Testing Students with Visual Impairment Overview

This portion of the guide provides information about supported hardware, software, and version requirements and how to configure JAWS. General information about administering a test to a student with a braille accommodation and printing test material is also included.

Assistive Technology

Braille assessments administered in the TDS require the use of multiple assistive technology devices and applications, including the RBDs and screen readers used by students to read and navigate test content, along with the embossers used by TAs and TEs to print test content.

RBDs are used to read text-only content on the Smarter Balanced for ELA and mathematics, the CSA, and the ELPAC. Braille embossers are needed to read any content with images in ELA assessments, the CSA, and the ELPAC, as well as advanced content in mathematics and science assessments. RBDs must be properly set up before they can be used by students. For information about installing and setting up RBDs, refer to the product’s provided instructions and manuals.

The TDS includes several embedded resources that facilitate braille testing, such as braille presentation settings, various print resources for embossing content, and streamlined mode, which arranges test content vertically.

Test Settings

Verify that all test settings are correct. Contact the CAASPP or ELPAC test site coordinator or LEA CAASPP or ELPAC coordinator to have them set if they are not.

  • Confirm that streamlined mode, permissive mode, zoom, and questions and stimuli test settings are correct.
  • If the field for student’s test presentation is not set to Braille, the test administrator or test examiner should not approve the test. The student’s information must be updated in TOMS before the student can test. If the test was approved before the test settings were corrected, the LEA CAASPP coordinator or CAASPP test site coordinator must complete the STAIRS process to file a report and then, when prompted, an Appeal to have the test reset.
  • The options for Braille Type may be in the Approvals and Student Test Settings screen. The Braille Type options for each content area are as follows:
    • Mathematics: UEB Contracted with Nemeth Math
    • ELA, CSA, and ELPAC domains: UEB Contracted or UEB Uncontracted
    • Science: UEB Contracted, UEB Nemeth Math
  • Emboss Request Type is a test setting that determines if embossing requests are generated automatically, without student input, or manually, with student input. The default options for each content area are as follows:
    • Mathematics: Auto-Request (As students move through the test, embossing requests will automatically appear on the Test Administrator Interface.)
    • All other content and domain assessments: On-Request (Students must manually request printing of passages and questions as they move through the test.)

Content to Review

The following bulleted list contains brief descriptions of each section in this portion of the guide.

  • Technology Requirements outlines the supported operating systems and hardware and software requirements for students and TAs or TEs, including test settings in TOMS for consideration.
  • Testing Students Requiring Braille provides an introduction to testing with braille, including a screenshot of the sample interface that students will use and how a student submits a print request; how TAs or TEs configure embossing software; and details about BRF and PRN file types and how to configure them. Information on how to delete temporary downloaded files is also provided.
  • Configuring and Administering with JAWS includes a table of configurable student test settings in TOMS that may be relevant to students with visual impairment and instructions for configuring JAWS to work with the secure browser.
  • Running NVDA Screen Reader with the Microsoft Take a Test Application for Windows provides configuration considerations for using the NVDA Screen Reader with the Microsoft Take a Test application on a device using Windows 10 variants.