“Students with visual impairments can be, and must be, made part of the state’s assessment program through use of accommodations that allow them to demonstrate their knowledge and skill acquisition…”
—Test Access: Making Tests Accessible for Students with Visual Impairments
Accommodations are changes that need to be made in order for a student to access information and demonstrate their skills during instruction and assessment. These can range from something as simple as extra time or a separate setting, to a large print or braille version of a test, to the use of sophisticated assistive technology. The accommodations needed will vary with each student and should be clearly outlined on the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). The accommodations requested on a test should already be used during classroom instruction, and therefore very familiar to the student. The following links contain more information about accommodations.
National Center for Educational Outcomes (NCEO)
NCEO maintains links to Accessibility and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities by state and publishes research.
Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)
Written for school personnel involved in assessment, this document is intended to be revised and used by individual state testing programs in order to make tests accessible for all students.
Targeted for parents of children with visual impairments, this facet of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), provides a simple guide explaining accommodations and understanding your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
Ex Officio Trustees (EOTs)
EOTs can help guide you to more information about how to address the needs of your blind and low vision students as they are charged with administering Federal Quota accounts.
Accommodations Information for Popular Assessments
There are many exams used throughout the nation which have documentation addressing accommodations. Links to the general accommodations information for some of these tests are listed below.
The College Board
The College Board assessments include the SAT, SAT Subject Tests, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and Advanced Placement® Exams.