Mathematics
  • CAA for ELA
  • CAA for Mathematics
  • CAA for Science
  • CAST

Description:

Students use non-embedded software that will offer an option for the next word based on word frequency and syntax rules. Students who use word prediction in conjunction with speech output will need headphones unless they are testing individually in a separate setting. Students may need additional time to test.

Use:

A student who meets one of the following criteria may use word prediction:

  • The student has a documented motor or orthopedic impairment(s) that impairs the student’s ability to provide written or typed responses without the use of assistive technology.
  • The student has a moderate to severe learning disability(ies) that prevents the student from recalling, processing, or expressing written language.

The student will need to be familiar with the software and should have had many opportunities to use it prior to testing.

Using word prediction software does require that the student know writing conventions and that the student have the review and editing skills required of students who enter text via the computer keyboard. It is important that a student who uses word prediction also be able to develop planning notes with or without text-to-speech.

The student’s word prediction solution used must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • The software must predict a single word only.
  • Phonetic spelling and speech output may be used.
  • Functionality that provides phrase prediction, predict ahead, or next word must be disabled prior to testing.
  • Expanded dictionaries must be disabled.
  • The student may use a personal assistive technology device. Note the following about student-provided assistive technology devices:
    • Use of this resource may require permissive mode to be enabled.
    • If the device has additional features that may compromise test security (such as internet access), the functionality should be disabled before testing.
    • All assessment content must be removed after testing to protect the security and integrity of the assessments.