What’s New in 2021–22

General or All

  • The text-to-speech resource now includes a new button on the text editor toolbar that permits students to hear a constructed response after typing it in. This new function applies to Smarter Balanced, CAST, and ELPAC.
  • Speech-to-text is now available as an embedded accommodation within the TDS for Smarter Balanced, CAST, Summative ELPAC, and Initial ELPAC assessments. It does not require use of external software or permissive mode.
  • The turn off any universal tools embedded designated support is now indicated in the Test Administrator Interface—TAs and TEs are notified during the test entry approval process that an individual student needs universal tools turned off. The tooltip to the left of Universal Tool Status in the preapproval settings view offers guidance for TAs and TEs. This impacts all test programs and grades.


  • The Smarter Balanced for Mathematics and CAST designated support of Translations (Spanish stacked) has been modified to Translations (Spanish stacked–dual language).
  • English Braille American Edition (contracted or uncontracted) is no longer an available braille type for Smarter Balanced assessments.
  • Braille HAT content is delivered in UEB with Nemeth math code (contracted and uncontracted) and UEB with UEB Math (Technical) code (contracted and uncontracted).

Alternate ELPAC

Online for Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve

  • In addition to any optional modes of individualization, the accessibility resources in table 1 can be assigned to the computer-based Alternate ELPAC.

Table 1. Accessibility Resources for the Alternate ELPAC

Type Universal Tools Designated Supports Accommodations
  • Digital Notepad
  • Expandable Items
  • Expandable Passages
  • Highlighter
  • Keyboard Navigation
  • Line Reader
  • Mark for Review
  • Strikethrough
  • Zoom
  • Color Contrast
  • Masking
  • Mouse Pointer
  • Print on Demand
  • Streamlined Mode
  • Print Size
  • Turn off any universal tool(s)
  • None
  • Breaks
  • Highlighter
  • Line Reader
  • Scratch paper (grades 3–12)
  • Zoom
  • Amplification
  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Color Contrast
  • Designated Interface Assistant
  • Print on Demand
  • Translated Test Directions (including ASL or manually coded English)
  • Color Overlay
  • Magnification
  • Medical Supports
  • Noise Buffers
  • Read Aloud (for items)
  • Separate Setting
  • Simplified Test Directions
  • Masking
  • Additional Instructional Supports and Resources for Alternate Assessments
  • ASL or Manually Coded English
  • Alternate Response Options
  • Braille
  • Breaks
  • Large Print
  • Scribe
  • Word Processor