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Shelley Homsy, TVI, COMS Instructor, New York Institute for Special Education Judi Piscitello, TVI, COMS Assistant in the Training of Special Educators.

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Presentation on theme: "Shelley Homsy, TVI, COMS Instructor, New York Institute for Special Education Judi Piscitello, TVI, COMS Assistant in the Training of Special Educators."— Presentation transcript:

1 Shelley Homsy, TVI, COMS Instructor, New York Institute for Special Education Judi Piscitello, TVI, COMS Assistant in the Training of Special Educators New York State School for the Blind Eileen Becker, Proofreader Office of State Assessment in consultation with Debbie Willis Accessible Tests Department Council, APH T EST A CCESS & A ccommodations for Students with Visual Impairments A Guide to Decision-Making

2 Legal Requirements IDEA Section 504 ADA Elementary and Secondary Education Act No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) Part 300 Code of Federal Regulations Part 200 NYS Commissioner’s Regulations Part 100 NYS Commissioner’s Regulations IEP

3 Definition of Testing Accommodations Changes in the standard administration of testing procedures or formats including: –the way test items are presented –the student’s method of response –the setting in which the test is administered –the timing/scheduling of the test Do not affect the constructs measured

4 Definition of Testing Modifications Changes made to the testing process, content of the exam or provision of certain adaptive technologies Affect the constructs being measured by the exam May invalidate the student’s score May affect the provision of services

5 Testing Accommodations Should: provide students with equal access to the assessment program enable students to demonstrate their strengths, knowledge and skills without being restricted by their disability provide an accurate measure of the standards and constructs being assessed so that appropriate instruction and services can be provided.

6 Requirements for Testing Accommodations: Reviewed at least annually Clearly stated and specific Included in the IEP with regard to: School based assessments State Assessments (consistent with Department Policy) Regardless of placement setting

7 Quality Indicators of Accommodations: Made systematically by individuals who know strengths & needs of student Based on individual student’s unique needs, not just based on disability Include student & parents in decision- making Documented on IEP & reviewed at least annually Consistent with those currently used in the classroom Routinely provided for the student’s instruction, not just for assessments

8 The CSE ensures that needed accommodations (including testing accommodations) are: - documented on the IEP The Building Principal ensures that accommodations needed are: - approved by VESID and/or requested from the Office of State Assessment (OSA) in time - implemented as per IEP in the: -instructional setting -local and state testing IEP

9 Approval and Documentation of Accommodations on the IEP Extended time in the form of multiple day testing on State assessments needs to be approved by VESID at least three (3) months prior to testing Specify separate setting as individual, when directions are read and/or when using a scribe or braillewriter IEP

10 Documentation of Accommodations on the IEP: Specify: Amount of extended time Breaks Number of times directions are read IEP

11 Examples of Accommodations for A Student with Visual Impairments

12 Types of Instructional Accommodations: Presentation in alternate formats Decreased length of assignments Fewer assignments Breaking assignments into smaller parts Changes in setting Changes in timing and/or scheduling Changes in methods of student response such as use of word processor or scribe

13 Types of Testing Accommodations Method of Presentation –Revised test format –Revised Test Directions (including braille/LP directions and procedures, answer sheet included with questions, etc.) –Highlighting of an entire graphic

14 Examples: Enlarged materials Use of a braille notetaking device Test Read to Student

15 Questions to Consider: Is the student able to participate in the standard administration of the assessment? In order to participate equally, does the student need accommodation regarding: Presentation/format Response Location/setting Schedule/timing

16 Questions to Consider: What construct is being assessed? What accommodation(s) will enable the student to independently demonstrate his/her understanding of the construct? Will the accommodation affect the validity of the assessment?

17 Questions to Consider: To what extent does the student’s disability impede his or her demonstration of the knowledge and/or understanding required by the test? What instructional accommodations, if any, are provided to the student in the classroom that would neither alter the construct being assessed nor allow an unfair advantage to the student over his/her non-disabled peers?

18 Revised Test Directions: Limited to oral or written instructions provided to ALL students that explains: -where and how responses must be recorded -how to proceed in taking the test upon completion of sections -what steps are required upon completion of the examination The term “test directions” never refers to any part of a question or passage that appears on a State assessment.

19 Directions provided in simple language highlightingUnderlining or highlighting key words in directions Provide cues Reread the directions (indicate number of times) Directions signed (indicate number of times) Should help the student understand the directions but not provide additional information Test integrity must not be compromised Revised Test Directions

20 Revised Test Format Braille or large print boldnessIncrease s p a c i n g or boldness Increase size, shape or location of space for answers Reduce # of test items per page Increase size of answer bubbles Arrange items in vertical format with answer bubble next to choice Any reproduction or reformatting for State tests requires advance written permission of the Office of State Assessment (OSA) Large Print Edition

21 Implementation: Presentation/Formats Large Print Edition Obtaining Large Print or Braille Editions of tests Revising a Braille Edition question to make it accessible (done by the Office of State Assessment) Test Read to Student

22 Implementation: Presentation/Formats Large Print Edition Standardized large print is 136% of the regular print version of state test, photocopied onto 11” x 17” paper Customized large print and/or spacing between words requires permission from OSA, which grants permission and timing allowed to make accommodations

23 Implementation: Use of Assistive Technology, Reader and/or Scribe Ordering Assistive Technology (AT) devices Identifying staff to implement accommodations such as a reader or scribe or the use of assistive devices Training qualified individuals to: -train student and staff in the use of AT -read and/or proctor both local and state tests -scribe local and state tests

24 Aids/ Assistive Technology for Presentation/Response Audio tape (student can rewind tape and listen multiple times – indicate number on Plan) Computer (talking word processor) Masks or markers to maintain place Visual magnifica ti on or auditory amplification Talking Tactile Tablet or IVEO (Talking) Calculator

25 Aids/ Assistive Technology Templates/typoscopes/bookmarkers (plain) and graph paper are allowed in order to enable some students to maintain their place or to record answers. These accommodations must be specifically described in the IEP or 504 Plan.

26 Types of Testing Accommodations Presentation via Readers/ Describers Examples: -microscope -political cartoons -illustrations -charts, graphs, maps

27 Use of Scribe or Tape Recorder: Teachers, teacher aides, teacher assistants or other school personnel Appropriately trained and qualified Same scribe for State examinations as for classroom tests and instruction, if possible Scribe must have an understanding of how to record responses using procedures described and be familiar with the test including knowledge of the vocabulary used in the test, as well as being familiar with the student and the student’s accommodations.

28 Amanuensis Amanuensis (Scribe) –student dictates; scribe writes everything word for word –student provides all information, including spelling of difficult words, punctuation, grammar and paragraphing –the above applies to both the use of a scribe and the use of a tape recorder

29 Use of Scribe or Tape Recorder Scribes must record word-for-word what the student dictates or records, leaving out punctuation and capitalization and circling all words that are difficult to spell (words at or above the grade level of the test). Lined paper should be used and the scribe should write on every other line to allow room for capitalization/spelling/punctuation, etc.

30 Types of Testing Accommodations Flexibility in Setting –Conditions of setting (i.e., lighting) –Location Flexibility in Scheduling/Timing –Time extension –Multiple day administration –Test duration and breaks Other –On task focusing prompts –Deletion of spelling, paragraphing and/or punctuation requirements (not allowed on Grades 3-8 ELA*)

31 Flexible Setting Individually in separate location Small group in separate location Special lighting or adaptive furniture (specify) Adaptive or special equipment (specify) Special acoustics (specify) Minimal distractions

32 Flexible Scheduling/Timing Time extension - to allow for the use of other accommodations - breaks and/or extended time to allow for eye strain or visual fatigue - to allow for the extra time needed for a reader to describe diagrams or illustrated materials

33 Flexible Scheduling/Timing - Specify amount of time for entire test –Specify length of time to work before a break and the length of the break Multiple Day Administration requires 3 month written prior approval from VESID

34 Multiple-Day Administration of State Examinations -School must separate examination into clearly defined sections or parts that can be completed within each given day. -On subsequent testing days, the student will be given additional sections to complete. These sections must be provided one at a time. - Student must complete the examination or section(s) administered during a given day.

35 Types of Testing Accommodations Method of Response –Same as those student uses for instruction –Record answers directly in test booklet (may involve revised test format) –Use of Aids/Assistive Technology –Use of scribe

36 Use of Aids/Assistive Technology for Math Calculator –specify type and functions –do not specify brand name – for students whose disability affects ability to memorize or compute basic math facts Abacus Arithmetic tables No formula tables allowed for State tests Visual magnification device s

37 Abacus IS allowed for the grade 3-8 math test Calculator is NOT allowed for the grade 3- 6 math test or portions of the Grade 7-8 math test. Math Table is NOT allowed for the grade 3-6 math test or portions of the Grade 7-8 math test. (See School Administrator’s Manual) Use of Aids/Assistive Technology for Math

38 Accommodations Specific to Math Grades 3-8: Because the test assesses a student’s proficiencies involving calculations, the use of a calculator is NOT allowed. Grades 7-8: A scientific calculator (not graphing) is permitted for short- and extended-response questions, but not for multiple choice assessing calculations. All parts of the test may be read aloud to students whose IEPs or 504 Plans include this accommodation. Mathematics

39 Accommodations Specific to Science Same as those student uses for instruction –Enlargement with magnifier, including video magnification or projector -Tactile/raised line drawings -Use of 3D objects –Aide or Assistant describes what is seen through microscope (training required)

40 Accommodations Specific to ELA For Listening Sections: Test directions and all questions in this part of the test only may be read aloud to students whose IEPs or 504 Plans include this accommodation. If indicated in a student’s IEP or 504 Plan, the listening selection may be read aloud more than the standard number of times. Listening

41 Accommodations Specific to ELA For Reading Sections: Tests directions (usually in bold-faced type, preceding a passage or test question number) may be read aloud to students, but because the test measures reading skills (decoding and comprehension), no other parts of the ELA can be read aloud. Test Directions

42 Accommodations Specific to ELA According to the IDEA, Part 200.4(d)(3)(iii) and the Blind Students Literacy Rights and Education Act (Chapter 299 of the Laws of 2000): In the case of a child who is blind or visually impaired, provide for instruction in Braille and the use of Braille unless the IEP Team determines, after an evaluation of the child's reading and writing skills, needs, and appropriate reading and writing media (including an evaluation of the child's future needs for instruction in Braille or the use of Braille), that instruction in Braille or the use of Braille is not appropriate for the child

43 Accommodations Specific to ELA For Editing Paragraphs (Book 2, Grades 3, 5, and 7): Both the editing paragraph and the sample editing paragraph that precede it may be read aloud to students whose IEPs or 504 Plans include this testing accommodation. Because the test measures writing skills, students are NOT allowed to use spell-checking and/or grammar-checking devices during any part of the ELA test. Students may not have requirements for spelling, paragraphing, and/or punctuation (writing mechanics) waived for any part of the Grades 3-8 ELA tests.

44 Use of Aids/Assistive Technology for ELA Word processor Spell check device –student is accountable for spelling accuracy –cannot have use of spell check device or deletion of spelling requirements* Grammar check device –cannot use a thesaurus or dictionary* –cannot use teacher-made word banks* * on State tests

45 Accommodations Specific to ELA The use of word processors (with spelling and grammar checking devices DISABLED), scribes and tape recorders ARE allowable accommodations for both the ELA and Math tests. For the ELA tests, students using scribes or tape recorders must provide all information for the writing sections of the tests, including spelling of difficult words, punctuation, and paragraphing.

46 Accommodations Specific to ELA Test Read – Eligibility Requirements*: The student has been identified as having a visual impairment and other disabilities that prevent visual or tactual access to written material. Listening is the only mode of reading which is accessible to the student (*see handout for CSE checklist of eligibility requirements for Test Read).

47 Determining Need for Tests Read Test passages, questions, items and multiple choice responses read to student: low incidence accommodation disability precludes or severely limits ability to gain meaning from written language (decoding/word recognition) NOT intended for a student who simply struggles with or dislikes reading should not be the result of a lack of instruction in reading Requires documentation of appropriate, researched-based reading instruction, including remedial reading

48 Implementation of Tests Read –How should it be implemented? everything is read word for word (all directions, questions, items, passages, multiple choice questions, etc.) read in neutral tone State tests may not be simplified or clarified teacher made tests may be simplified or clarified at the discretion of the teacher –When should it be implemented? Local and class tests and quizzes Consistent with Department policy, State exams

49 Test Read: Any clarification of a question or item on teacher-developed tests is permissible only if it can also be provided to all other students without nullifying the test results. Readers should be trained in how to administer this accommodation in the appropriate manner and should be familiar with the content and vocabulary of the subject being assessed including the pronunciation of words on the test.

50 Information and Resources See Handout! Examination Evaluations:


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