Accommodations Toolkit

Calculator: States' Accessibility Policies, 2021

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National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)

This summary of states’ accessibility policies for calculator use is part of the Accommodations Toolkit published by the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)[1]. The toolkit also contains a summary of the research literature on calculator use.

Accessibility policies often have several tiers of accessibility features: universal features, designated features, and accommodations[2]. Figure 1 summarizes how states included calculator use in their accessibility policies for students with disabilities in 2021. Table 1 shows how calculator use was included in the policies, while Table 2 contains additional details and specifications. 

Many accessibility policies about calculator use contained many nuances and complexities. The policies sometimes included different acceptable uses or tiers of the accessibility feature based on: the type of calculator, the sections of the test, the subject of the test, the disability or need of the student, or the grade level. For example, California includes calculator use as a universal feature on some sections of both the math and the science test, as a designated feature for students needing a special calculator (e.g., braille calculator, talking calculator) on the science test, and as an accommodation for students needing a special calculator on the math test, as well as specifying what types of calculators are allowable for different grades in different subjects.

Figure 1. States’ Accessibility Policies for Students with Disabilities for Calculator Use, 2021

Math

  • Universal Features (U): 41 States
  • Designated Features (D): 2 States
  • Accommodations (A): 42 States

Science

  • Universal Features (U): 29 States
  • Designated Features (D): 3 States
  • Accommodations (A): 23 States

Table 1. Accommodations Policies for Calculator Use by State, 2021

U = Universal Feature, D = Designated Feature, A = Accommodation, ELA = English Language Arts, X = Allowed, SD = Allowed for Students with Disabilities, Blank cell = no policy found, N = Notes in Table 2

State

Math

Science

Notes

(See Table 2)

U

D

A

U

D

A

Alabama

Alaska

X

N

Arizona

X

SD

N

Arkansas

SD

N

California

X

SD

X

X

N

Colorado

X

SD

X

SD

N

Connecticut

X

SD

X

SD

N

Delaware

X

SD

X

SD

N

District of Columbia

X

SD

N

Florida

X

SD

X

SD

N

Georgia

X

SD

N

Hawaii

X

X

SD

Idaho

X

SD

N

Illinois

SD

N

Indiana

X

SD

SD

N

Iowa

X

SD

X

SD

N

Kansas

X

X

N

Kentucky

X

SD

X

SD

N

Louisiana

X

SD

X

SD

N

Maine

X

N

Maryland

SD

N

Massachusetts

SD

N

Michigan

X

SD

SD

N

Minnesota

X

SD

X

N

Mississippi

X

SD

X

SD

Missouri

X

SD

X

N

Montana

X

SD

X

SD

N

Nebraska

X

X

N

Nevada

X

SD

N

New Hampshire

X

X

N

New Jersey

X

SD

X

N

New Mexico

X

SD

N

New York

SD

SD

N

North Carolina

X

SD

X

SD

N

North Dakota

X

SD

X

SD

N

Ohio

X

X

SD

X

X

SD

N

Oklahoma

X

SD

X

N

Oregon

X

SD

X

N

Pennsylvania

X

SD

X

SD

N

Rhode Island

X

SD

X

N

South Carolina

X

SD

X

SD

N

South Dakota

X

SD

X

SD

N

Tennessee

X

N

Texas

X

X

N

Utah

X

SD

X

SD

N

Vermont

X

SD

X

SD

N

Virginia

SD

SD

N

Washington

X

SD

X

SD

N

West Virginia

X

SD

N

Wisconsin

SD

N

Wyoming

X

SD

N

Total (Students with Disabilities)

41

2

42

29

3

23

Note: Blank cell = no policy found

Table 2. Details and Specifications: States’ Calculator Use Accessibility Policies

State

Details/Specifications

Alaska

Universal Feature (Math):

Available only on select sections on the math content assessment. See Test Administration Directions and Assessment Calculator Policy for specific information.

Arizona

Universal Feature (Math):

Grades 7-8 (Part 1 only): Scientific calculators are acceptable.

Grade 10 (entire test): Graphing calculators are acceptable.

CBT (computer-based tests) – Students have access to the calculator tool when calculator use is permitted. Students may opt to use an acceptable handheld calculator instead of this tool when calculator use is permitted.

PBT (paper-based tests) – Students may use an acceptable handheld calculator when calculator use is permitted. Schools should provide students with an appropriate handheld calculator.

Accommodation (Math):

Students may use an abacus without restrictions for any Math test or a talking calculator for students taking Part 1 of the 7th or 8th grade Math test or any part of the 10th grade Math test.

Arkansas

Accommodation (Math):

Accessible calculator: A calculator with features that make it usable for examinees with visual impairments, such as large key, braille, or talking. This is not the same as a standard calculator.

California

Universal Feature (Math, Science):

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students select the calculator button.

For mathematics, this tool is available only on the specific items for which the Smarter Balanced Item Specifications indicated as appropriate in grades 6–8 and grade 11.

For science, this tool is available as a four-function calculator for grade 5 and a scientific calculator for grade 8 and high school.

Because the CAAs are administered in a one-on-one setting, this resource is not applicable to the CAAs.

Designated Feature (Science):

This science resource is a non-embedded calculator for students needing a special calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator, currently unavailable within the assessment platform.

For science, the basic calculator is to be used for grade 5, and a scientific calculator is to be used for grade 8 and high school.

Accommodation (Math):

For math, this resource is a non-embedded calculator for students needing a special calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator, currently unavailable within the assessment platform.

This math accommodation is available for allowed items in grades 6–8 and grade 11.

Colorado

Universal Feature (Math, Science):

4-function: Grade 5 Science

5-function: Grades 6 and 7 Math

Scientific: Grade 8 Math and Science; High School Science

Accommodation (Math, Science):

Talking calculator: Available only to students with an IEP or 504 plan with a documented diagnosis of blindness/visual impairment. Assess students who use a talking calculator in a separate testing environment. The student uses the calculator or abacus used during daily instruction on all units of the science assessment and the calculator sections/units of the math assessment.

Calculator on non-calculator sections for math: The Calculation Device and Math Charts and Counters on Non-Calculator Sections accommodation may be available to a limited number of students with a disability which significantly limits or prevents the student from performing basic calculations. At the educational team’s discretion, any student may have this accommodation on their IEP or 504 plan for instructional purposes. Only a very limited number of students who meet specific guidance criteria may use the accommodation on the CMAS Mathematics assessment and receive a valid score.

Connecticut

Universal Feature:

Desmos Calculator (For calculator-allowed math items only, Grades 6-8; NGSS Grades 5, 8, and 11): The Smarter Balanced Assessments for mathematics in Grades 6-8 offers an embedded on-screen Desmos digital calculator that can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator icon. This tool is available only with the specific items for which the Smarter Balanced Item Specifications indicated that it would be appropriate.

The Desmos functions vary by grade:

  • a basic calculator (Grade 6 math)
  • a scientific calculator (Grades 7 and 8 math)
  • a scientific/graphing calculator (Grade 11 math)

Additionally, the Desmos Calculator is available for all students taking the NGSS Assessment in Grades 5, 8, and 11. Students who are unable to access the online calculator on the NGSS may use a hand-held calculator (per the calculator descriptions stated above) as a non-embedded universal tool.

When the embedded Desmos Calculator is not suitable for a student participating in the NGSS, the provision of a battery-operated hand-held calculator may be appropriate. If a calculator is provided, proctors must ensure that the device is functional, has working batteries, and that the student is familiar and comfortable with how to use it. Students may not use calculators available on their phones, iPads, or other electronic devices. Students may not share calculators. Depending on the student’s grade, the following calculator types are permissible:

  • Grade 5- basic calculator
  • Grade 8 and 11- scientific or graphing calculators

Accommodation:

Specialized Calculator (Math Grade 6-8 for Calculator-Allowed Items Only; Science Grades 5, 8, & 11): A specialized calculator (Braille/Talking Calculator) is typically used during instruction for students who are blind. A specialized calculator may also be used for those students who access calculators with assistive technology devices. Care must be taken to ONLY provide this accommodation for the Smarter Balanced Mathematics calculator-allowed items in Grades 6-8. Additionally, the test administrator must prevent distractions for other students using procedures such as using the calculator with ear phones or testing the student in a separate test environment. The specialized calculator is available as needed for NGSS items in Grades 5, 8, and 11.

Delaware

Universal Feature (Grades 6-8 and H.S.):

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator- allowed items when students click on the calculator button. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all students, is not appropriate for a student, (e.g., a blind student), the student may use a calculator offered for technology devices (such as a talking or a braille calculator – see Non-Embedded Accommodations for students who cannot use the embedded calculator).

Five Function Calculator (PAN): Provides five functions: addition, subtraction, division, multiplication and square root. Science Grade 8 and Biology only. Not available for grade 5 or Social Studies.

Accommodation (Handheld/Adaptive, Grades 6-8 and HS):

A non-embedded, stand-alone calculator for students needing a specialized calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator, currently unavailable within the assessment platform. Students who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the calculator that they typically use, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator. Test administrators should ensure that the calculator is available only for designated calculator items and that calculator functions are consistent with those of the embedded calculator for each grade level. The non-embedded calculator should have no internet or wireless connectivity, and all security procedures need to be followed.

District of Columbia

Accommodation (Math):

Non-Standard Calculation Device on Calculator Sections: Student uses a specific calculation device that is different from the embedded grade-level calculator on the calculator section of the assessment (e.g., large key, talking, or other adapted calculator).

Calculation Device on Non-Calculator Sections: The purpose of the calculation device on the non-calculator sections is to provide access for students with a disability that severely limits or prevents their ability to perform basic calculations (i.e., student is unable to perform single-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division). For additional guidance to assist IEP or 504 teams in identifying students for this accommodation, and for a complete list of permissible calculation devices, please review this accommodation in the PARCC Accommodations Manual.

Allowable calculators for the calculator accommodation on calculator sections include:

  • Grades 3-5: Four-function with square root and percentage functions.
  • Grades 6-7: Four-function with square root and percentage functions.
  • Grade 8: Scientific calculators (Student may also bring a four-function with square root and percentage functions in addition to a grade-level calculator).
  • High School: Graphing calculators with functionalities consistent with TI-84 or similar models (Student may also bring a scientific calculator or a four-function with square root and percentage functions).

Allowable calculators for the calculator accommodation on non-calculator sections:

  • Grades 3-5: Four-function with square root and percentage functions.
  • Grades 6-7: Four-function with square root and percentage functions.
  • Grade 8: Scientific calculators (Student may also bring a four-function with square root and percentage functions in addition to grade-level calculator).
  • High School: Graphing calculators with functionalities consistent with TI-84 or similar models. (Student may also bring a scientific calculator or a four-function with square root and percentage functions.)

Florida

Accommodation:

For Sessions 2 and 3 of Grades 7–8 Mathematics and for Session 2 of EOC (end-of-course) Mathematics tests, a regular, large key/large display, or talking scientific calculator may be used. No other calculator may be used. Calculators may not be used during other tests or test sessions. For NGSSS Grade 8 Science and Biology 1 EOC Assessments, a regular, large key/large display, or talking four-function calculator may be used.

Georgia

Universal Feature (Math):

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator button. The basic calculator can perform the four arithmetic functions: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The scientific calculator is a comprehensive calculator with the ability to perform square root, exponential, logarithmic, trigonometric, and factorial functions, as well as the four arithmetic functions.

Accommodation (Math):

Basic function calculator or adapted basic calculator (e.g., braille or talking calculator).

The use of this conditional accommodation for the Mathematics Georgia Milestones for students in grades 3-5 must be restricted to only those students with IEPs who meet ALL eligibility criteria outlined below:

  1. The student has a specific disability that prohibits him/her from performing basic calculations (i.e., addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so; and
  2. The student is unable to perform calculations without the use of a calculation device, which the student uses for routine classroom instruction; and
  3. There are clear and specific goals within the student’s IEP addressing the deficits which necessitate the need for this conditional accommodation.

NOTE: Only a basic function or basic adapted calculator may be used; scientific and other advanced calculators are strictly prohibited. The test administrator may not provide any assistance or direction to the student regarding the use of the calculator.

Idaho

Universal Feature (for calculator-allowed items only, grades 6-8 and HS; Math):

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator button. This tool is available only with the specific items for which the Smarter Balanced Item Specifications indicate that it would be appropriate. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all students, is not appropriate for a student (for example, for a student who is blind), the student may use the calculator offered with assistive technology devices (such as a talking calculator or a braille calculator).

Accommodation (for calculator allowed items only, grades 6-8 and HS; Math):

A non-embedded, stand-alone calculator for students needing a specialized calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator, currently unavailable within the assessment platform. Students who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the calculator that they typically use, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator. Test administrators should ensure that the calculator is available only for designated calculator items and that calculator functions are consistent with those of the embedded calculator for each grade level. The non-embedded calculator should have no internet or wireless connectivity, and all security procedures need to be followed.

Illinois

Accommodation (Math):

Calculator sections

Allowable calculators for the calculator accommodation on calculator sections include:

  • Grades 3-5: Four-function with square root and percentage functions.
  • Grades 6-7: Four-function with square root and percentage functions.
  • Grade 8: Scientific calculators (Student may also bring a four-function with square root and percentage functions in addition to a grade-level calculator).

During Testing: A student uses a specific calculation device (e.g., large key, talking, or other adapted calculator) other than the embedded grade-level calculator on the CALCULATOR SECTION of the mathematics assessments. If a talking calculator is used, the student must use headphones or be tested in a separate setting.

Non-calculator sections

The purpose of the calculation device on the non-calculator sections accommodation is to provide access for students with a disability that severely limits or prevents their ability to perform basic calculations (i.e., student is unable to perform single-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division). For these students, a calculation device may be used on the non-calculator AND calculator sections of the mathematics assessments. The IEP or 504 plan must specify which device(s) or manipulatives. SR/PNP must have Calculation Device and Mathematics Tools on non-calculator sections selected. Manipulatives may require state assessment office approval, depending on state policies.

Allowable calculators for the calculator accommodation on non-calculator sections:

  • Grades 3-5: Four-function with square root and percentage functions.
  • Grades 6-7: Four-function with square root and percentage functions.
  • Grade 8: Scientific calculators (student may also bring a four-function with square root and percentage functions in addition to grade-level calculator).

Indiana

Universal Feature (Math):

An Online Desmos Four-Function Calculator for calculator allowed items will be available for ILEARN Grade 6. An Online Desmos Scientific Calculator for calculator allowed items will be available for ILEARN Grades 7 and 8.

Accommodation:

An Online Desmos Four-Function Calculator for All items will be available for ILEARN Grade 6. An Online Desmos Calculator for all items will be available for ILEARN Grades 7 and 8.

Adaptive and/or Handheld Calculator for Calculator Allowed Items: A non-embedded calculator for students needing a handheld or adaptive calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator for calculator allowed items (ILEARN 6-8 Mathematics). This calculator can be Adaptive or handheld or both adaptive and handheld. NOTE: Guidance for Use of the Adaptive and/or Handheld Calculator is located in Section 7. Adaptive and/or Handheld Calculator for All Items: A non-embedded calculator for students needing a handheld or adaptive calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator, for all items (I AM, ILEARN 6-8 Mathematics, ILEARN grades 4 and 6 Science, ILEARN Biology, and ISTEP+). This calculator can be Adaptive or handheld or both adaptive and handheld. NOTE: Guidance for Use of the Adaptive and/or Handheld Calculator is located in Section 7.

Iowa

Universal Feature:

For the Mathematics and Science tests, students will be provided access to one of three Desmos Calculators within TestNav. The calculator provided will be appropriate for the grade level being assessed. Students taking a paper test may use an approved calculator on the Mathematics and Science tests. Students access the on-screen digital calculator by selecting the calculator icon from the toolbar. When the embedded calculator is not appropriate for the student, the student may use an alternative locally approved physical calculator or digital calculator. Any calculator with Computer Algebra System (CAS) capabilities or QWERTY format letter keys are not permitted for use on the Mathematics and Science tests.

Calculators allowed:

  • Grades 3–5: Basic Four-Function
  • Grade 6: Four-Function with Percentage Key
  • Grades 7–11: Scientific

Accommodation:

A student uses a specific calculation device (e.g., large key, talking, or other adapted calculator) in place of the embedded grade-level calculator. Students with visual impairments who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the calculator that they typically use, such as a braille notetaker calculator or a talking calculator. Test administrators should ensure that the calculator is available only for designated calculator items.

Kansas

Calculators on the Mathematics Assessment (Universal Feature):

Grades 6–8 and grade 10

Both test sessions will begin with the calculator-inactive section. During Section 1, students should not have a handheld calculator and the online calculator tool will not be available in the Kite Student Portal. During Section 2, students may use a handheld calculator and the online calculator tool will be available in the Kite Student Portal.

  • Students in grades 6, 7, and 8 have access to a basic four-function calculator and a scientific calculator (TI-30XS Multiview).
  • Students in grade 10 have access to a basic four-function calculator and a graphing calculator (TI-84).
  • Calculators are not permitted for students in grades 3, 4, and 5.

Beyond using online calculators available in the Kite Student Portal, students are also permitted to use their own calculators on parts of the test where the calculator tool is available. Students may use only approved handheld calculators. Use of a calculator app or website on a phone or other device is not permitted on the assessment.

  • Students in grades 6, 7, and 8 are limited to using a scientific calculator.
  • Students in grade 10 are limited to using a scientific calculator or a graphing calculator.
  • Students do not have access to the calculator on test items that require students to demonstrate direct knowledge of computational skills. These items are contained in Section 1 of the test, and the calculator tool is unavailable.

If students choose to use a handheld calculator, the memory must be cleared both before AND after each testing session. Search online for specific instructions regarding how to clear the memory for the different types of calculators students will use in your classroom. At the break between the calculator-inactive and calculator-active sections, students may get out a handheld calculator. You may want to have students raise their hand when they complete the calculator-inactive section so that you know who is permitted to use a calculator. The calculator-inactive section has 10 or fewer items, so you will be able to tell which section the student is working on by looking at the progress bar across the top of the screen.

Calculators on the Science Assessment (Universal Feature):

The calculator needed for the science assessment is available in the Kite Student Portal toolbox. When students choose to use a handheld calculator, the memory must be cleared both before AND after each testing session. Search online for specific instructions regarding how to clear the memory for the different types of calculators students will use in your classroom.

Kentucky

Universal Feature:

Calculator Use Policy for Online Testing:

Desmos calculators will be available for students to use in TestNav for the K-PREP. There are three calculators available – four-function, scientific, and graphing. Students will have access to the three types of calculators depending upon the grade level and the question. Elementary (3- 5) grades will have access to the four-function calculator; Middle (6-8) grades will have access to the scientific calculator; and High (10, 11) grades will have access to the graphing calculator. Note: Students taking the science test at grade 11 will have use of the scientific calculator. The calculator will appear on the online screen on certain questions that allow a calculator when the Calculator button is selected. Only students that receive specific accommodations or accommodated kits can use a hand-held calculator. If a student is taking the test using Braille or Large-Print, then they may use a hand-held calculator from the approved calculator policy.

Calculator Use Policy for State Testing:

The KDE calculator policy applies to all paper-based state assessments, and to all students, including those who receive test accommodations with an Individual Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan. In some instances, a student with an IEP or a 504 Plan might use a device not listed on the approved calculator list. The District Assessment Coordinator (DAC) must submit a written request to the Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) for permission allowing a student to use the device not included on the list. OAA will consider the request, which will include reviewing IEPs or 504 plans, to determine if the device is part of the plan and whether it would provide an unfair advantage on state assessments. Each grade level has a calculator and no-calculator section, thus even permitted calculators should only be used within the appropriate section of testing.

Calculator Use Policy for Paper-Based Testing and Testing with Accommodations:

The use of a permitted calculator is allowed on all sections of the state-required assessment including those sections labeled non-calculator for students with an IEP or 504 Plan. The test administrator is not permitted to encourage the use of a calculator. It is the examinee’s responsibility to know whether his/her type calculator is permitted. Calculators that hold documents or programs must have all documents and programs removed that have computer algebra system functionality.

Hand-Held Calculator Accommodation:

Students receiving Braille or Large-Print kits must use a hand-held calculator on the approved calculator list. Students taking the online test should use the online calculator provided, however some students may qualify for a hand-held calculator if they meet specific guidelines.

  • They must have use of a calculator and a mathematics deficiency noted on their IEP or 504 Plan.
  • They must have received and consistently used the calculator as part of regular classroom instructions throughout the year. Like all other accommodations, a calculator cannot simply be a state testing accommodation.
  • A hand-held calculator must be clearly indicated on the IEP or 504; otherwise the student only qualifies for an online calculator during testing. 

If students meet the above conditions, they may use an approved hand-held calculator on the online version of the test. If a student needs a hand-held calculator that is not on the approved list, the District Assessment Coordinator (DAC) must submit a written request to the Office of Assessment and Accountability (OAA) for permission allowing a student to use device not included on the list.

Online Calculator Accommodation:

Students taking the online test with a calculator accommodation noted on their IEP or 504 Plan that does not specify hand-held and/or clearly specifies electronic or online calculator, may be provided an online calculator even on no-calculator tests. Use of the online calculator must meet specific guidelines:

  • Student must have use of a calculator and a mathematics deficiency noted on their IEP or 504 Plan.

Student must have received and consistently used the calculator as part of regular classroom instruction throughout the year. Like all other accommodations, a calculator cannot simply be a state testing accommodation.

Louisiana

Universal Feature:

Grade 6-12 students are provided a hand-held calculator.

Accommodation (for non-calculator sections of Mathematics Assessments):

Paper-based: Students who have a calculator accommodation may be provided a hand-held calculator during the non-calculator and calculator sessions of the test.

Computer-based: Students who have a calculator accommodation may be provided a hand-held calculator during the non-calculator and calculator sessions of the test.

The purpose of the calculation device on the non-calculator sections accommodation is to provide access for students with a disability that severely limits or prevents their ability to perform basic calculations, including an inability to perform single-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.

Allowable calculators for the calculator accommodation on non-calculator sections:

  • Grades 3-5: Four-function with square root and percentage functions.
  • Grades 6-7: Four-function with square root and percentage functions.
  • Grade 8: Scientific calculators must not have graphing capabilities.
  • High School: Graphing calculators with functionalities consistent with TI-84 or similar models. (Student may also bring a scientific calculator or a four-function with square root and percentage functions.)

Maine

Accommodation (Math):

Modified/Adaptive Calculator or Abacus:

A student uses a specific calculation device (e.g., large key, talking, or other adapted calculator) other than the embedded grade-level calculator for items that include a calculator for students to use. This includes use of an Abacus.

Maryland

Accommodation (Math):

Calculation Device and Mathematics Tools (on Calculator sections of the Mathematics Assessments):

If a student’s disability affects mathematics calculation, reasoning or access, a calculator or other mathematical tool may be needed. Some students may need to use mathematical tools such as a large print ruler, braille ruler, tactile compass, braille protractor. Sometimes other mathematical tools are needed by students with disabilities such as arithmetic tables, two-color chips, counters and counting chips, square tiles, base ten blocks, or 100s charts.

Calculation Device and Mathematics Tools (on Calculator sections of the Mathematics Assessments):

If a student’s disability affects mathematics calculation, reasoning or access, a calculator or other mathematical tool may be needed. Some students may need to use mathematical tools such as a large print ruler, braille ruler, tactile compass, braille protractor. Sometimes other mathematical tools are needed by students with disabilities such as arithmetic tables, two-color chips, counters and counting chips, square tiles, base ten blocks, or 100s charts.

Massachusetts

Accommodation (Math):

Calculation device or other mathematics tool (including addition/subtraction or multiplication/division tables; or manipulatives) on the non-calculator session of the Mathematics test or retest:

This accommodation is intended for a small number of students with documented disabilities that severely limit or prevent them from performing basic calculations without a calculation device or other mathematics tool, as documented in locally administered diagnostic evaluations, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so.

The student must meet all of the following criteria:

  • be virtually unable to calculate (i.e., unable to perform single-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division without a calculation device or other mathematics tool); and
  • uses the calculation device or tool during routine instruction in mathematics; and
  • receives ongoing intervention to learn the skill.

The student’s IEP or 504 plan must specify which calculation device or tool will be used (e.g., calculator or multiplication table).

Manipulatives and other mathematics tools (excluding calculators and arithmetic tables) must be approved by the Department prior to their use on MCAS tests. Please contact Student Assessment Services at 781-338-3625 or mcas@doe.mass.edu to request approval.

Michigan

Accommodation (Grades 6 and 7):

While taking the online test, students in grades 6 and 7 with visual or other impairments who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the device they typically use, such as a braille calculator or talking calculator. Calculators are not allowed as a Designated Support or Accommodation for students taking the M-STEP mathematics tests in grades 3–5. Note: Test administrators must ensure that the calculator is available for students to use only for designated calculator items. This can be identified by whether or not the calculator is displaying for a question in the online system or not.

Minnesota

Universal Feature:

Calculators may be used on the Mathematics and Science MCAs and MTAS as follows: For online tests:

  • For grades 3–8 Mathematics MCA, only the online calculator may be used as a general support; use of a handheld calculator is considered an accommodation.
  • For the grade 11 Mathematics MCA, the online calculator or handheld calculator may be used as general supports.
  • For Science MCA, only the online calculator may be used as a general support.

For paper tests:

  • For grades 3–8 Mathematics MCA handheld calculators may be used as a general support for Segments 2–4.
  • For grade 11 Mathematics MCA, handheld calculators may be used on the entire test as a general support.
  • For Science MCA, a handheld calculator may be used as a general support when an item requires simple mathematical calculations.

For Mathematics and Science MTAS, calculators or anything that the student uses as a calculator (e.g., assistive technology devices) may be used on any tasks. See Calculator Use in Chapter 8 for detailed information about calculator usage policies and procedures.

Accommodation (Math):

Handheld calculator is considered an accommodation for the grades 3–8 Mathematics MCA. The student must use paper test materials, follow the calculator use policies in Chapter 8 and Appendix B, and only use the calculator for segments where calculators are allowed. Note that because the handheld calculator accommodation requires students to move from an online test to a paper test, students lose the benefits of online testing, including interactive test items and an adaptive test tailored to their skill level. Standard, scientific, or graphing calculators with a talking feature may also be used in an individual setting if the use is documented in the IEP or 504 plan and the calculator policies in Chapter 8 and Appendix B are followed. A 12-point regular print test book will be automatically shipped if this code is indicated in Pretest Editing by Jan. 22; after this date, the test book must be ordered as an additional order in PearsonAccess Next. All student responses must be entered online by district staff within the testing window. See Entering Student Responses Online for MCA Paper Accommodations in this chapter. Notes:

  • Since a calculator is allowed on all sections/segments of the grade 11 Mathematics MCA, the use of a handheld calculator is not indicated as an accommodation for grade 11 Mathematics MCA.
  • If a student’s IEP or 504 plan indicates handheld calculator (HC) and a 12-point regular print test book (12), only one code can be indicated in Pretest Editing; a 12-point test book is automatically sent when either code is indicated by Jan. 22.
  • If a student’s IEP or 504 plan indicates HC and script (MS), only the MS is indicated in Pretest Editing; a 12-point test book is automatically sent when the script is indicated by Jan. 22.
  • If a student’s IEP or 504 plan indicates HC, MS, and 12, only the MS code is indicated in Pretest Editing; a 12-point test book is automatically sent when the script is indicated by Jan. 22.

Missouri

Universal Feature

The INSIGHT student platform provides all students in Grades 6-8access to an embedded calculator for use on the mathematics assessment. All students in Grades 6-8 may have access to a physical calculator for all mathematics sessions. Additionally, students taking any Science assessment may also have access to a physical calculator. The memory of the physical calculator must be cleared before and after testing by the test examiner. Please Note: Calculator use in mathematics Grades 3-5 is an accommodation that must appear in a student’s IEP/504 plan.

Montana

Universal Feature (Math calculator items only Grades 6-8, HS):

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator button. This tool is available only with the specific items for which the Smarter Balanced Item Specifications indicate that it would be appropriate. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all students, is not appropriate for a student (for example, for a student who is blind), the student may use the calculator offered with assistive technology devices (such as a talking calculator or a braille calculator). When the embedded Desmos Calculator is not suitable for a student participating in the MSA, AMSA, or Smarter Balanced Math assessments, the provision of a battery-operated hand-held calculator may be appropriate. If a calculator is provided, proctors must ensure that the device is functional, has working batteries, and that the student is familiar and comfortable with how to use it. Students may not use calculators available on their phones, iPads, or other electronic devices. Students may not share calculators. Depending on the student’s grade, the following calculator types are permissible:

  • Grade 5- basic calculator
  • Grade 8 and 11- scientific or graphing calculators

Accommodation (for calculator allowed items only, grades 6-8 and HS):

A non-embedded, stand-alone calculator for students needing a specialized calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator, currently unavailable within the assessment platform. Students who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the calculator that they typically use, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator. Test administrators should ensure that the calculator is available only for designated calculator items.

Nebraska

Universal Feature:

These digital tools (e.g., ruler, protractor, calculator, etc.) are used for tasks related to math items. They are available only with the specific items for which one or more of these tools would be appropriate.

Nevada

Universal Feature (for calculator-allowed items only, grades 6-8 and HS; Math):

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator button. This tool is available only with the specific items for which the Smarter Balanced Item Specifications indicate that it would be appropriate. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all students, is not appropriate for a student (for example, for a student who is blind), the student may use the calculator offered with assistive technology devices (such as a talking calculator or a braille calculator).

Accommodation (for calculator allowed items only, grades 6-8 and HS; Math):

A non-embedded, stand-alone calculator for students needing a specialized calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator, currently unavailable within the assessment platform. Students who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the calculator that they typically use, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator. Test administrators should ensure that the calculator is available only for designated calculator items and that calculator functions are consistent with those of the embedded calculator for each grade level. The non-embedded calculator should have no internet or wireless connectivity, and all security procedures need to be followed.

New Hampshire

Universal Feature:

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator button. This tool is available only with the specific items for which the NH SAS Item Specifications indicated that it would be appropriate. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all students, is not appropriate for a student (for example, for a student who is blind), the student may use the calculator offered with assistive technology devices (such as a talking calculator or a braille calculator).

New Jersey

Universal Feature:

Calculators Usage of calculators is permitted only in certain units or sections of units in the mathematics assessment, and in all units of the science assessment.

  • Grades 3–5 do not have any calculator sections or units in the mathematics assessment.
  • In grades 6, 7, and high school, the first mathematics unit is split into two sections: a non-calculator section and a calculator section. The other units permit calculator usage throughout the entire unit.
  • In grade 8 mathematics, calculators are not allowed in the first unit, but the remaining units permit calculator usage throughout the entire unit.
  • In science, all units permit calculator usage.

Students must only use calculators that are allowable for their grade and course assessment. Allowing the use of a calculator that is designated for a lower or higher grade-level assessment may unfairly disadvantage or advantage students and is, therefore, not allowed. Only students with a specific calculator accommodation may use calculators outside of their grade level.

For students who meet the guidelines in the Accessibility Features and Accommodations (AF&A) Manual for a calculation device, this accommodation allows a calculation device to be used on non- calculator sections of the NJSLA–Math. If a student needs a calculator as part of an accommodation in a non-calculator section of a computer-based test, the student will need a hand-held calculator because an online calculator will not be available. For more clarifications and complete guidance, refer to Section 3 (4D and 4E) of the AF&A Manual and the Calculator Policy at the NJSLA Resource Center, https://nj.mypearsonsupport.com, located under Educator Resources > Test Administration Resources

New Mexico

Universal Feature (Math):

Universal features include:

  • calculators, rulers, protractors, and other math tools (on math assessment sections that allow those tools)

Accommodation (Math):

Accommodations include:

  • calculation device on non-calculator portion of math test

For students whose disability severely limits or prevents their ability to perform basic calculations (i.e., student is unable to perform single digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division). Approved calculation device on non-calculator section of math assessment. (Calculator is a universal tool on the calculator section.)

New York

Universal Feature:

Under no circumstances may calculators with symbol manipulation be made available to students taking Regents Examinations. In addition, calculators that can communicate with other calculators through infrared sensors or any other method of transmission are not permitted. The use of operating manuals, instruction or formula cards, or other information concerning the operation of calculators is also not permitted during the examinations. Additional information on the use of calculators on secondary-level examinations may be found in the School Administrator’s Manual for Secondary-Level Examinations available on the Office of State Assessment’s webpage (http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/manuals/ ).

North Carolina

Accommodation:

The following examples of calculators may be specified in the IEP or Section 504 Plan as part of an AT Devices accommodation for any state test, including alternate assessments, that require calculator use, unless otherwise noted: 1. Students may use talking calculators and large key calculators as an AT Devices accommodation and receive valid test results only when calculator use is part of the standard test administration. Students using “talking” calculators must either use headphones or receive the Testing in a Separate Room (one-on-one) accommodation so as not to disturb other students during the test administration.

Students may use calculators that print as an AT Devices accommodation and receive valid test results only when calculator use is part of the standard test administration. If a student uses a calculator that prints, those printed materials are secure test materials that must be recycled or destroyed in a secure manner as defined in the North Carolina Test Coordinators’ Policies and Procedures Handbook.

Students may use graphing calculators and software programs during designated state tests and receive valid test results only when calculator use is part of the standard test administration. For those students who require auditory and tactual access to graphing calculators, the IEP team or Section 504 committee may determine that the students may use software programs approved by the NCDPI Division of Accountability Services. (The software programs must be approved through the Special Accommodation Request process to ensure validity of test results.) The student must use the program on a consistent basis during regular classroom instruction and similar classroom assessments, and the calculator must operate independently during the test administration. Immediately following the test administration, any saved files that contain test questions must be purged, and any embossed test questions created by the software program must be recycled or destroyed in a secure manner as defined in the North Carolina Test Coordinators’ Policies and Procedures Handbook. For more information on graphing calculator accessibility, contact the NCDPI Exceptional Children Division.

North Dakota

Universal Feature:

A handheld or digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when learners click on the calculator button. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all learners, is not appropriate (for example, for a learner who is blind), the learner may use the calculator offered with assistive technology devices (such as a talking calculator or a braille calculator).

Accommodation:

A handheld or digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when learners click on the calculator button. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all learners, is not appropriate (for example, for a learner who is blind), the learner may use the calculator offered with assistive technology devices (such as a talking calculator or braille calculator).

Ohio

Universal Feature:

The Test Delivery System provides a calculator for student use on calculator-allowable mathematics tests or parts of test and the physical science test. The OST and the OGT will use Desmos as the online calculator. The Desmos calculators are also available in the Student Practice Resources folder on the Ohio’s State Tests portal. Additional calculator guidance is in the Test Administration Manual for each test.

A graphing calculator is available on the following end-of-course tests:

  • Algebra I
  • Geometry
  • Integrated Mathematics I
  • Integrated Mathematics II

A scientific calculator is available on the following tests:

  • Physical Science
  • Grades 6 to 8 Mathematics
  • Mathematics and science OGT

Designated Feature:

Students may use handheld calculators and fact charts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division only) for calculator-allowable mathematics tests or parts of test and the physical science test. Additional calculator guidance is in the Test Administration Manuals. The red TI-30X IIS is the only handheld calculator that can be used in place of the online calculator during the mathematics and science OGT.

Accommodation:

The student uses a handheld or embedded calculator or fact chart (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division only) on a non-calculator mathematics test or part of test. Both parts of grades 3 through 5 mathematics tests and part 1 of grades 6 and 7 mathematics tests are non-calculator tests. The accommodation would be permitted on test sections for which calculators are not allowed for other students. IEP teams and 504 plan coordinators should carefully review the following guidelines for identifying students to receive this accommodation. This accommodation is for students with disabilities that severely limit or prevent their abilities to perform basic calculations (i.e., single-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division). In making decisions whether to provide the student with this accommodation, IEP teams and 504 plan coordinators should consider whether the student has a disability that severely limits or prevents the student’s ability to perform basic calculations (i.e., single-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division), even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so.

Before documenting the accommodation in the student’s IEP or 504 plan, teams also should consider whether:

  • The student is unable to perform calculations without the use of a calculation device, arithmetic table or manipulative during routine instruction;
  • The student’s inability to perform mathematical calculations is documented in evaluation summaries from locally administered diagnostic assessments;
  • The student receives ongoing, intensive instruction and/or interventions to learn to calculate without using a calculation device, in order to ensure that the student continues to learn basic calculation and fluency. 

If students in grades 3-5 will use the embedded Desmos calculator within the Student Testing Site for a math test, the test administrator must turn on this accommodation when approving the student to test for part 1 and part 2. If students in grades 6 and 7 will use the embedded Desmos calculator within the Student Testing Site as an accommodation, the test administrator must turn it on this accommodation when approving the student to test for part 1. An embedded calculator for non-calculator math tests or parts of math tests cannot be turned on ahead of testing in TIDE. Calculators are allowed on the grades 5 and 8 science tests and the biology end-of-course test for students with disabilities. However, there are no mathematical calculations on these Ohio science tests and a calculator should not be needed. An embedded calculator is not available for these tests. Calculator guidance is in the Test Administration Manual.

Oklahoma

Universal Feature:

Use of a calculator on Grades 3–5 Mathematics: Only basic four-function calculators with square root and percent are allowed. Calculators must be provided to students and are not integrated within the online testing interface.

Audio Calculator: This requires earphones for group testing. A non-embedded calculator for students needing a special OSTP Accommodations for Students with an IEP or 504 Plan calculator, such as a Braille calculator or a talking calculator, is currently unavailable within the online assessment platform.

Grades 3-5 Math

  • Calculators are only allowed as an approved accommodation for students on an IEP or 504 Plan.
  • For students with an approved IEP or 504 Plan accommodation, only basic four-function calculators with square root and percent are allowed.
  • Calculators must be provided to students and are not integrated within the online testing interface.

Grades 6-7 Math

  • Basic four-function calculators with square root and percent that do not include a +/- key are allowed.
  • Calculators with memory keys, including M+ and M-, are acceptable.

Grade 8 Math and Science

  • Scientific calculators meeting the general requirements are allowed.

Grade 11 CCRA: Math and Science

  • Part 1- Please see the policy of the assessment your district has selected (SAT or ACT).
  • Part 2- For the CCRA: Science Content, graphing calculators and/or scientific calculators meeting the general requirements are allowed.

Oregon

Math:

Universal Feature (for calculator-allowed Math items only, Grades 6-8 and 11):

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator button. This tool is available only for those specific items for which the OSAS Item Specifications indicated that it would be appropriate; these items include a calculator icon in the upper right corner of the screen. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all students, is not appropriate for a student (for example, for a student who is blind), the student may use the calculator offered with assistive technology devices (such as a talking calculator or a Braille calculator).

Accommodation (for calculator-allowed items only, Grades 6-8 and 11):

Students who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the calculator that they typically use, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator. Test administrators should ensure that the calculator is available only for designated calculator items and that calculator functions are consistent with those of the embedded calculator for each grade level. The non-embedded calculator should have no internet or wireless connectivity, and all security procedures need to be followed.

Science:

Universal Feature:

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed when students click on the calculator button in the upper right corner of the screen. Students in grade 5 are allowed to use a four-function calculator. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all students, is not appropriate for a student (for example, for a student who is blind), the student may use a handheld calculator they are familiar with and use on a regular basis or the calculator offered with assistive technology devices (such as a talking calculator or a Braille calculator) (see Table 3.2 Science Non-embedded Universal Tools).

Scientific or graphing calculators are recommended for use at grade 8 and high school. All programs and downloaded applications must be cleared from calculators before beginning the test and again following the test period (to ensure that information has not been stored on the calculators). Security Requirements:

  • Calculators with keyboards and/or communication functionality are NOT allowed.
  • Calculators cannot be shared between students during testing. Each student will need to use either their own calculator or the online calculator available through the student interface.
  • Calculators used during testing should be those used during instruction so they are familiar to the students.
  • Talking calculators may be used by students who need them, so long as the following conditions are satisfied:
    • The TA must prevent distractions for other students through tactics such as using the calculator with earphones or testing the student in a separate test environment.
    • Prior to testing, the TA must ensure that the calculator settings comply with the accessibility guidelines for reading math symbols and numerals aloud posted on the accessibility web page (Read Aloud Guidelines).

Pennsylvania

Accommodation:

Not allowed on non-calculator test sections of Math and Algebra I tests or on any part of Grade 3 Math test. Students may use calculators for the Science and Biology tests, including graphing calculators, provided the calculator meets the guidelines in the Pennsylvania Calculator Policy. However, calculators are not mandatory for the Science and Biology tests. Some students with an IEP or 504 Plan may require the use of adaptive calculators, e.g. large keys, paper multiplication chart, etc. Calculator apps on devices (e.g., iPad, Chromebook, etc.) requires PDE prior approval.

Rhode Island

Science:

Universal Feature

Schools can provide hand-held scientific calculators to students. Four-function and graphing calculators are acceptable.

Math:

Accommodation:

Calculator or other mathematics tools on the non-calculator section of the math test:

Student uses a calculation device or other mathematics tool (e.g., addition/subtraction or multiplication/division tables; or manipulatives) on the non-calculator session of the RICAS mathematics test. Criteria: This accommodation is intended for a small number of students with documented disabilities that severely limit or prevent them from performing basic calculations without a calculation device or other mathematics tool, as documented in locally administered diagnostic evaluations, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so. The student must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The student is virtually unable to calculate (i.e., unable to perform single-digit addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division without a calculation device or other mathematics tool); and
  • The student uses the calculation device or tool during daily, routine instruction in mathematics courses and other courses requiring mathematics (science, for example); and
  • The student receives ongoing instruction to learn the skill.

Calculators are allowed for all students on the designated calculator sessions of the mathematics test. The embedded calculator is available in TestNav but a student can use a hand-held calculator if they prefer.

South Carolina

Universal Feature:

Embedded Universal Feature: An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator button. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all students, is not appropriate for a student (for example, for a student who is blind), the student may use the calculator offered with assistive technology devices (such as a talking calculator or a braille calculator).

Accommodation:

A student uses a specific calculation device (e.g., large key, talking, or other adapted calculator) other than the embedded grade-level calculator. Students with visual impairments who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the calculator that they typically use, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator. Test administrators should ensure that the calculator is available only for designated calculator items.

South Dakota

Universal Feature (for Math and Science, for calculator-allowed items only, Grades 6-8 and 11):

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator button. This tool is available only with the specific items for which it is indicated that it would be appropriate according to item specifications.

Accommodation (for calculator-allowed items only, Grades 6-8 and 11):

A non-embedded, stand-alone calculator for students needing a specialized calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator, currently unavailable within the assessment platform. Students who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the calculator that they typically use, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator. Test administrators should ensure that the calculator is available only for designated calculator items and that calculator functions are consistent with those of the embedded calculator for each grade level. The non-embedded calculator should have no internet or wireless connectivity, and all security procedures need to be followed.

Tennessee

Universal Feature (Math):

A student may use any grade band-specific permitted calculator on the calculator-permitted subparts.

Texas

Designated Feature:

This designated support may include only

  • Basic (i.e., four-function) handheld calculator or calculator application, including large key or speech-output
  • Basic Calculator available as an online embedded support on STAAR

Utah

Universal Feature:

Calculators are embedded within the assessment system when allowed. When a calculator is not available within the assessment, a calculator may not be used. The calculators used by RISE Summative are available as a free download for instructional use.

  • Math grades 3, 4, 5: Not allowed for any student.
  • Math grade 6: Allowed when embedded within the assessment system. If a student is unable to access the online calculator due to the student’s disability, an accommodation can be made to use a handheld calculator during the calculator segment of the assessment, based on need documented on the IEP.
  • Math grade 7 and above: Allowed when embedded within the assessment system. All students may choose to use the embedded calculator or the handheld calculator they are most comfortable using.
  • Science: Allowed for all students.

Vermont

Universal Feature (for calculator-allowed items only, grades 6-8 and HS):

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator button. This tool is available only with the specific items for which the Smarter Balanced Item Specifications indicate that it would be appropriate. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all students, is not appropriate for a student (for example, for a student who is blind), the student may use the calculator offered with assistive technology devices (such as a talking calculator or a braille calculator).

Accommodation (for calculator allowed items only, grades 6-8 and HS):

A non-embedded, stand-alone calculator for students needing a specialized calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator, currently unavailable within the assessment platform. Students who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the calculator that they typically use, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator. Test administrators should ensure that the calculator is available only for designated calculator items and that calculator functions are consistent with those of the embedded calculator for each grade level. The non-embedded calculator should have no internet or wireless connectivity, and all security procedures need to be followed.

Virginia

Calculators:

Grades 3-7 Mathematics assessments only

Students with disabilities may use calculators and/or arithmetic tools on sections of the Grades 3-7 Mathematics SOL assessments in which a calculator is not allowed. Arithmetic machines and tables/charts are defined as tools that serve the same function as a simple calculator (e.g., four-function calculator). Examples include multiplication, addition, subtraction, or division charts, tables or machines. In order to use a calculator and/or arithmetic tool, students with disabilities must be found eligible by their IEP Team or 504 Committee using the Calculator Accommodation Criteria Form. If the student is determined eligible, the IEP Team or 504 Committee must document the decision on the student’s IEP or 504 Plan and maintain a copy of the completed and signed Calculator Accommodation Criteria Form in the student’s educational record. 

Accommodation:

Calculators with Accessibility Features:

Students with disabilities may use a calculator with accessibility features that enable the student access to a calculator. These features include a large display, large buttons, and/or audio capabilities. The calculator must have the same mathematical capabilities as those on the approved calculator list. A list of these standard approved calculators is available online, Approved Calculators for the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessment . If the IEP/504 Committee determines that the student is eligible to use a calculator with accessibility features, the IEP/504 Committee must complete the Calculator Accommodation Criteria Form and maintain a signed copy in the student’s educational record. 

Calculator with Additional Mathematical Capabilities*:

Grades 4-8 and EOC Mathematics and Grades 5, 8, and EOC Science assessments only

A calculator with additional mathematical capabilities is a calculator with mathematical capabilities designed to accommodate a student’s disability. Calculators with additional mathematical capabilities are calculators other than those listed in the document Approved Calculators for the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessment .

To prevent the use of calculators with additional mathematical capabilities which exceed those used to accommodate a student’s disability, the following guidance must be used when selecting calculators with additional mathematical capabilities and/or accessibility features for eligible students with disabilities. 

ALLOWED

A calculator with additional mathematical capabilities is allowed if the additional mathematical capabilities are required for the student to access the SOL assessment and are directly related to the student’s disability. Both the disability and the corresponding additional mathematical capabilities must be clearly documented in the justification statement of the Calculator Accommodation Criteria Form . The justification statement should explain the student’s disability as it relates to mathematics and provide a rationale as to why the additional mathematical capabilities are necessary.

NOT PERMITTED

A calculator with additional mathematical capabilities is not permitted if the additional mathematical capabilities:

  • are not related to the student’s disability;
  • provide an unfair advantage to the student;
  • are designed solely to enhance student performance; or
  • are designed to compensate for below grade level mathematic skills.

If the IEP/504 Committee determines that the student is eligible to use a calculator with additional mathematical capabilities, the IEP/504 Committee must complete the Calculator Accommodation Criteria Form and maintain a signed copy in the student’s educational record. 

*Note: The Calculator Accommodation Criteria Form contains a checklist of the features included on the approved calculators as well as an appendix detailing specific scientific calculators with accessibility features and additional mathematical capabilities and the conditions for their use by a student with a visual impairment.

Guidance for the Virginia DESMOS Calculator for the Mathematics (2016 SOL) Tests:

For online Grades 4-8 and EOC Mathematics (2016 SOL) tests, the Desmos Virginia calculator is provided within TestNav for the section of the mathematics assessments in which a calculator is permitted. School divisions are permitted to continue to provide one of the hand-held calculators from the list of Approved Calculators for the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments , in addition to the Desmos calculator provided within TestNav.

For paper Grades 4-8 and EOC Mathematics (2016 SOL) tests administered to students with a documented need for a paper test, school divisions may provide a hand-held calculator from the list of Approved Calculators for the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments and/or provide access to the Desmos Virginia calculator for the sections of the Mathematics assessments in which a calculator is permitted under specific conditions. See Appendix B in the Virginia SOL Test Implementation Manuals for the specified conditions.

For students with disabilities eligible to use approved calculators on sections of the online or paper Grades 3-7 Mathematics SOL assessments in which a calculator is not allowed, the IEP/504 Plan must specify whether to provide a hand-held calculator from the list of Approved Calculators for the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments and/or provide access to the Desmos Virginia calculator during their mathematics test following the specific conditions documented in Appendix B of the Virginia SOL Test Implementation Manuals .

Washington

Universal Feature:

For calculator-allowed items in math grades 6–8 and HS, and available for all items in science grades 5, 8, and 11. An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator tool button.

Non-embedded Accommodation:

For grades 6–HS on calculator-allowed math items. For all science items. A non-embedded, standalone calculator for students needing a specialized calculator, such as a braille calculator or a talking calculator, currently unavailable within TDS.

West Virginia

Universal Feature (Grades 6-8; Math):

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator button. This tool is available only for the specific items for which it would be appropriate. When the embedded calculator, as presented for all students, is not appropriate for a student (e.g., for a student with visual impairments), the student may use the calculator offered with assistive technology devices (such as a talking calculator or a braille calculator). TAs will ensure that the calculator is available only for designated calculator items and that calculator functions are consistent with those of the embedded calculator for each grade level. The non-embedded calculator should have no internet or wireless connectivity, and all security procedures need to be followed. Administration directions will identify items open to calculator use. In those instances, TAs will make calculators available to students.

Accommodation (Grades 6-8; Math):

Students with visual impairments who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the calculator they typically use, such as a tactile calculator or a talking calculator. Test administrators should ensure the calculator is available only for designated calculator items.

Wisconsin

Accommodation (Math):

Accessible Calculator:

A calculator with features that make it usable for examinees with visual impairments, such as large key, braille, or talking. This is not the same as a standard calculator.

Wyoming

Universal Feature (Math):

An embedded on-screen digital calculator can be accessed for calculator-allowed items when students click on the calculator button. This tool is available only with the specific items for which the WY-TOPP Item Specifications indicated that it would be appropriate.

Non-embedded Accommodation (Math):

Students with visual impairments who are unable to use the embedded calculator for calculator-allowed items will be able to use the calculator that they typically use, such as a large print or talking calculator. If students are using a braille calculator such as those on Braille Note Takers, the device should be in “airplane” mode and have no access to Wi-Fi. Test administrators should ensure that the calculator has similar calculation features and is available only for designated calculator items that show the calculator icon in the top right corner of the screen.

Attribution

All rights reserved. Any or all portions of this document may be reproduced and distributed without prior permission, provided the source is cited as:

  • Lazarus, S. S., Quanbeck, M., & Goldstone, L. (2021). Calculator: States’ accessibility policies, 2021 (NCEO Accommodations Toolkit #13b). National Center on Educational Outcomes.

NCEO is supported through a Cooperative Agreement (#H326G160001) with the Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. The Center is affiliated with the Institute on Community Integration at the College of Education and Human Development, University of Minnesota. NCEO does not endorse any of the commercial products used in the studies. The contents of this report were developed under the Cooperative Agreement from the U.S. Department of Education, but does not necessarily represent the policy or opinions of the U.S. Department of Education or Offices within it. Readers should not assume endorsement by the federal government. Project Officer: David Egnor