Accommodations Toolkit

Scribe: States' Accessibility Policies, 2021

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National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) logo.

This summary of states’ accessibility policies for scribe 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 scribe.

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

Several states included in their policies that the scribe accessibility feature can be used for students who are injured and cannot use a keyboard or write to produce responses for themselves. For example, Minnesota’s policy states, “A scribe may be provided to students in instances when visual or motor difficulties, including injuries, prevent them from indicating their own responses.” The use of a scribe as an accessibility feature for students with injuries is not included in Table 1, as Table 1 focuses on accessibility features as they are included specifically for students with disabilities and English learners. However, the use of a scribe for students with injuries is still included in the details and specifications in Table 2.

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

Reading/ELA/Writing

  • Universal Features (U): 0 States
  • Designated Features (D): 13 States
  • Accommodations (A): 49 States

Math

  • Universal Features (U): 0 States
  • Designated Features (D): 13 States
  • Accommodations (A): 39 States

Science

  • Universal Features (U): 0 States
  • Designated Features (D): 11 States
  • Accommodations (A): 38 States

Figure 2. States’ Accessibility Policies for English Learners for Scribe, 2021

Reading/ELA/Writing

  • Universal Features (U): 0 States
  • Designated Features (D): 13 States
  • Accommodations (A): 2 States

Math

  • Universal Features (U): 0 States
  • Designated Features (D): 13 States
  • Accommodations (A): 5 States

Science

  • Universal Features (U): 0 States
  • Designated Features (D): 11 States
  • Accommodations (A): 5 States

Table 1. Accommodations Policies for Scribe by State, 2021

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

State

Reading/ELA/Writing

Math

Science

Notes

(See Table 2)

U

D

A

U

D

A

U

D

A

Alabama

SD

SD, E

SD, E

N

Alaska

SD

SD

SD

N

Arizona

SD

SD

SD

N

Arkansas

SD

SD

SD

N

California

X

SD

X

X

N

Colorado

SD, E

SD, E

SD, E

N

Connecticut

SD

SD

SD

N

Delaware

X

SD

X

X

N

District of Columbia

SD

SD

SD

N

Florida

SD

SD

SD

N

Georgia

SD

SD

SD

N

Hawaii

X

SD

X

X

N

Idaho

X

SD

X

N

Illinois

SD

SD

SD

N

Indiana

SD

SD

N

Iowa

SD

SD

SD

N

Kansas

SD

SD

SD

Kentucky

SD

SD

SD

N

Louisiana

SD

SD

SD

N

Maine

SD

SD

N

Maryland

SD

SD

SD

N

Massachusetts

SD

SD

SD

N

Michigan

X

SD

X

X

N

Minnesota

SD

SD

SD

N

Mississippi

SD

SD

SD

N

Missouri

SD

SD

SD

N

Montana

X

SD

X

X

N

Nebraska

SD

SD

SD

N

Nevada

X

SD

X

N

New Hampshire

X

SD

X

SD

X

SD

N

New Jersey

SD

SD, E

SD, E

N

New Mexico

SD

SD

SD

N

New York

SD

SD

SD

N

North Carolina

SD

SD

SD

N

North Dakota

X

SD

X

SD

X

SD

N

Ohio

SD

SD

SD

N

Oklahoma

SD

SD

SD

N

Oregon

X

SD

X

X

N

Pennsylvania

SD

SD, E

SD, E

N

Rhode Island

SD

SD

SD

N

South Carolina

SD

SD

SD

N

South Dakota

SD

SD

SD

N

Tennessee

SD, E

SD, E

SD, E

N

Texas

X

X

X

N

Utah

SD

SD

SD

N

Vermont

X

SD

X

X

N

Virginia

SD

N

Washington

X

SD

X

X

N

West Virginia

SD

SD

SD

N

Wisconsin

SD

SD

SD

N

Wyoming

SD

SD

SD

N

Total (Students with Disabilities)

0

13

49

0

13

39

0

11

38

Total (English Learners)

0

13

2

0

13

5

0

11

5

Note: Blank cell = no policy found

Table 2. Details and Specifications: States' Scribe Accessibility Policies

State

Details/Specifications

Alabama

Accommodation:

The student dictates her/his responses to an experienced, certificated educator who records verbatim what the student dictates. This accommodation should be a last resort, after all other options have been eliminated. This accommodation is for students who have a physical disability or injury that severely limits or prevents their ability to use a keyboard or touchpad. The test is untimed.

Specific Guidance for the Text Dependent Writing Item:

  • The student can dictate the entire response at one time. The Scribe will type the response without capitalization and punctuation. When the student is finished dictating, the Scribe will show the response to the student. The student will tell the Scribe which letters are to be capitalized and where punctuation should be added.
  • SPELLING: The student should provide exact spelling the first time they use a KEY WORD (such as a noun or verb relevant to the content); thereafter, the Scribe can spell the word as the student first spelled it.
  • If the Scribe has difficulty understanding what the student dictates, the Scribe may say: “Please say the last sentence again.”
  • If the student does not respond to the writing prompt after a reasonable length of time, the Scribe must type into the response box: NO RESPONSE.

English Learner Considerations:

  • For English learners who do not speak English but need a Scribe for the Math and Science Spanish tests, a Spanish speaker acting as the Scribe is required. This is due to the nature of the technology-enhanced items, which may require the student to direct the Scribe in order to respond to the item. For English learners who do speak English, this would not be a requirement.
  • For the Text Dependent Writing item, the student must respond in English. There is no Spanish test for ELA.
  • If the student is unable to respond to the writing prompt after a reasonable length of time, the Scribe must type into the response box: NO RESPONSE.

Alaska

Accommodation:

Allowing alternative responses accommodation:

A scribe may type responses verbatim into the test engine or write them in the test booklet or answer document. For use of a word processor, other programs on the computer must be disabled and spelling, grammar check, and other features turned off.

Allow the student to respond orally to constructed response items in English for math, and/or science items accommodation:

Requires a scribe to transcribe verbatim into the test engine or test booklet. Not allowed for English language arts items.

Arizona

Accommodation:

Adult Transcription: A student who requires one-on-one adult assistance during daily instruction may orally dictate or use gestures to indicate a selected response while an adult enters this in the test. The adult may not ask or answer any questions during the session or influence student responses in any way.

Arkansas

Accommodation:

Recommended Usage: Examinees with motor disabilities which impede their ability to independently write.

Notes: Requires the scribe to sign an agreement (found in the Test Coordinator manual) on test day. The scribe must be proficient in English. A scribe should not be used based solely on difficulty in marking responses. Use of a scribe is a skill that is developed over time and should not be used for the first time during testing, unless it is due to an unforeseeable circumstance, such as a broken hand or arm. This must be a one-to-one administration. Use of a scribe will require authorization of extra testing time.

California

Designated Feature:

Students dictate their responses to a person who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified and must follow the scribing protocol at https://portal.smarterbalanced.org/library/en/scribing-protocol.pdf. This resource is a designated support for all items except the ELA performance task full write and the ELPAC. Refer to the scribe accommodation for ELA writing and the ELPAC.

Accommodation:

Students dictate their responses to a person who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified and must follow the scribing protocol at https://portal.smarterbalanced.org/library/en/scribing-protocol.pdf PDF . This resource is an accommodation for the ELA performance task full write and the CSA writing items.

Colorado

Accommodation:

Math, science, and social studies:

The following information applies to math, science, and social studies assessments. For ELA, including CSLA, refer to 6.1.4 Unique Accommodations as the scribe accommodation requires an approved UAR for ELA/CSLA. The scribe accommodation for math, science, and social studies is available for students as documented in their IEP or 504 plans. In making decisions on whether to provide this accommodation, teams are instructed to consider whether the student has either:

  • A physical disability that severely limits or prevents the student’s motor process of writing through keyboarding or paper/pencil; or
  • A disability that severely limits or prevents the student from expressing his/her thoughts in writing, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so.

Before listing the accommodation in the student’s IEP or 504 plan, teams should also consider whether the student meets all the following requirements:

  • The student receives ongoing, intensive instruction, and/or research-based interventions to learn written expression, as deemed appropriate by the IEP, 504 plan team; and
  • The student has access to written expression during routine instruction through the use of a scribe, except when the student is receiving direct writing instruction; and
  • The student’s inability to express in written form is documented in an IEP or 504 plan.

Students who use assistive technology to respond in the classroom on a day-to-day basis, for assessments, and who have appropriate documentation on their IEP or 504 plans must use technology in lieu of a scribe for state tests. The student must be assessed in a separate, one-on-one testing environment. The scribe must record student responses verbatim into the answer field on the test. The scribe may not prompt or question the student or correct a student’s responses. The scribe may ask the student to restate words, as needed. The scribe may use proper mechanics and spelling. Scribes must be familiar with content vocabulary. For math, the scribe may not set up problems for the student; the student must indicate all steps and work for any given item. The scribe may take notes on scratch paper as dictated by the student. All scratch paper and notes will be turned into the SAC. The scribe must allow the student to review the scribed response in order to make edits. If requested by the student, the scribe may read the scribed response back to the student. Re-read the response in an even tone, being careful not to cue the student to errors. The student may dictate changes or edits to the scribe, and the scribe must make those changes exactly as dictated by the student, even if a change is incorrect. Changes are only allowed during the testing session. The scribe may ask, “Are you finished?” or, “Is there anything you want to add or remove?” A scribe must take care not to imply in any way that an answer is incomplete or incorrect through these questions. The scribe may respond to procedural questions asked by the student such as, “Do I have to use the entire space to answer the question?” The scribe may indicate, “No.” Given the interaction with test materials and involvement in recording responses, it is recommended that two adults are present in the testing environment. Scribes must read and write proficiently in the student’s spoken or communicative language (English, Spanish, or AAC device).

ELA:

The following information applies to ELA assessments, including CSLA. For math, science, and social studies refer to 6.1.3 Response Accommodations as the scribe accommodation does not require an approved UAR for math, science, and social studies. Scribe for ELA or CSLA constructed response must be documented on IEP or 504 plan and only available to students who meet the unique accommodation criteria and are approved by the CDE Assessment Division. Scribing for ELA is only in English; scribing for CSLA is only in Spanish. Refer to the Guidance Document on Scribe Accommodation for CMAS ELA or CSLA at http://www.cde.state.co.us/assessment/training-accommodations. The scribe accommodation for constructed response items on the ELA or CSLA assessment is available to a limited number of students with a neurological or orthopedic impairment which significantly limits or prevents the student’s motor process of writing. At the discretion of the educational team, students may have this accommodation on their IEP or 504 plan for instructional purposes. Only a very limited number of students who meet specific criteria may use this accommodation on the ELA or CSLA assessment and receive a valid score. The student must be assessed in a separate, one-on-one testing environment. The scribe must record student responses verbatim into the answer field on the test. The scribe may not prompt or question the student or correct a student’s responses. The scribe may not add, use, or prompt the use of proper mechanics unless the mechanics are initiated and dictated by the student. The scribe may ask the student to restate words, as needed. The scribe may use proper spelling. Scribes must be familiar with content vocabulary. The scribe must allow the student to review the scribed response in order to make edits. If requested by the student, the scribe may read the scribed response back to the student. The response must be read in an even tone, being careful not to cue the student to errors. The student may dictate changes or edits to the scribe, and the scribe must make those changes exactly as dictated by the student, even if a change is incorrect. All changes must be made during the testing session. The scribe may ask, “Are you finished?” or, “Is there anything you want to add or remove?” A scribe must take care not to imply in any way that an answer is incomplete or incorrect through these questions. The scribe may respond to procedural questions asked by the student such as, “Do I have to use the entire space to answer the question?” The scribe may indicate, “No.” Given the interaction with test materials and involvement in recording responses, it is recommended that two adults be in the testing environment. Scribes and transcribers must be proficient in reading and writing in the student’s spoken language (English for ELA or Spanish for CSLA).

English learners:

  • As English is not the native language, the scribe accommodation may be appropriate based on EL plan documentation.
  • For ELA, constructed response scribing requires a CDE-approved UAR based on IEP/504 (refer to 6.1.4 Unique Accommodations).

Assess the student in a separate, one-on-one testing environment. The scribe must record student responses verbatim into the answer field on the test. The scribe may not prompt or question the student or correct a student’s responses. The scribe may ask the student to restate words, as needed, and use proper mechanics and spelling. Scribes must be familiar with content vocabulary. For math, the scribe may not set up problems for the student; the student must indicate all steps and work for any given item. The scribe must allow the student to review the scribed response in order to make edits. If requested by the student, the scribe may read the response back to the student. Read the response in an even tone, being careful not to cue the student to errors. The student may dictate changes or edits; the scribe must make those changes exactly as dictated by the student, even if a change is incorrect. Only changes made during testing are allowed. The scribe may ask, “Are you finished?” or, “Is there anything you want to add or remove?” A scribe must take care not to imply in any way that an answer is incomplete or incorrect through these questions. The scribe may respond to procedural questions asked by the student such as, “Do I have to use the entire space to answer the question?” The scribe may indicate, “No.” Given the interaction with test materials and involvement in recording responses, it is recommended that two adults are present. Scribes must be proficient in reading and writing in the student’s spoken language (English or Spanish).

Connecticut

Accommodation:

The accommodation for the provision of a scribe requires the Special Documented Accommodations Petition procedure for students taking the Smarter Balanced or NGSS Assessments. Teachers must be trained and review the Scribe Protocol and complete the Security/Confidentiality Agreement Form when the special accommodation petition permission has been approved by the CSDE. This accommodation allows students to dictate their responses to a qualified person who records verbatim what they dictate. These students may have significant processing or motor difficulties requiring a scribe for lengthy responses in instruction and assessment. This accommodation may result in the student needing additional time to complete the assessment.

Delaware

Designated Feature (all items except writing items on ELA PT):

For ELA non-writing items, math items, science, and social studies. Students may not have scribes during writing items. Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified (see Scribe Guidance training) and must follow the administration guidelines provided in Appendix A-6.

Accommodation (all items (including writing items on ELA PT)):

For ALL ELA Performance Task and full write, including on the SAT. For this type of scribe, students may have a scribe during writing items. Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe may physically assist with turning pages if using paper/pencil and with To be trained and qualified, scribes must review the Scribing Protocol on Appendix A-6 and the Scribing Protocol Training video.

Accommodation (injury):

A student who has sustained an injury who needs to have a scribe and does not have a documented need or who have not used this support during the school year. This is a unique accommodation request. Complete Appendix A-3 and submit to the DOE Help Desk.

District of Columbia

Accommodation:

ELA/Literacy Selected Response Options: Speech-to-Text, Human Scribe, Human Signer, External Assistive Technology Device:

Student dictates responses either verbally, using an external speech-to-text device, an augmentative/assistive communication device. The student must be familiar with any assistive technology external device used for test administration. For further guidance on administering this accommodation, please see the PARCC Accommodations Manual, Appendix C: Protocol for the Use of the Scribe Accommodation and for Transcribing Student Responses.

ELA/Literacy Constructed Response Options: Speech-to-Text, Human Scribe, Human Signer, External Assistive Technology Device:

Student dictates responses either verbally, using an external speech-to-text device, an augmentative/assistive communication device. The student must be familiar with any assistive technology external device used for test administration. IEP and 504 teams should consider whether the student has a physical disability that severely limits or prevents the student’s motor process of writing through keyboarding or a disability that severely limits or prevents the student from expressing written language, even after varied attempts to do so. For further guidance on administering this accommodation, please see the PARCC Accommodations Manual, Appendix C: Protocol for the Use of the Scribe Accommodation and for Transcribing Student Responses.

Mathematics Response Options: Speech-to-Text, Human Scribe, Human Signer, External Assistive Technology Device:

Student dictates responses either verbally, using an external speech-to-text device, an augmentative/assistive communication device. The student must be familiar with any assistive technology external device used for test administration. For further guidance on administering this accommodation, please see the PARCC Accommodations Manual, Appendix C: Protocol for the Use of the Scribe Accommodation and for Transcribing Student Responses.

Florida

Accommodation:

A student may use varied methods to respond to a test, including written, typed, signed, and verbal responses. A test administrator or proctor may record or transcribe student responses to the format required by the test.

Georgia

Accommodation:

Scribes may be provided for students with verified disabilities that significantly impact the area of written expression or a physical disability that impedes motor process or writing. Scribes must be impartial and should be experienced in transcription. They must write exactly what the student dictates. Scribes are not allowed to elaborate on what is being written. They cannot answer or explain anything to the student during testing and must be careful not to give hints of any type. Additional guidance on the use this accommodation on state-mandated assessments is provided in the Student Assessment Handbook and test administration manuals.

Hawaii

Designated Feature (non-writing items)/Accommodation (writing items):

A scribe is an adult who writes down what a student dictates via speech, American Sign Language, or an assistive communication device. The guiding principle in scribing is to ensure that the student has access to and is able to respond to test content. Scribes are allowable on Smarter Balanced Assessments, Hawai‘i State Science Assessments (HSA Science), and End-of-Course (EOC) Exams as a documented designated support for non-writing items and an accommodation for writing items.

Idaho

Designated Feature (for all items except ELA performance task full write):

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Smarter Balanced Test Administration Manual. Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce responses, may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim. The use of this support may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

Accommodation (for ELA performance task full write):

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Smarter Balanced Test Administration Manual. Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim on the ELA performance task full write. The full write is the second part of the performance task. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing overall additional time to complete the assessment. For many of these students, dictating to a human scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. It is important that these students be able to develop planning notes via the human scribe, and to view what they produce while composing via dictation to the scribe.

Illinois

Accommodation:

Student dictates responses either verbally, using an external speech-to-text device, an augmentative/assistive communication device (e.g., picture/word board), or by dictating, signing, gesturing, pointing, or eye-gazing. The student must be tested in a separate setting. The student must be familiar with any assistive technology external device used for test administration.

IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators should carefully review the following guidelines before identifying a student to receive this accommodation. If all guidelines are NOT met, and the student is given the Human Scribe accommodation on an English language arts/literacy (ELA/L) assessment, the student’s assessment score may be invalidated and the score would not be counted in the overall assessment results (i.e., the student would be considered a “non-participant” for the English language arts/literacy [ELA/L] assessment). In making decisions whether to provide the student with this accommodation, IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators should consider whether the student has:

  • A physical disability that severely limits or prevents the student’s motor process of writing through keyboarding; OR
  • A disability that severely limits or prevents the student from expressing written language, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so.

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

  • The student’s inability to express in writing is documented in evaluation summaries from locally-administered diagnostic assessments;
  • The student routinely uses a scribe for written assignments; and
  • The student receives ongoing, intensive instruction and/or interventions to learn written expression, as deemed appropriate by the IEP team or 504 Plan Coordinator.

Indiana

Accommodation:

Scribing is an accommodation used with students who are unable to provide written answers for class work and, therefore, for state testing. When a student’s educational plan indicates that a response is to be scribed, the test administration must be conducted one-on-one so as not to interfere with the standardized testing of other students.

Iowa

Accommodation:

Students who have documented significant motor or language processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the student’s responses verbatim either in the online system or paper answer document. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional time to complete the assessment.

Kentucky

Accommodation:

A scribe’s role shall be to type the student’s responses in the online space provided. Students receiving Braille or large-print paper tests requiring a scribe will have their responses recorded in a paper SRB. This will reflect what the student knows and is able to do while providing the student with an alternative means to express his or her thoughts and knowledge. At no time shall a student’s ideas, revisions or editing be characterized as teacher authored. In all components of the test, a student shall be the sole creator, author, decision maker, and owner of his or her work. A scribe shall type or write student responses in a manner consistent with the accommodations described in the student’s current IEP, 504 Plan or PSP.

Louisiana

Accommodation:

Recorded answers accommodation:

Student dictates responses either verbally, using an external speech-to-text device, an augmentative/assistive communication device (e.g., picture/word board), or by dictating, signing, gesturing, pointing, or eye-gazing. The test administrator scribes or records verbatim what is said by the student. A student using a scribe must be given the same opportunity as other students to plan and draft a constructed response. The scribe must allow the student to review the scribed response in order to make edits. If requested by the student, the scribe may read the scribed response back to the student. The student may dictate changes or edits to the scribe, and the scribe must make those changes exactly as dictated by the student, even if a change is incorrect. All changes must be made during the test session.

Scribing a student’s responses by an adult Test Administrator is a response accommodation that allows students to provide test responses to an adult Test Administrator who writes or types the responses directly onto the assessment for the student. Students receiving the scribe accommodation may respond to assessment items either:

  • verbally,
  • using a speech-to-text device or other augmentative/assistive communication device (e.g., picture/word board),
  • signing (e.g., American Sign Language, signed English, Cued Speech),
  • gesturing,
  • pointing, or
  • eye-gazing

Note: Scribing may include “dragging and dropping” selected response items, as appropriate. The Recorded Answers Accommodation is appropriate for students with a physical disability that severely limits or prevents the student’s motor process of writing, typing, or recording responses during testing. This includes students with reduced ability to record responses due to pain, fracture, paralysis, loss of function, or loss of endurance, as well as students whose handwriting is indecipherable or illegible. Scribes are also an appropriate accommodation for students who have a documented disability in the area of written expression, which results in significant interference in their ability to express their knowledge in writing/keyboarding, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so. If a student requires a scribe due to a recently-occurred, though temporary, illness or injury, an IAP should be completed; write the word “Temporary” on the top of the form. Be sure to include the beginning and end dates. If a student requires a scribe due to an ongoing inability to express their responses through writing/ keyboarding, this should be documented in evaluation summaries from locally administered diagnostic assessments and must be listed in the student’s IEP, IAP, or EL Accommodation Checklist. The student should be receiving ongoing, intensive instruction, and/or interventions to learn written expression, as deemed appropriate by the IEP team, 504 Coordinator, or EL Coordinator.

Maine

Accommodation:

The student may dictate answers to scribe in an individual setting. Human scribe records verbatim what a student dictates and must give the student an opportunity to review scribed text. Scribed text must be entered into the online assessment platform—no paper submissions accepted.

Maryland

Accommodation:

ELA/Literacy Selected Response Human Scribe:

A student may need a scribe if he or she has poor fine motor skills or is unable to use a writing instrument. In addition, students with disabilities that significantly impact the area of written expression of a physical disability that impedes motor process or writing may need a scribe. A scribe is someone who writes down what a student dictates by an assistive communication device, pointing, communication by the student via interpretation/transliteration (examples include American Sign Language [ASL], Signed English, and Cued Speech), or speech. The scribe for a student should be someone who is familiar with the student’s accent or means of expressive language and will recognize the words a student is saying without writing down unusual phonetic spellings.

Mathematics, Science, Government Response Human Scribe:

A student may need a scribe if he or she has poor fine motor skills or is unable to use a writing instrument. In addition, students with disabilities that significantly impact the area of written expression of a physical disability that impedes motor process or writing may need a scribe. A scribe is someone who writes down what a student dictates by an assistive communication device, pointing, communication by the student via interpretation/transliteration (examples include American Sign Language [ASL], Signed English, and Cued Speech), or speech. The scribe for a student should be someone who is familiar with the student’s accent or means of expressive language and will recognize the words a student is saying without writing down unusual phonetic spellings.

Much skill is involved in being a scribe, a skill that requires extensive practice. A scribe may not edit or alter student work in any way and must record word-for-word exactly what the student has dictated. Scribes must allow the student to review and edit what the scribe has written. Individuals who serve as scribes must assure that he or she knows the vocabulary involved and understands the boundaries of the assistance to be provided. The role of the scribe is to write what is dictated, no more and no less. During assessments, a scribe accommodator may only administer the scribe accommodation to one student at a time during a test session. The accommodation must be administered so that other students are not able to hear the accommodated student’s response.

Massachusetts

Accommodation:

Scribe responses for the Mathematics, Science and Technology/Engineering tests, and/or legacy ELA Reading Comprehension retest using either:

  • human scribe (A10.1) who will record the student’s responses verbatim (i.e., as dictated by the student) at the time of testing, either onscreen (computer-based test) or in the student’s test & answer booklet (paper-based test). The student must be tested in a separate setting. Test administrators (and/or sign interpreters) who review the test will be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements. (See Appendix A for specific guidance on providing the scribe accommodation); OR
  • speech-to-text (A10.2); a speech recognition program or device that converts speech into text (other than a smartphone) used to generate responses to test questions.

If a student is unable to use his or her hand to respond to test questions due to a recent injury or recovery from surgery, the scribe accommodation may be provided, if:

  • this is listed in a 504 plan or an approved IEP (Department approval is not required); OR
  • if a 504 plan is under development, and the staff responsible for writing the plan have already met and agreed upon the need for the scribe accommodation before providing it to the student.

Scribe responses on the ELA test or ELA Composition retest, administered individually and in a separate setting to a student using either:

  • a human scribe (SA3.1) who records the student’s responses verbatim during testing (See Appendix A for guidelines on scribing student responses) OR
  • speech-to-text (SA3.2), a speech recognition program that converts spoken language to written text, used under the direct supervision of a test administrator to generate responses to test questions

These accommodation are intended for a student who either:

  1. has a language-processing (or other) disability and requires the dictation of virtually all written responses to a scribe or an electronic speech-to-text conversion device to generate responses. OR
  2. who is unable to use his or her hand or arm at the time of testing due to a fracture, severe injury, or recovery from surgery. In this case, the accommodation must either be
    • listed in a 504 plan or an approved IEP (additional approval by the Department is not required); OR
    • in cases where a 504 plan is under development, school personnel responsible for writing the plan must have already met and agreed upon the necessary MCAS accommodation(s) before a student may be provided the accommodation(s).

Michigan

Designated Feature (non-writing (non-constructed response) items):

There are two different types of Scribing options. One is identified as a Designated Support, listed here, and the other is identified as an Accommodation. This Scribe Designated Support allows a student to have a human scribe record a student’s answer option selection or directive such as the identification of a multiple choice option. With this support, students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified as a test administrator, and must follow the OEAA Scribing Protocol, which is found in this document. Scribes are necessary for students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm). Specifically, a scribe is an adult who writes down verbatim what a student dictates through speech, American Sign Language, or an assistive communication device. The use of this support may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

Accommodation (writing test questions (constructed responses)):

There are two different types of Scribing options. One is identified as a Designated Support and the other, listed here, is identified as an Accommodation. The Scribe Accommodation allows a student to have a human scribe record a student’s sentence or phrase. With this Accommodation, students dictate their responses to a human scribe who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified, and must follow the OEAA Scribing Protocol found in this document. Scribes are necessary for students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult for them to produce responses. The use of this support may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

Minnesota

Accommodation:

A scribe may be provided to students in instances when visual or motor difficulties, including injuries, prevent them from indicating their own responses. This accommodation must be provided in an individual setting so as not to disrupt other students who are testing.

  • Scribes for online tests will navigate the test, access text-to-speech and other tools (as requested by the student), and indicate the responses provided by the student for all items directly into the online test.
  • Scribes for paper tests will indicate the responses provided by the student into the paper test book. All student responses must be entered online by district staff within the testing window. See Entering Student Responses Online for MCA Paper Accommodations earlier in this chapter.
  • Additional guidelines for the administration of a test with the scribe accommodation are provided in the Guidelines for Administration of Accommodations (PearsonAccess Next > Resources & Training > Policies and Procedures). NEW! It includes specific guidance for fill-in-the-blank and constructed response items.

The student’s IEP or 504 plan should document the need for a scribe, except in injury situations. The student should be competent in the use of a scribe as determined by the student’s IEP or 504 plan team. Scribes cannot read aloud student responses or any part of the test, and they must be impartial and experienced in transcription. Students must be given the opportunity to review their responses. All scribes must complete the MCA Test Monitor course prior to test administration. The use of a scribe, including the name(s) of the district staff completing the transcription, must be documented on a Test Administration Report (TAR). Note: Entering student responses online from paper test books is not considered a scribe accommodation. For example, if students use a large print test book, they indicate their responses directly in the test book. The student responses must be entered online by district staff within the testing window in order to be scored, which is not considered a scribe accommodation.

Mississippi

Accommodation:

Dictation to a Scribe (Proctor or Assistant):

Scribes may be provided for students with disabilities who are significantly impacted in the area of written expression or who have a physical disability that impedes their motor process or ability to write. Scribes should be impartial and must write exactly what the student dictates. Scribes should not affect the outcome of a test in any way. Scribes are not allowed to elaborate on what is being written. They cannot answer or explain anything to the student during testing and must be careful not to give hints of any type. The student must be allowed to review and edit what the scribe has written.

Missouri

Accommodation:

Students who obtain a physical injury prior to testing that prevents them from responding may dictate their responses to a scribe. OR Students with physical disabilities that may prevent them from responding themselves may dictate their responses to a scribe. Examiners acting as a scribe must follow DESE scribing guidelines (https://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/asmt‑scribing‑guidelines.pdf PDF ). Please Note: With the exception of students who obtain a physical injury prior to testing, DESE does not recommend the use of Scribe for students who do not use it as part of their everyday learning in the classroom. The use of Scribe for some students can prove distracting and become a hindrance to student performance. The scribe should be familiar to the student and have scribing experience with the student in some capacity prior to the state assessment. This tool does NOT need to be marked for transcription of paper, Large Print or Braille Assessments into INSIGHT. This tool must be chosen in the Portal under student accommodations prior to testing.

Montana

Designated Feature (except ELA performance task):

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Test Administration Manual. Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim. The use of this support may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

Accommodation (ELA performance task only):

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified, and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Test Administration Manual. Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim on the ELA performance task full write. The full write is the second part of the performance task. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing overall additional time to complete the assessment. For many of these students, dictating to a human scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. It is important that these students be able to develop planning notes via the human scribe, and to view what they produce while composing via dictation to the scribe.

Nebraska

Accommodation (possibly primary mode of communication):

The student dictates her/his responses to an experienced educator who records verbatim what the student dictates. Students who have documented significant motor or language processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the student’s responses verbatim either in the test platform or on paper. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional time to complete the assessment. For these students, dictating to a scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills.

Nevada

Designated Feature (for all items except ELA performance task full write):

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Smarter Balanced Test Administration Manual. Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce responses, may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim. The use of this support may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

Accommodation (for ELA performance task full write):

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified, and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Smarter Balanced Test Administration Manual. Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim on the ELA performance task full write. The full write is the second part of the performance task. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing overall additional time to complete the assessment. For many of these students, dictating to a human scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. It is important that these students be able to develop planning notes via the human scribe, and to view what they produce while composing via dictation to the scribe.

New Hampshire

Designated Feature:

Non-Embedded Designated Support: Students who have had a recent injury that makes it difficult to produce responses on any electronic input device (e.g., keyboard, touchscreen).

Accommodation:

Non-Embedded Accommodation: Student must have a documented disability in fine motor development or processing speed to use this a non-embedded accommodation.

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the New Hampshire Statewide Assessment System Test Administration Manual. If using a human scribe, the reader must read back student response so that the student may edit.

Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim. For many of these students, dictating to a human scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. It is important that these students be able to develop planning notes via the human scribe. The use of this support may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

New Jersey

Accommodation:

Responses must be transcribed exactly as dictated/signed (e.g., the human scribe/signer may not change, embellish, or interpret a student’s responses when transcribing) into the student’s standard test booklet or answer document. Only transcribed responses will be scored.

The scribe accommodation is appropriate for students with a physical disability that severely limits or prevents the student’s motor process of writing, typing, or recording responses during testing. This includes students with reduced ability to record responses due to pain, fracture, paralysis, loss of function, or loss of endurance, as well as students whose handwriting is indecipherable or illegible. Scribes are also an appropriate accommodation for students who have a documented disability in the area of written expression which results in significant interference in their ability to express their knowledge in writing/keyboarding, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so.

New Mexico

Accommodation:

Human Scribe (Constructed Response Items, e.g., open-ended, short answer, essay):

For SWD whose disability limits their keyboarding or writing skills and interferes with ability to express their thoughts in writing. For PBT or CBT without VR software, a human scribe transcribes student’s response verbatim in test booklet or using keyboard. Use in individual test setting. Speech-to-Text can be used on CBT.

Human Scribe (Selected Response Items, e.g., multiple choice, multiple select):

For SWD whose disability limits their keyboarding or fine motor skills interferes with their ability to indicate their response. For PBT or CBT without VR software, a human scribe transcribes student’s response in test booklet or using keyboard. Use in individual test setting. Speech-to-Text can be used on CBT.

New York

Accommodation:

Testing accommodation: Use of scribe.

Testing conditions: For test items requiring extended writing responses.

Implementation recommendations: Student may dictate into a recording device.

Testing accommodations allowing the use of a scribe may be recommended for students who, because of a disability, need someone to transcribe their dictated responses on tests. Implementing this accommodation generally necessitates the use of an alternate location and extended time. These additional accommodations must also be specified in the IEP/504 plan to be provided. If “extended time” and “separate location” are needed only when the use of a scribe or a recording device is required, that must be indicated so that the accommodations are not provided during other times when not appropriate. Scribes may be teachers, teacher aides, teacher assistants, or other school personnel who are appropriately prepared to provide this accommodation. Scribes must have an understanding of how to record responses using the procedures described and be familiar with the test, including knowledge of the vocabulary used in the test.

North Carolina

Accommodation:

The Dictation to a Scribe accommodation allows a student to dictate responses to test questions to a scribe who records the responses. The scribe administers this accommodation to only one student at a time during a test session. The student must be tested in a separate room (one-on-one). As with all accommodations for North Carolina tests, (1) the use must be documented in the current IEP or Section 504 Plan, and (2) the accommodation must be routinely used during instruction and similar classroom assessments. For paper/pencil and online test administrations, two trained test administrators must be present when the Dictation to a Scribe accommodation is provided. One fills the role of test administrator. The other fills the role of scribe. The test administrator and scribe must attend all test administrator training sessions provided before testing. For paper/pencil tests, if the student can efficiently use a keyboard, the IEP team or Section 504 committee may wish to consider the use of the AT Devices accommodation instead of the Dictation to a Scribe accommodation. According to a report by the National Center on Educational Outcomes: “If students are unable to handwrite, but can efficiently type on a computer, a computer response accommodation should be considered prior to a dictated response accommodation.” For online administrations, the scribe is to record the student’s responses directly on the computer, and the test administrator is to verify the transcription. Following the test administration, both the test administrator and scribe must sign a statement of validation as to the accuracy of the transcription.

North Dakota

Designated Feature:

Allows a student to use their voice or assistive technology devise to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., pulling down menus, saving work, etc.).

Accommodation:

Allows a learner to use their voice or input device to dictate responses or give commands.

Ohio

Accommodation:

The student dictates responses either verbally, using a speech-to text device, augmentative or assistive communication device (e.g., picture or word board), or by signing, gesturing, pointing or eye gazing. Grammar checker, Internet, and stored files functionalities must be turned off. Word prediction must also be turned off for students who do not receive this accommodation. The student must test in a separate setting. In making decisions whether to provide the student with this accommodation, IEP teams and 504 plan coordinators should consider whether the student has:

  • A physical disability that severely limits or prevents the student’s motor process of writing through keyboarding; OR
  • A disability that severely limits or prevents the student from expressing written language, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so.

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

  • The student’s inability to express in writing is documented in evaluation summaries from locally administered diagnostic assessments;
  • The student routinely uses a scribe for written assignments; and
  • The student receives ongoing, intensive instruction and/or interventions to learn written expression, as deemed appropriate by the IEP team or 504 plan coordinator.

Student’s responses must be transcribed exactly as dictated.

Oklahoma

Accommodation:

Human Scribe ELA, Mathematics, Science, U.S. History:

  1. Student dictates response to a scribe who records responses on an answer document or through the Online Testing Client by Test Administrator or Proctor.
  2. Student signs response to a scribe who records responses on an answer document or through the Online Testing Client by Test Administrator or Proctor.
  3. Student tapes or records response for a writing portion of the test for verbatim transcription by Test Administrator or Proctor.

A scribe is a Test Administrator or Proctor who writes down what a student dictates by speech, or through an assistive technology communication device. Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties that make it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim. The use of this support may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. The guiding principle in scribing is to assist the student in accessing the test and responding to it.

Oregon

Designated Feature (for all items except ELA performance task/full write):

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what the student dictates. The scribe must be trained and qualified and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Scribing Protocol for our ELA and Mathematics assessments.

Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim. The use of this support may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

Accommodation (for ELA Assessment performance task/full write):

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what the student dictates. The scribe must be trained and qualified and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Scribing Protocol for our ELA and Mathematics assessments.

Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim on the ELA performance task full write. The full write is the second part of the performance task. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing overall additional time to complete the assessment. For many of these students, dictating to a human scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. It is important that these students be able to develop planning notes via the human scribe and to view what they produce while composing via dictation to the scribe.

Pennsylvania

Accommodation:

Intended for a student with a physical disability or injury that severely limits or prevents the student’s motor process of handwriting or keyboarding; OR A disability that severely limits or prevents the student from expressing written language, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so.

Student dictates or signs open-ended/constructed response to qualified educational sign language interpreter, qualified native language interpreter, or designated test administrator. Responses must be scribed verbatim in English directly in student’s regular answer booklet by SAC or designated test administrator (not by the educational sign language interpreter). Student points to, states, or marks the answer choice for selected response questions in test booklet. Test administrator marks the answer sheet accordingly. A scribe may enter student’s dictated responses directly into online test ONLY when the student has no other means of responding to open-ended responses and must participate in the online test. Scribing requires a separate setting.

Scribing for the paper version of the PSSA science, math, and grade 3 ELA short answer items and Keystone Exams does not require submission of the Scribing Form because these items do not measure the writing standards.

ELs: ELs enrolled in U.S. schools for fewer than 3 years are eligible to dictate non-English response to qualified native language interpreter for Mathematics, Algebra I, Science, and Biology tests. Interpreters may not translate student dictated responses to open-ended items on the ELA PSSA or Literature Keystone Exam from a non-English language into English, including short answer responses, TDA responses, and constructed responses.

Rhode Island

Accommodation:

HUMAN SCRIBE. A human scribe records the student’s responses verbatim during testing either into the Test Delivery System (TDS) directly or the student’s answer booklet.

SCRIBE ACCOMMODATIONS OPTIONS FOR ELA TEST. This special access accommodation is only for students who meet at least one of these criteria: 1. The student has a language-processing disability and requires the dictation of virtually all written responses to a scribe or an electronic speech-to-text conversion device to generate responses, OR 2. The student is unable to use his or her writing hand or arm at the time of testing due to a fracture, severe injury, or recovery from surgery. In this case, the accommodation can be administered as an Emergency Accommodation. Please complete the Emergency Accommodation Form in Appendix E.

South Carolina

Accommodation:

The student dictates her/his responses to an experienced educator who records verbatim what the student dictates.

Students who have documented significant motor or language processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the student’s responses verbatim either in the test platform or on paper. For these students, dictating to a scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills.

South Dakota

Accommodation:

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Test Administration Manual.

Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim on the ELA performance task full write. The full write is the second part of the performance task. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing overall additional time to complete the assessment. For many of these students, dictating to a human scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. It is important that these students be able to develop planning notes via the human scribe, and to view what they produce while composing via dictation to the scribe.

Tennessee

Accommodation:

Adult transcription: An adult marks selected response items on the paper-based answer document based on student answers provided orally, using gestures, or an adult transfers student responses produced using Assistive Technology onto the paper-based answer document. All student responses must be transcribed verbatim. Two adults must be present during the transcription. A student reads each item from the screen or test booklet and dictates the response to an adult. Dictation can be given orally, on paper, or with assistive technology. The adult then marks the student’s answer directly on the test. The adult may assume appropriate spelling for written responses, but the student must indicate correct capitalization, grammar, and punctuation. Students should be given the opportunity to review and edit any responses entered by adult transcription. Once the transcription is complete, any copies must be shredded or deleted.

Texas

Designated Feature:

Mathematics scribe:

This designated support allows a test administrator to record a student’s dictated mathematics scratch work and computations when a disabling condition prevents the student from accomplishing this task independently.

Basic transcribing:

This designated support allows a test administrator to transfer student responses onto an answer document or into the online testing platform when a student is unable to accomplish this task independently.

Utah

Accommodation:

Allowed for students with disabilities. Also allowed for students as necessary due to temporary injury just prior to assessment as an emergency accommodation. You must submit a scribe request to USBE staff when a scribe is needed for a student. The use of speech-to-text/voice recognition software device via assistive technology may be used. You must submit a scribe request to USBE staff when a student needs to use these devices/programs. All speech-to-text/voice recognition software requests will need to be approved and activated in TIDE by a USBE staff member. Some programs will not work within the testing platform.

Vermont

Designated Feature (for all items except ELA performance task full write):

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Smarter Balanced Test Administration Manual.

Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce responses, may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim. The use of this support may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

Accommodation (for ELA performance task full write):

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified, and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the Smarter Balanced Test Administration Manual.

Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim on the ELA performance task full write. The full write is the second part of the performance task. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing overall additional time to complete the assessment. For many of these students, dictating to a human scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. It is important that these students be able to develop planning notes via the human scribe, and to view what they produce while composing via dictation to the scribe.

Virginia

Accommodation:

Short-paper component of the Writing Assessment only.

Students with disabilities that have difficulty with writing are permitted to have a scribe record their responses to the prompt in the short-paper component of the Writing SOL test. The scribe, who should have experience with the student, must format, capitalize, and punctuate only as directed by the student. The student is not required to spell each word to the scribe. Care must be taken by the scribe not to provide help on test items. Examples of prohibited help include, but are not limited to: discussing the prompt, providing hints or clues, giving reminders, giving verbal indications or non-verbal cues about the correctness of the student’s answer.

Washington

Designated Feature:

Available only as an accommodation for ELA performance task full writes. Students dictate their responses to a trained and qualified human scribe who records verbatim what the student dictates. The scribe must follow the Scribing Protocol for Washington State Assessments.

ELA CAT: All item responses may be dictated. ELA PT: Only the item responses in Part 1 may be dictated. The full write response CANNOT be dictated. Math and science: All item responses may be dictated.

Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim. Scribing is available for both the online and accommodated form paper tests. 

Accommodation:

Students dictate their response to a trained and qualified human scribe who records verbatim what the student dictates. The scribe must follow the Scribing Protocol for Washington State Assessments. ELA PT: The full write response is dictated.

Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim. For many of these students, dictating to a scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. It is important that these students be able to develop planning notes via the scribe, and to view what they produce while composing via dictation to the scribe. Scribing is available for both the online and paper tests.

West Virginia

Accommodation:

Allowed for: WVGSA Grades 3-8, SAT School Day, WVASA, and ELPA21

Description: Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained, qualified, and must follow the administration guidelines provided in the administration manual.

Instructional practices: Students use a tape recorder or scribe as an alternative to writing when a processing or physical challenge is present. Student’s word-for-word response for tests and/or assignments is recorded.

When to select: Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim. For many students dictating to a human scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. It is important these students be able to develop planning notes via the human scribe, and to view what they produce while composing via dictation to the scribe. Scribes may be provided for any student (with or without an IEP or Section 504 plan) who have a short-term medical condition (e.g., a fractured arm in a cast) that precludes the student from word processing a response. Approval needs to be obtained from the WVDE through the district test coordinator and/or the district special education director prior to testing. Scribes may be provided for students who are blind or have low vision that may need additional supports such as navigational and transcribing supports.

Notes for implementation: The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing overall additional time to complete the assessment. On the day of testing, before testing begins, the principal/school coordinator should give the scribe no more than 2 hours to become familiar with the directions and format of the test. Scribes should be familiar with the test, so they can easily record student answers (Thompson, Thurlow, & Walz, 2000).

Wisconsin

Accommodation:

Definition: A qualified individual marks responses for the examinee, during testing

Type: Accommodation

Recommended Usage: Examinees with motor disabilities which impede their ability to independently write

Personal Needs Profile Selection: Dictate Responses

Notes: Requires the scribe to sign an agreement (found in the Test Coordinator manual) on test day. The scribe must be proficient in English. A scribe should not be used based solely on difficulty in marking responses. Use of a scribe is a skill that is developed over time, and should not be used for the first time during testing, unless it is due to an unforeseeable circumstance, such as a broken hand or arm. This must be a one-to-one administration. Use of a scribe will require authorization of extra testing time.

Wyoming

Accommodation:

For science, math, ELA items, and the Writing segment on the ELA with Writing assessment:

Students dictate their responses to a human who records verbatim what they dictate. The scribe must be trained and qualified, and must follow the administration guidelines provided in Appendix B: Scribe Protocol.

Students who have documented significant motor or processing difficulties, or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce responses may need to dictate their responses to a human, who then records the students’ responses verbatim. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing overall additional time to complete the assessment. For many of these students, dictating to a human scribe is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. It is important that these students be able to develop planning notes via the human scribe and to view what they produce while composing via dictation to the scribe.

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:

  • Quanbeck, M., Lazarus, S. S., & Goldstone, L. (2021). Scribe: States’ accessibility policies, 2021 (NCEO Accommodations Toolkit #14b). 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