Accommodations Toolkit

Signed Administration: States’ Accessibility Policies, 2022

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National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)

This summary of states’ accessibility policies for signed administration 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 signed administration.

Accessibility policies often have several tiers of accessibility features: universal features, designated features, and accommodations.[2] Figure 1 summarizes how states included signed administration in their accessibility policies for students with disabilities in 2022. Figure 2 summarizes how states included signed administration in their accessibility policies for English learners in 2022. Table 1 shows how signed administration was included in the policies, while Table 2 contains additional details and specifications.

Figure 1. States’ Accessibility Policies for Students with Disabilities for Signed Administration, 2022

Reading/ELA/Writing

  • Universal Features (U): 3 States
  • Designated Features (D): 3 States
  • Accommodations (A): 43 States

Math

  • Universal Features (U): 6 States
  • Designated Features (D): 3 States
  • Accommodations (A): 45 States

Science

  • Universal Features (U): 3 States
  • Designated Features (D): 3 States
  • Accommodations (A): 37 States

Figure 2. States’ Accessibility Policies for English Learners for Signed Administration, 2022

Reading/ELA/Writing

  • Universal Features (U): 3 States
  • Designated Features (D): 3 States
  • Accommodations (A): 1 States

Math

  • Universal Features (U): 6 States
  • Designated Features (D): 3 States
  • Accommodations (A): 1 States

Science

  • Universal Features (U): 3 States
  • Designated Features (D): 3 States
  • Accommodations (A): 1 States

Table 1. Accommodations Policies for Signed Administration by State, 2022

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

SD

N

Alaska

SD

SD

SD

N

Arizona

Arkansas

X

SD

X

SD

X

SD

N

California

SD

SD

SD

N

Colorado

SD

SD

N

Connecticut

SD

SD

N

Delaware

SD

SD

N

District of Columbia

SD

X

SD

SD

N

Florida

SD

SD

SD

N

Georgia

SD

SD

SD

N

Hawaii

SD

SD

N

Idaho

SD

SD

N

Illinois

SD

X

SD

SD

N

Indiana

SD

SD

SD

N

Iowa

SD

SD

SD

N

Kansas

SD

SD

N

Kentucky

SD

SD

SD

N

Louisiana

Maine

SD

SD

SD

N

Maryland

X

X

SD

N

Massachusetts

SD

SD

SD

N

Michigan

SD

SD

SD

N

Minnesota

SD

SD

SD

N

Mississippi

SD

SD

SD

N

Missouri

SD

SD

SD

N

Montana

SD

SD

N

Nebraska

SD

SD

SD

N

Nevada

SD

SD

N

New Hampshire

X

SD

X

SD

X

SD

N

New Jersey

SD

X

SD

X

SD

N

New Mexico

SD

SD

SD

N

New York

North Carolina

SD

SD

N

North Dakota

SD

SD

SD

N

Ohio

X

SD

X

SD

X

SD

N

Oklahoma

SD

SD

SD

N

Oregon

SD

SD

N

Pennsylvania

SD, E

SD, E

SD, E

N

Rhode Island

SD

SD

SD

N

South Carolina

SD

SD

SD

N

South Dakota

SD

SD

N

Tennessee

SD

SD

SD

N

Texas

X

X

X

X

X

X

N

Utah

SD

SD

SD

N

Vermont

SD

SD

N

Virginia

SD

SD

SD

N

Washington

SD

SD

SD

N

West Virginia

SD

SD

SD

N

Wisconsin

SD

SD

SD

N

Wyoming

SD

N

Total (Students with Disabilities)

3

3

43

6

3

45

3

3

37

Total (English Learners)

3

3

1

6

3

1

3

3

1

Table 2. Details and Specifications: States’ Signed Administration Accessibility Policies

State

Details/Specifications

Alabama

Accommodation:

Directions Only: This accommodation is for students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use sign language to communicate. Setting: Large Group, small group, or individual. The student must have an IEP or Section 504 Plan. The Sign Language Interpreter may provide this accommodation in a large group setting; however, the Sign Language Interpreter and the student must be positioned in an area that is away from the view of the other students, so as not to distract from their testing experience. The Sign Language Interpreter must not talk to or visit with testing staff. The Sign Language Interpreter must sign verbatim exactly the words read by the Test Administrator. The Sign Language Interpreter must never clarify, elaborate, paraphrase, or provide assistance to the student. The Sign Language Interpreter must remain in the room for the duration of the test.

Test Items: This accommodation is for students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use sign language and who meet the criteria for an Oral Presentation (Read Aloud) accommodation. Setting: Individual. Student must have an IEP or Section 504 Plan. This test is untimed. Signing Test Items is only allowed for Math, Science, and the language and writing sessions of the ELA test. This accommodation requires a Test Administrator and a Proctor. The Sign Language Interpreter will act as the Proctor. This accommodation requires an Oral Presentation: Human Reader Script for the Test Administrator to read aloud for the Sign Language Interpreter. The student will respond independently, directly into the test engine.

Alaska

Accommodation:

American Sign Language videos: Students may play a signed video of the text in questions and answer choices. Reading passages will not be signed to the student.

Interpreter signs test directions in ASL: The interpreter uses American Sign Language (ASL) or another sign system to sign test directions to the student. Directions refer to administration logistics, test directions, and practice items provided prior to the first test item. Translation of actual test items is not allowed.

Arkansas

Designated Feature/Accommodation:

Interpreter:

Definition: A qualified individual who orally (or visually) translates for the examinee. Type: Designated Support when orally (or visually) translating the verbal instructions using American Sign Language (ASL), Signing Exact English (SEE), and cued speech. Accommodation when translating the test directions and test items using Signed Exact English (SEE), American Sign Language (ASL), and cued speech following the Reader's Script. Recommended Usage: Examinees with a hearing impairment who use sign language as their primary mode of communication. When authorized to sign the entire test, the interpreter follows the Reader's Script verbatim, without adding explanation using Signing Exact English (SEE), American Sign Language (ASL), or cued speech. Graphics and images may not be described, but all text labels inside graphics may be translated as needed. When signing test items, this must be a one-to-one administration. For examinees with hearing impairments, you may copy the verbal instructions found in the Room Supervisor administration manual to provide to the examinee to read. Recommend providing extra time. Requires the interpreter to sign an agreement (found in the Test Coordinator manual) on test day.

California

Accommodation:

For the embedded resource, test content is translated into ASL video. A person who is an ASL signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. The student may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Because the CAAs are administered in a one-on-one setting, this resource is not applicable to the CAAs. This resource is not available on the Alternate ELPAC as an embedded resource.

Colorado

Accommodation (Math, Science):

Signed Presentation for Math and Science – Sign System/Language:

The following information applies to math and science assessments. Available to Students with an IEP or 504 plan only, with a documented diagnosis of hearing impairment and whose primary mode of communication is a sign system/language. Note: Contact CDE Assessment regarding ELA/CSLA. Any modification of the assessment is a misadministration and will result in an invalid score. A trained Test Administrator may sign the entire test to a student who is unable to decode text. Administration on a 1:1 basis (i.e., one Test Administrator to one student) is recommended. A student should have the option of asking a signer to slow down or repeat text. Test Administrators must follow the physical script and may not read from a test book or device screen. Signer/oral scripts are secure; return scripts to the vendor after testing. Interpreters interpret the Auditory/Signer Script for Translation in the sign language/system typically used with the student (ASL, PSE, or SEE) during instruction. The Auditory/Signer Script for Translation and any notes made to facilitate sign language system/interpretation are secure testing materials. Interpreters may have supervised access to the script four working days prior to administration to ensure they are familiar with the content terminology and with the appropriate practices associated with this accommodation. Interpreters must use interpretation techniques and tools that do not compromise the security of the assessments or provide an unfair advantage over any other student. Instructions for early access are found in 3.3.1 Training Plan under Accessibility Features and Accommodations Training. Interpreters must make sure signs do not provide information that would cue the student to the correct answer. Interpreters must not clarify, elaborate, or provide assistance with the meaning of words. Note: While it is anticipated that most students are able to complete testing session within the standard testing time even with this accommodation, due to the nature of auditory and signed presentation and the need to repeat questions and answers as requested, an auditory/signer script testing session may take additional time. Computer-based assessment: An acceptable practice for this accommodation is for the interpreter to sit next to the computer facing the student to allow for the interpreter to point to content words not translated as indicated in the script. This allows the student to maintain contact with the interpreter and the print simultaneously.

Connecticut

Accommodation:

American Sign Language Video (ELA-Listening, Math) (Grades 3-8) (Not available for Science):

Test content in Smarter Balanced Assessments is translated into an American Sign Language (ASL) video. The ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing, and who typically use ASL, may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.

Human Signer/ Visual Support for ELA, Math, and/or Science Items:

This sign language accommodation for the Smarter Balanced and NGSS Assessments allows a qualified test administrator to sign or provide visual language support for the test directions and/or test content to a student who is deaf or hard of hearing. Students are tested individually and, if necessary, a sign language interpreter may assist in test administration by providing directions and clarifying information as allowed in the Smarter Balanced and the NGSS Test Examiner’s Manuals.

Human Signer/ Visual Support for ELA Reading Passages (Grades 3-8):

The Human Signer for ELA Reading Passages is a sign language accommodation for the Smarter Balanced ELA Reading Passages allowing a qualified test administrator to sign or provide visual language support for the reading passages to a student who is deaf or hard of hearing with a print disability. Students are tested individually and, if necessary, a sign language interpreter may assist in test administration by providing directions and clarifying information as allowed in the Smarter Balanced Test Examiner’s Manual.

Delaware

Accommodation (ELA, Math):

American Sign Language Video (ELA listening and Math items): Test content is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Science and Social Studies: Students can view a video in which a person translates the item text to ASL. The video can be viewed multiple times.

District of Columbia

Accessibility Feature (Universal Feature; Math):

Human Reader or Human Signer for the Mathematics Assessments:

Student’s SR/PNP must have Human Reader/Human Signer selected. A student MUST be manually placed into a Human Reader test session to provide the Human Reader accessibility feature. Refer to the "Managing Test Sessions and Student Classes" guidance on Avocet for instructions for manually creating Human Reader test sessions. This will assign all students in the test session the same form as the Test Administrator and will match the Human Reader Script. Students in these sessions cannot have other PNP form supported accommodations such as Text-to-Speech (TTS), American Sign Language (ASL), Closed Captioning (CC), Assistive Technology – Screen Reader, Assistive Technology Non-Screen Reader. Important: Failure to manually place the students in a Human Reader session (specifically identified in PAN) will result in the student receiving a form that differs from the form needed to provide the accessibility feature. The Test Administrator will be assigned a separate authorization login to access the same form as all students within the Human Reader session and also receive a secure Mathematics Human Reader Script. A Test Administrator (Human Reader or Human Signer) reads aloud to a student using the provided Human Reader Script. The student must be tested in an individual or small group setting. Small groups should only be used if all students are able to work at approximately the same pace. The number of students in a small group is determined at the state level. : Human Reader Scripts contain secure item content and should be handled as secure test materials. Test Administrators should return materials to Test Coordinators. Test Coordinators must return the Human Reader Scripts with the nonscorable materials.

Accommodation (ELA):

ELA/Literacy Assessments, including items, response options, and passages:

The purpose of the embedded text-to-speech, ASL video, and Human Reader/Human Signer accommodation for the PARCC ELA/ literacy assessment is to provide access to printed or written texts on the PARCC ELA/literacy assessments for a very small number of students with print-related disabilities who would otherwise be unable to participate in the assessment because their disability severely limits or prevents their ability to access printed text by decoding. This accommodation is not intended for students reading somewhat (i.e., only moderately) below grade level. The student’s SR/PNP must have text-to-speech, ASL Video, or Human Reader/Human Signer selected to activate the features on the platform. Once a student is placed into a session, the student will be assigned a form with embedded text-to-speech, or ASL Video. For text-to-speech and ASL Video, proctor caching is strongly encouraged. If this content is not cached, it may present challenges for students during testing. For the Human Reader/Human Signer, students must be placed in a read-aloud session type when creating test sessions. The proctor will be assigned a separate authorization login to access the same form as all students within the Human Reader session. Volume level must be determined prior to testing; once the test session begins, the volume level cannot be changed. The student will not have access to volume control in the secure TestNav environment. A student receives an audio representation of the ELA/literacy assessment either through embedded text-to-speech, embedded ASL video, or a Human Reader/Signer. For Human Reader, the Test Administrator will need to reference Appendix I: PARCC ELA Audio Guidelines. Note: If headphones are not used for text-to-speech, or the student has a Human Reader or Signer, the student must be tested in a separate setting. IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators should carefully review the following guidelines before identifying students to receive these accommodations on the ELA/literacy assessments. If all guidelines are NOT met, and the student is given the text-to-speech, ASL video, or Human Reader/Human Signer accommodation on a PARCC 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 on whether to provide a student with this accommodation, IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators should consider whether the student has:

  • Blindness or a visual impairment and has not learned (or is unable to use) braille;
  • A disability that severely limits or prevents him/her from accessing printed text, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so (e.g., student is unable to decode printed text);
  • Deafness or a hearing impairment and is severely limited or prevented from decoding text due to a documented history of early and prolonged language deprivation.

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

  • The student has access to printed text during routine instruction through a reader, other spoken-text audio format, or signer;
  • The student’s inability to decode printed text or read braille is documented in evaluation summaries from locally-administered diagnostic assessments; and the student receives ongoing, intensive instruction and/or interventions in the foundational reading skills to continue to attain the important college and career-ready skill of independent reading.

Decisions about who receives this accommodation will be made by IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators. For a student who receives one of these accommodations, no claims should be inferred regarding the student’s ability to demonstrate foundational reading skills (i.e., decoding). PARCC states will collect data on the frequency of their use for the purpose of carefully monitoring and determining appropriate decision-making.

American Sign Language (ASL) Video for the Mathematics Assessments:

Student’s SR/PNP must have American Sign Language (ASL) Video selected. Once a student is placed into a test session, the student will be assigned an ASL Video form.13 Proctor caching is strongly encouraged. If this content is not cached, it may present challenges for students during testing. If a student does not use ASL, a human interpreter and separate test setting will be required. It is highly recommended that students review the American Sign Language Math Dictionary prior to testing. Human signers should refer to the online PARCC American Sign Language Math Video Glossary for guidance on how to deliver mathematics symbols and terms. The student views an embedded video of a human interpreter for the mathematics assessments. The student may pause and resume the video but cannot adjust the pace.

Human Signer for Test Directions:

Student’s SR/PNP must have Human Signer for Test Directions selected. A human signer will sign the test directions to a student. The student may either be tested in a small group or a separate setting based on the student’s experiences during classroom assessments.

Florida

Accommodation:

American Sign Language (ASL) videos and Closed Captioning for ELA Reading audio content are available for eligible students who have these accommodations identified in their IEPs or Section 504 Plans. Dual monitors may be set up for an American Sign Language (ASL) accommodation, where the student will work on one monitor and have the ASL translator work from the other. Signed presentation may be provided for directions, prompts, items, and answer choices. Passages in ELA Reading and ELA Writing tests may not be signed to students. Passages in Mathematics, Science, EOC assessments, or the FCLE may be signed. The test administrator or proctor may sign directions, prompts, items, and answer choices using the same method of sign language that the student regularly uses in the classroom but must be careful not to use signs that might lead the student to a correct response. In such cases, fingerspelling may be used as an alternative. Directions, prompts, items, and answer choices may be signed as many times as a student requests. For oral or signed presentation, the test administrator or proctor may sign or read aloud allowable portions of the tests to the student in the manner that is regularly used in the classroom. Examples of allowable oral/signed presentation include, but are not limited to, reading/signing to a group of students, reading/signing to a student individually, and reading/signing only when a student requests.

Georgia

Accommodation:

Video Sign Language: For Georgia Milestones assessments, students who are eligible for a standard signed administration, Video Sign Language (VSL), can be assigned in the online assessment platform to complete the assessments. The directions, questions and answer choices are signed to the student. The signed administration video is available in American Sign Language (ASL). To prepare for a VSL online administration, the Examiner and/or sign language interpreter should review VSL forms in either the Secure Practice Test or the Experience Online Testing Georgia website in order to learn how VSL functions within the online platform. It is also recommended that students interact with VSL prior to the actual administration. Additionally, the Examiner and sign language interpreter should review the script in the Examiner’s Manual to understand how administration procedures apply to the script and to a successful administration of the assessments.

Sign Language Interpreter: If a student’s teacher serves as the interpreter in a testing situation, it is recommended that a second person is present to monitor for quality and fairness. If allowed to sign test items and prompts, interpreters must not clarify, elaborate, paraphrase, or provide assistance with the meaning of words, intent of test questions, or responses to test items. Interpreter services need to be arranged prior to test day.

Hawaii

Accommodation (ELA, Math):

American Sign Language (ASL) (for ELA listening items and math items):

Test content is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.

Idaho

Accommodation (ELA, Math):

American Sign Language (ASL) (for ELA listening items and math items):

Test content is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.

Illinois

Universal Feature (Math):

Human Reader or Human Signer for the Mathematics Assessments:

Student’s SR/PNP must have Human Reader/Human Signer selected. A student MUST be manually placed into a Human Reader test session to provide the Human Reader accessibility feature. This will assign all students in the test session the same form as the Test Administrator and will match the Human Reader Script. Students in these sessions cannot have other PNP form supported accommodations such as Text-to-Speech (TTS), American Sign Language (ASL), Closed Captioning (CC), Assistive Technology – Screen Reader, Assistive Technology Non-Screen Reader. Important: Failure to manually place the students in a Human Reader session (specifically identified in PAN) will result in the student receiving a form that differs from the form needed to provide the accessibility feature. The Test Administrator will be assigned a separate authorization login to access the same form as all students within the Human Reader session and also receive a secure Mathematics Human Reader Script. A Test Administrator (Human Reader or Human Signer) reads aloud to a student using the provided Human Reader Script. The student must be tested in an individual or small group setting. Small groups should only be used if all students are able to work at approximately the same pace. Human Reader Scripts contain secure item content and should be handled as secure test materials. Test Administrators should return materials to Test Coordinators. Test Coordinators must return the Human Reader Scripts with the nonscorable materials.

Accommodation:

ELA/Literacy Assessments, including items, response options, and passages:

The purpose of the embedded Text-to-Speech, ASL video, and Human Reader/Human Signer accommodation for the ELA/ literacy assessment is to provide access to printed or written texts on the ELA/literacy assessments for a very small number of students with print-related disabilities who would otherwise be unable to participate in the assessment because their disability severely limits or prevents their ability to access printed text by decoding. This accommodation is not intended for students reading somewhat (i.e., only moderately) below grade level. The student’s SR/PNP must have Text-to-Speech, ASL Video, or Human Reader/Human Signer selected to activate the features on the platform. Once a student is placed into a session, the student will be assigned a form with embedded Text-to-Speech, or ASL Video. This accommodation is appropriate for a very small number of students. For the Human Reader/Human Signer, students must be placed in a read-aloud session type when creating test sessions. The proctor will be assigned a separate authorization login to access the same form as all students within the Human Reader session. A student receives an audio representation of the ELA assessment either through embedded Text-to-Speech, embedded ASL video, or a Human Reader/Signer. For Human Reader, the Test Administrator will need to reference Appendix I: ELA Audio Guidelines. Note: If headphones are not used for Text-to-Speech, or the student has a Human Reader or Signer, the student must be tested in a separate setting. In making decisions on whether to provide a student with this accommodation, IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators should consider whether the student has:

  • Blindness or a visual impairment and has not learned (or is unable to use) braille;
  • A disability that severely limits or prevents him/her from accessing printed text, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so (e.g., student is unable to decode printed text);
  • Deafness or a hearing impairment and is severely limited or prevented from decoding text due to a documented history of early and prolonged language deprivation.

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

  • The student has access to printed text during routine instruction through a reader, other spoken-text audio format, or signer;
  • The student’s inability to decode printed text or read braille is documented in evaluation summaries from locally-administered diagnostic assessments; and the student receives ongoing, intensive instruction and/or interventions in the foundational reading skills to continue to attain the important college and career-ready skill of independent reading.

Decisions about who receives this accommodation will be made by IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators. For a student who receives one of these accommodations, no claims should be inferred regarding the student’s ability to demonstrate foundational reading skills (i.e., decoding).

American Sign Language (ASL) Video for the Mathematics Assessments:

Student’s SR/PNP must have American Sign Language (ASL) Video selected. Once a student is placed into a test session, the student will be assigned an ASL Video form. If a student does not use ASL, a human interpreter and separate test setting will be required. It is highly recommended that students review the American Sign Language Math Dictionary prior to testing. : Human signers should refer to the online American Sign Language Math Video Glossary for guidance on how to deliver mathematics symbols and terms. The student views an embedded video of a human interpreter for the mathematics assessments. The student may pause and resume the video but cannot adjust the pace.

Human Signer for Test Directions:

Student’s SR/PNP must have Human Signer for Test Directions selected. A human signer will sign the test directions to a student. The student may either be tested in a small group or a separate setting based on the student’s experiences during classroom assessments.

Indiana

Accommodation:

Online American Sign Language (ASL) Video for Listening Items:

Test content is translated into ASL videos for any ELA item that has a listening component. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. This accommodation is only available on ILEARN ELA assessments.

Interpreter for Sign Language:

Students can access their interpreter and a script must be used by the interpreter which is the human reader using a reader’s script accommodation. The TA must oversee the Interpreter.

Iowa

Accommodation:

A sign language interpreter will sign test directions as well as appropriate test content including prompts and questions to the student. The student may also dictate responses by signing. The student may be tested in an individual or small group setting.

Kansas

Accommodation:

American Sign Language (ASL): Allows students to view ASL videos of assessment content. Feature available in mathematics and science.

Kentucky

Accommodation:

Interpreter for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing:

KDE works annually to accommodate the needs of the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) and all schools that contact the department needing flexibility in providing resources so American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters can assist students in completing state tests. To provide this during an online test administration a school would set up the students needing this accommodation into a test session within TestNav. When setting up the test session, use the form group type selection to select the ‘Read Aloud’ option. This will ensure all students in that testing session have the same form of the test. The interpreter can then stand in the front of the student(s) and interpret the test. If a school district has circumstances beyond what is covered here, the DAC can contact OAA for further guidance.

Maine

Accommodation (ELA except reading passages, Math, Science):

Read Aloud/Human Reader Math, Language Use, and Reading Sessions (EXCEPT PASSAGES):

Text is read aloud or translated via sign language interpreter to a student by an Assessment Administrator (human reader) as documented in the IEP/504 plan. Read aloud is permitted for MATH, LANGUAGE USE, AND COMPONENTS OF READING SESSIONS *EXCLUDING READING PASSAGES. (see Read Aloud amendment pgs. 4-6)

Read Aloud/Human Reader OR American Sign Language:

Text is read aloud or translated via sign language interpreter to student by Test Administrator human reader as documented in the IEP/504 plan.

Maryland

Accessibility Feature (Universal Feature; Math, Science):

Human Reader or Human Signer for the Mathematics, Science and Government Assessments:

Available for whole text and selected sections. Before Testing: This feature will need to be identified in advance in order to assign a human reader or signer to the student. During Testing: A Test Administrator (Human Reader or Human Signer) reads aloud to a student using the provided Human Reader Script. The student must be tested in an individual or small group setting. Small groups should only be used if all students are able to work at approximately the same pace. The number of students in a small group is determined to be 5 in Maryland. After Testing: Human Reader Scripts contain secure item content and should be handled as secure test materials. Test Administrators should return materials to Test Coordinators. Test Coordinators must return the Human Reader Scripts with the nonscorable materials.

ASL Video for ELA/L, including items, response options and passages:

The purpose of the ASL Video accommodation is to provide access to printed or written texts in ELA/L for a very small number of students with print-related disabilities and who are deaf or hearing impaired who would otherwise be unable to participate in instruction or assessment because their disability severely limits their ability to access print. This accommodation is not intended for students reading somewhat (i.e., only moderately) below grade level. In making decisions on whether to provide the student with this accommodation, IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators are instructed to consider whether the student has:

  • Blindness or a visual impairment and has not yet learned (or is unable to use) braille; OR
  • A disability that severely limits or prevents them from accessing printed text, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so (e.g., student is unable to decode printed text); OR
  • Deafness or a hearing impairment and is severely limited or prevented from decoding text due to a documented history of early and prolonged language deprivation.

When determining the need for this accommodation, it is important to consider the purpose of the tests the student will be taking and the skills the test is intending to measure so that it can be determined how the accommodation might affect the results. Before Testing: Prior to providing the ASL video accommodation for ELA/L, students must have met the qualifications outlined in Appendix D. For ASL video, proctor caching, if available, is strongly recommended. During Testing: NA After Testing: If all guidelines are NOT met, and the student is given the ASL Video accommodation on an 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 “nonparticipant” for the ELA/L assessment).

Massachusetts

Accommodation:

Human signer for the Mathematics, Science and Technology/Engineering tests, and ELA test questions (but NOT reading passages):

The test must be signed exactly as it appears. The signer may not provide assistance to the student regarding the meaning of words, intent of any test item, or responding to test questions. The signer may finger-spell key words in addition to providing the sign for a term. The signer may sign emphasis only when indicated by bold or italicized text. The test must be administered in a separate setting, either individually or to a small group of 2–5 students, all of whom are receiving the human signer accommodation. Note: If preferred, selected words, phrases, or sections of the Mathematics and/or Science and Technology/Engineering test(s) may be signed to the student, as requested, rather than signing the entire test. Signing the ELA reading passages and legacy ELA Reading Comprehension retest passages is a special access accommodation (SA2). See Table 5 for guidelines and criteria to receive this accommodation. Previewing test content by human signers: Under secure conditions supervised by the principal, interpreters may review test materials up to four days prior to testing once they become available, either online or shipped to the school, for the purpose of preparing to sign the test. Test materials may not be removed from the school nor accessed online outside of the school. Test administrators and interpreters who review the test prior to testing will be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.

ASL video editions of the computer-based spring 2022 MCAS grade 10 Mathematics and high school Introductory Physics and Biology tests:

An embedded ASL video is built into these computer-based tests. Students may turn on, off, pause, and control the signing speed of the ASL video. The size of the ASL video may be adjusted (using the “control + or -” keys) and it may be moved around on the computer screen. Students should view the tutorial and take online ASL practice tests prior to testing to become familiar with all of the features of the ASL video player. If the student is unable to use the ASL video, but has this accommodation listed in his or her plan, a human signer may be substituted.

Human signer for test directions only: For a student who is Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing

Michigan

Accommodation:

Directions provided using American Sign Language (ASL) or Signed Exact English (SEE):

Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL or SEE may need this Accommodation when accessing directions in the assessment. Additionally, for many of these students, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to directions presented orally if they are provided with appropriate amplification and are in a setting where extraneous sounds do not interfere with the clear presentation of the audio in a listening test. The use of this Accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment.

Test content provided in American Sign Language (ASL) or Signed Exact English (SEE):

Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL or SEE may need this Accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment or content that assesses Listening. For many of these students, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to directions presented orally in a listening test with appropriate amplification, in a setting where extraneous sounds do not interfere with the clear presentation of the audio. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. One option for students taking the M-STEP mathematics or ELA tests for which this support might be needed, is to enable the embedded sign language videos (VSL – Video Sign Language) for all mathematics items or for ELA Listening items. These students could also use a human signer for mathematics items. It is possible that due to regional differences in signing, a student may come across a word in the VSL with which they are unfamiliar. Students may ask for an interpreter to sign individual words that they may not have understood. Interpreters must not include additional descriptions or explanations, but must provide an appropriate and equal term-to-term sign. A human signer could also use the Listening Script for ELA listening items for paper/pencil testers only.

Minnesota

Accommodation:

MCA Script (Math, Science):

Signed interpretation (e.g., ASL or signed English) of the Mathematics MCA and Science MCA script may be provided for deaf or hard-of-hearing students. The script must be used by the interpreter for the signed interpretation in conjunction with the corresponding paper test book or online test (science only) during administration. The interpretation must strictly adhere to the literal meaning of the text in the script. The interpreter must review the script prior to administration to determine when a sign or signs will give away the answer to items. In cases where signs give clues to the answer, interpreters must use finger spelling for those words. To prepare for testing, the interpreter should be provided access to the script up to 5 business days prior to the scheduled test administration. Materials must be kept secure by interpreters as they prepare for test administration. Additional guidelines for a signed interpretation of the script are provided in the script and in the Guidelines for Administration of Accommodations (PearsonAccess Next > Resources & Training > Policies and Procedures). The Guidelines include additional guidance on ASL interpretation, including the linguistic rules and conventions of ASL and details on how to interpret specific academic terms for the math and science tests. All interpreters must complete the Test Security Training prior to accessing test materials, and the use of an interpreter, including the name of the people interpreting, must be documented on a Test Administration Report (TAR). If the interpreter is also the Test Monitor, they must complete the MCA Test Monitor course prior to accessing the test materials.

Test Directions (ELA, Math, Science):

Signed interpretation (e.g., ASL or signed English) of test directions may be provided for deaf or hard-of-hearing students. Only the scripted Testing Directions may be signed; no interpretations of test items or reading passages are allowed. Additional guidelines for administering a test with signed interpretation of test directions are provided in the Guidelines for Administration of Accommodations (PearsonAccess Next > Resources & Training > Policies and Procedures). The Guidelines include additional guidance on ASL interpretation, including the linguistic rules and conventions of ASL and details on how to interpret specific academic terms for the math and science tests. All interpreters must complete the Test Security Training, and the use of an interpreter, including the name of the people interpreting, must be documented on a Test Administration Report (TAR). If the interpreter is also the Test Monitor, they must complete the MCA Test Monitor course prior to test administration.

Mississippi

Accommodation:

Students for whom American Sign Language (ASL) is the primary language may have directions and/or items signed to them, except for the reading sections of MAP. Other allowable signing systems are Signing Exact English (SEE), Signed English (SE), Sign Supported English (SSE or CASE), or Contact Sign (i.e., Pidgin Sign English [PSE]). Sign languages from other countries (i.e., Auslan, BSL, LSF) or non-standard sign systems (i.e., home sign) are not permitted to be used.

Missouri

Accommodation:

The INSIGHT student platform provides students with hearing impairments with this accommodation in their IEP/504plan access to video American Sign Language (ASL) for the ELA listening passages. If the student uses another form of sign language or the preference is for a local translation into ASL, the signing of ELA listening passages will require the download of a script.The accommodation must be chosen in the Portal under student accommodations prior to testing.

Montana

Accommodation (ELA listening items, Math):

Test content is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.

Nebraska

Accommodation:

An educational sign language interpreter signs the test directions, content and test items to the student. ELA passages may not be signed. The student may also dictate responses by signing. The student must be tested in an individual or small group setting.

Nevada

Accommodation:

American Sign Language (ASL) (for ELA listening items and math items):

Test content is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.

New Hampshire

Designated Feature, Accommodation:

American Sign Language Video:

Test content with audio components is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing audio content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test. Embedded ASL videos are only available for ELA tests. For Math and Science, a Human Signer is acceptable if needed.

American Sign Language – Human Signer:

Test is translated by a human signer. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.

New Jersey

Accessibility Feature (Universal Feature; Math, Science):

Human Reader or Human Signer for Mathematics & Science Tests:

Student’s SR/PNP must have Human Reader/Human Signer selected. A student MUST be manually placed into a Human Reader test session to provide the Human Reader accessibility feature. This will assign all students in the test session the same form as the Test Administrator and will match the Human Reader Script. Students in these sessions cannot have other PNP form supported accommodations such as Text-to-Speech (TTS), American Sign Language (ASL), Closed Captioning (CC), Assistive Technology – Screen Reader, Assistive Technology Non-Screen Reader. Important Note: Failure to manually place the students in a Human Reader session (specifically identified in PAN) will result in the student receiving a form that differs from the form needed to provide the accessibility feature. The Test Administrator will be assigned a separate authorization login to access the same form as all students within the Human Reader session and also receive a secure Mathematics Human Reader Script. : A Test Administrator (Human Reader or Human Signer) reads aloud to a student using the provided Human Reader Script. The student must be tested in an individual or small group setting. Small group is defined as a small number of students not to exceed 15, with similar accessibility features and/or accommodations who will be administered the test as a group. Student IEPs may specify a smaller group size and must be accommodated during testing. Districts/schools are responsible for determining the composition and compatibility of the members of the small group. : Human Reader Scripts contain secure item content and should be handled as secure test materials. Test Administrators should return materials to Test Coordinators. Test Coordinators must return the Human Reader Scripts with the nonscorable materials.

Accommodation:

ELA Assessments, including items, response options, and passages:

The purpose of the embedded text-to-speech, ASL video, and Human Reader/Human Signer accommodation for the NJSLA ELA assessment is to provide access to printed or written texts on the NJSLA ELA assessments for a very small number of students with print-related disabilities who would otherwise be unable to participate in the assessment because their disability severely limits or prevents their ability to access printed text by decoding. This accommodation is not intended for students reading somewhat (i.e., only moderately) below grade level. The student’s SR/PNP must have text-to-speech, ASL Video, or Human Reader/Human Signer selected to activate the features on the platform. Once a student is placed into a session, the student will be assigned a form with embedded text-to-speech, or ASL Video.

Human Reader/ Human Signer (ELA):

For the Human Reader/Human Signer, students must be placed in a read-aloud session type when creating test sessions. The proctor will be assigned a separate authorization login to access the same form as all students within the Human Reader session. Important Note: Volume level must be determined prior to testing; once the test session begins, the volume level cannot be changed. The student will not have access to volume control in the secure TestNav environment. : A student receives an audio representation of the ELA assessment either through embedded text-to-speech, embedded ASL video, or a Human Reader/Signer. For Human Reader, the Test Administrator will need to reference the NJSLA ELA Audio Guidelines available on the NJSLA Resource Center, https://nj.mypearsonsupport.com > Educator Resources > Test Administration Resources > Accessibility Features and Accommodations (AF&A) Resources > Resources. Important Note: If headphones are not used for text-to-speech, or the student has a Human Reader or Signer, the student must be tested in a separate setting. IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators should carefully review the following guidelines before identifying students to receive these accommodations on the ELA assessments. If all guidelines are NOT met, and the student is given the text-to-speech, ASL video, or Human Reader/Human Signer accommodation on an NJSLA English language arts (ELA) 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 (ELA) assessment.) In making decisions on whether to provide a student with this accommodation, IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators should consider whether the student has:

  • Blindness or a visual impairment and has not learned (or is unable to use) braille; OR
  • A disability that severely limits or prevents him/her from accessing printed text, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so (e.g., student is unable to decode printed text); OR
  • Deafness or a hearing impairment and is severely limited or prevented from decoding text due to a documented history of early and prolonged language deprivation.

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

  • The student has access to printed text during routine instruction through a reader, other spoken-text audio format, or signer;
  • The student’s inability to decode printed text or read braille is documented in evaluation summaries from locally-administered diagnostic assessments; and the student receives ongoing, intensive instruction and/or interventions in the foundational reading skills to continue to attain the important college and career-ready skill of independent reading.

Decisions about who receives this accommodation will be made by IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators. For a student who receives one of these accommodations, no claims should be inferred regarding the student’s ability to demonstrate foundational reading skills (i.e., decoding).

ASL Video for the Mathematics/Science Assessments:

Student’s SR/PNP must have American Sign Language (ASL) Video selected. Once a student is placed into a test session, the student will be assigned an ASL Video form. Proctor caching is strongly encouraged. If this content is not cached, it may present challenges for students during testing. If a student does not use ASL, a human interpreter and separate test setting will be required. Student Training: It is highly recommended that students review the American Sign Language Math Dictionary prior to testing. This video is available at nj.mypearsonsupport.com. Test Administrator Training: Human signers should refer to the online NJSLA American Sign Language Math Video Glossary for guidance on how to deliver mathematics symbols and terms. This video is available at nj.mypearsonsupport.com. During Testing: The student views an embedded video of a human interpreter for the mathematics assessments. The student may pause and resume the video but cannot adjust the pace.

Human Signer for Test Directions:

Identification for SR/PNP: Student’s SR/PNP must have Human Signer for Test Directions selected. Test Administrator Training: Human Signers must review: o Test Administrator Scripts included in the Test Administrator Manuals. o Appendix K: Human Signer Guidelines (signers only). During Testing: A human signer will sign the test directions to a student. The student may either be tested in a small group or a separate setting based on the student’s experiences during classroom assessments.

New Mexico

Accommodation:

Human Signer: For students with hearing impairments who are unable to decode text visually. For PBT/CBT a sign language interpreter may be used individually or in small group. Follow test manual directions when assigning to ELA assessments.

North Carolina

Accommodation (Math, Science):

The Interpreter/Transliterator Signs/Cues Test accommodation allows a student to use the services of an interpreter or transliterator to sign or cue the directions and the content of a test during the test administration. 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 tests. Each test site must have (1) a test administrator who reads the information aloud (e.g., directions, test questions) and (2) a qualified interpreter or transliterator who signs or cues to the student(s). The test administrator and interpreter or transliterator must attend all test administrator training sessions provided before testing. It is important that the school use an interpreter or transliterator who is familiar with and has experience signing or cueing for the student(s). The interpreter or transliterator must be proficient in sign language or the student’s individual communication modality. The interpreter or transliterator must fingerspell words if the commonly used sign will provide the student with an unfair advantage. For example, a test question asks, “Which shape is the triangle?” The interpreter or transliterator would fingerspell the entire word, “triangle.” Test questions may not be clarified in any manner. Since the interpreter or transliterator must be familiar with the concepts of the test questions, the interpreter or transliterator can review the test up to two days before testing. The review must occur under secure conditions in a group setting (i.e., three or more designated school personnel). If necessary, the interpreter or transliterator may make notes regarding the signs to use during the test administration in the test book that will be used during the test administration. The school test coordinator must ensure the interpreter or transliterator is given the same test book to refer to during the test administration. During the review, no notes may be made on separate paper, and no test book or other test materials may be removed from the secure location. The interpreter or transliterator must not disclose the content or specific questions of the test. Test security must be maintained at all times during the review and administration of the test. The early review of the test by an interpreter or transliterator is only available for paper tests. Online tests are not viewable before the actual test administration. The interpreter or transliterator is not allowed to sign or cue two or more different test forms to a group of students during one test administration session. The directions in the test administration guide that the test administrator reads aloud to students may be signed or cued during the administration of any North Carolina state-mandated test, including state tests that measure reading comprehension. Test questions and answer choices for state tests that do not measure reading comprehension may be signed or cued the number of times necessary to ensure comprehension, but in a manner that does not indicate the correct response or teach vocabulary and concepts (e.g., do not sign or cue definitions of words). To ensure the validity of the test, students provided the Interpreter/Translator Signs/Cues Test accommodation must also be provided the Testing in a Separate Room accommodation (small group or one-on-one).

North Dakota

Accommodation:

Test content is translated into ASL video or provided by a human signer. The signed test content is viewed on the same screen.

Ohio

Universal Feature:

General directions:

The test administrator must read the scripted general directions for starting all test administrations and must not deviate from the script. After the test administrator has read the directions, students may ask the test administrator to repeat or clarify directions. General directions may be translated or interpreted (for example, in the English learner’s native language or American Sign Language (ASL)). General directions include the scripted information for students that comes before the test starts. Once students have begun the test, nothing may be clarified.

Accommodation:

Read-aloud on English language arts:

“Read-aloud” as a general term is when a student is administered a test via text-to-speech, human reader, screen reader or sign language interpreter. The read-aloud accommodation for the English language arts test is intended to provide access for a very small number of students to printed or written texts on the tests. These students have print-related disabilities and otherwise would be unable to participate in the state tests because their disabilities severely limit or prevent them from decoding, thus accessing printed text. Because students who require this accommodation are unable to access printed text, they must have a read-aloud for the entire test, including the items, answer options, charts/graphs/figures and passages. This accommodation is not intended for students reading somewhat (only moderately) below grade level. Reading only questions and answer options to a student is not allowable on the ELA test. If a student qualifies for this accommodation, then they must have the entire test read, including the passages.

In making decisions on whether to provide a 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 from accessing printed text, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so (for example, the student is unable to decode printed text); OR
  • Blindness or a visual impairment and has not learned (or is unable to use) Braille; OR
  • Deafness or hearing loss and is severely limited or prevented from decoding text due to a documented history of early and prolonged language deprivation.

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

  • The student has access to printed text during routine instruction through a reader or other spoken-text audio format accessible educational materials (AEM) or sign language interpreter;
  • The student’s inability to decode printed text or read Braille is documented in evaluation summaries from locally administered diagnostic assessments;
  • The student receives ongoing, intensive instruction and/or interventions in foundational reading skills to continue attaining the important college- and career-ready skill of independent reading.

For information about who needs AEM, how to obtain AEM and tools to support AEM, visit the Assistive Technology & Accessible Educational Materials Center. IEP teams and 504 plan coordinators make decisions about who receives this accommodation. Schools should use a variety of sources as evidence (including state assessments, district assessments and one or more locally administered diagnostic assessments or other evaluation). For students who receive this accommodation, no claims should be inferred regarding the student’s ability to demonstrate foundational reading skills. Refer to the Test Administration Manual Appendix B for more information about administering a test through a human reader.

Sign language interpreter:

Any student who is deaf or has hearing loss may have a sign language interpreter reflecting their IEP accommodations (American Sign Language, Signed English, Cued Speech) for mathematics, science and social studies. For the purposes of statewide testing, sign language is considered a second language and should be treated the same as any other language from a translational standpoint. The test must be signed verbatim. The intent of the phrase “signed verbatim” does not mean a word-to-word translation, as this is not appropriate for any language translation. The expectation is that the interpreter should faithfully translate, to the greatest extent possible, all the words on the test without changing or enhancing the meaning of the content, adding information or explaining concepts unknown to the student. If a sign language interpreter perceives that a specific sign gives a student the answer or otherwise provides an unfair advantage, an alternate sign or finger spelling should be used. Only students who meet the criteria to have a read-aloud accommodation on the English language arts OST may use this feature for English language arts tests. English/sign translation dictionaries are permissible for use by students and interpreters. Sign language interpreter is an allowable accommodation for students with disabilities on any OGT. Reading passages may not be signed to students on the reading OGT under any circumstance.

Oklahoma

Accommodation:

Text-to-Speech, Human Reader, or Sign Language Interpretation (applies to all Math, Science, and U.S. History test sections and Grades 5 & 8 ELA writing/extended constructed response sections only):

Sign Language Interpretation may be accomplished by using a separate test booklet in a separate location.

ELA Read-Aloud (Grades 3-8) Text-to-Speech, Human Reader, or Sign Language Interpretation Accommodation for the OSTP English Language Arts Assessments:

Sign Language Interpretation may be accomplished by using a separate test booklet. Test directions, test items, and answer choices must be read verbatim. Students may request items be read more than once. The student can only access printed materials through a screen reader (assistive technology) or Human Reader, and/or is provided with spoken text on audiotape, CD, video, or other electronic format during routine instruction (includes Sign Language Interpretation), except while the student is actually being taught to decode.

Oregon

Accommodation:

American Sign Language (ASL) (for ELA Listening stimuli and Math):

Test content is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with the clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.

Signed interpretation:

Directions that are not linked to a specific item, items, stimuli, and response choices may be signed* (by a qualified signed test interpreter) to the student using the signed modality that is most familiar to the student, with the exception of mathematics signs and symbols. Directions are defined as any instructions or guidance related to the administration of an item. Directions typically precede an item or precede a section of items. *See also Appendix A: Guidelines for Signed Interpretation Support Notes: (1) Introductions to reading passages are not considered part of the directions and may not be signed; (2) Any information in the body of an item is considered part of that item and may not be signed as directions.** While access to these online assessments 48-hours in advance is not available, it is expected the qualified sign language interpreter has prepared to support the student and TA per the Guidelines for Signed Interpretation Support to ensure the reliable and valid provision of this accommodation for students on IEPs in the assessment environment. The verbatim student directions are located in the Test Administration Manual.

Pennsylvania

Accommodation:

Interpret/translate/sign Test Directions in Sign Language or Native Language:

LEA provides qualified educational sign language interpreter. Interpreters/translators providing this accommodation should be literate and fluent in English, as well as the student’s native language. Interpreters/translators must sign Test Security Certification form (located in the HAC) and the Confidentiality Agreement.

Interpret/translate Individual Word, Phrase, Sentence or Test Item in Sign Language or Native Language for Math, Science, Algebra I and/or Biology tests:

Interpreters/translators may not clarify, elaborate, paraphrase, assist, or cue a student through uneven voice inflection or description or through signing and non-manual expressions. LEA provides qualified educational sign language interpreter. Interpreters/translators providing this accommodation should be literate and fluent in English, as well as the student’s native language. Interpreters/translators must sign Test Security Certification form (located in the HAC) and the Confidentiality Agreement.

Interpret/translate Individual Word, Phrase, Sentence or Test Item in Sign Language for the Text Dependent Analysis (TDA) Prompt:

Interpreters/translators may not clarify, elaborate, paraphrase, assist, or cue a student through uneven voice inflection or description, or through signing and non-manual expressions. LEA provides qualified educational sign language interpreter. Interpreters/translators must sign Test Security Certification form (located in the Handbook for Assessment Coordinators) and the Confidentiality Agreement.

Video Sign Language Version (VSL) Mathematics PSSA and Science PSSA; Algebra I Keystone and Biology Keystone:

This must be ordered and downloaded separately. No VSL for any part of ELA or Literature Keystone tests. Must follow the Video Sign Language Guidelines. May reference the Supplemental Guidelines for American Sign Language (ASL) in the Video Sign Language (VSL) test version.

Rhode Island

Accommodation:

Sign Language Interpreter for General Test Directions:

Human signer for a student to who is deaf or hard-of-hearing for general test directions, not test items or reading passages.

Sign Language Interpreter for Test Questions:

Science: Sign language interpreters may translate the test questions (items), and response options into American Sign Language, Signed Exact English, or other sign system used by the student in accordance with the Sign Language Accommodation guidance in Appendix G.

ELA/Math: Sign language interpreters may translate the test questions (items), and response options into American Sign Language, Signed Exact English, or other sign system used by the student in accordance with the Sign Language Accommodation guidance in Appendix G. The test must be administered in a separate setting, either individually or to a small group of 2–5 students, all of whom are receiving this accommodation. Under secure conditions supervised by the principal, interpreters may review the test materials once they become available, either online or delivered to the school, for the purpose of preparing to sign the test. Test materials may not be removed from the school or accessed online outside of the school. Interpreters must sign non-disclosure agreements. If preferred, selected words, phrases, or sections of the mathematics test may be signed, as requested, rather than signing the entire test. Students must be in separate human signer Session in PAN so student receive the same test form. See the SR/PNP Guide for more information. For students who require a human signer for ELA reading passages, see Human Signer for ELA Reading Passages.

Sign Language Interpreter for Reading Passages:

A student who is deaf or hard-of-hearing and is severely limited or prevented from reading, as documented in locally-administered diagnostic evaluations my need a human signer for the reading passages on the RICAS ELA test. The student must meet all of the following criteria:

  • be virtually unable to read, even after varied and repeated attempts to teach the student to do so (i.e., the student is at the very beginning stages of learning to read, and not simply reading below grade level), due to a documented disability and/or history of early and prolonged lack of exposure to and use of language; and
  • uses this accommodation routinely, except during reading instruction; and
  • receives ongoing intervention to learn the skill.

Under secure conditions supervised by the principal, interpreters may review the test materials once they become available, either online or delivered to the school, for the purpose of preparing to sign the test. Test materials may not be removed from the school or accessed online outside of the school. The test must be administered in a separate setting, either individually or to a small group of 2–5 students, all of whom are receiving this accommodation. Interpreters must sign non-disclosure agreements. Students must be in separate human signer Session in PAN so students receive the same test form. See the SR/PNP Guide for more information. The test must be signed in accordance with the Sign Language Accommodation guidance in Appendix G.

South Carolina

Accommodation:

American Sign Language (ASL): Test content is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.

Human signer/Sign language/Sign interpretation of test: A human signer will sign the test directions to the student. The student may also dictate responses by signing. The student must be tested in an individual or small group setting.

South Dakota

Accommodation (ELA, Math):

American Sign Language (ASL) (for ELA listening items and math items): Test content is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test

Tennessee

Accommodation:

Oral/Signing Presentation: Oral presentation (read aloud) or signing is an accommodation available to students with an IEP, 504 plan, or ILP if the IEP, 504 or ILP team determines that oral or signing presentation is required for the student to access the assessment. Students who communicate with sign language may have a human signer as an accommodation. The human signer will read the assessment using the conventions of the student’s sign language (i.e., American Sign Language (ASL)) The following questions should be used by the IEP, 504, or ILP team to help determine if a student’s disability and/or limited English proficiency is significant enough to warrant oral presentation. For a student with a visual impairment, the IEP team must consider the impact of the visual impairment on the student’s ability to access printed text. Questions they may want to consider include:

  • Does the student have a documented decoding or fluency deficit which precludes access to printed text?
  • For students with an IEP, does the student have a goal to address the deficit listed in the present level of educational performance?
  • Is the student engaged in intensive intervention through their IEP, 504, or ILP to address the specific deficit?
  • For students identified as active EL, does the student show limited reading ability in English?

Texas

Accessibility Feature (Universal Feature):

Signing test administration directions using American Sign Language (ASL) for a student who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Designated Feature:

Oral/Signed Administration: The oral/signed administration designated support allows test material to be read aloud or signed to a student. All references in this document to reading support during an oral administration also apply to signing during a signed administration. An online oral/signed administration is administered via text-to-speech (TTS) or American Sign Language (ASL) videos.

For a student who meets the eligibility criteria, this designated support may be used on the following paper and online tests:

  • State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) and STAAR Spanish mathematics, science, and social studies
    • Test questions, answer choices, and embedded supports may be read aloud.
    • Required reference materials (where applicable) and allowable designated supports may be read aloud.
  • STAAR and STAAR Spanish reading
    • Test questions, answer choices, and embedded supports may be read aloud.
    • Revising selections, revising test questions and answer choices, and embedded supports may be read aloud.
    • Required reference materials (where applicable) and allowable designated supports may be read aloud.
    • Reading selections, editing selections, and editing test questions and answer choices CANNOT be read aloud.
  • STAAR English I and English II end-of-course (EOC)
    • Reading test questions and answer choices, revising selections, revising test questions and answer choices, and embedded supports may be read aloud.
    • Required reference materials and allowable designated supports may be read aloud.
    • Reading selections, editing selections, and editing test questions and answer choices CANNOT be read aloud.

American Sign Language (ASL) videos are offered as an online option for a signed administration. ASL videos allow a student to independently select and change the level of signing support during the test administration. It is important to note, however, that ASL videos are available only for test questions and revising passages in English, and are not offered on Spanish tests or for content and language supports (i.e., pop-ups and rollovers). In these instances, the test administrator may sign test content in the same way as they do for paper tests. More information can be found in the General Instructions for Administering State Assessments to Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, which are posted on TEA's Accommodation Resources webpage.

Utah

Accommodation:

Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing may need assistance accessing text‐based instructional or assessment content. Access for these students is typically provided through American Sign Language (ASL). Allowed as an accommodation. Must use a certified interpreter. The student must have the text‐to‐speech option on each item and the interpreter must only interpret the audio portion. Interpreters may not interpret any item for which the text‐to‐ speech option or descriptive audio is not available. If ASL is provided onscreen, the interpreter may not interpret the item. The student must use the online interpreter. Interpreters may interpret interactive answer spaces in test questions but must listen to audio descriptions while interpreting. Descriptive Audio must be enabled prior to the test session.

Vermont

Accommodation:

American Sign Language (ASL) (for ELA listening items and math items): Test content is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.

Virginia

Accommodation:

Interpreting/Transliterating Accommodation (sign language, cued speech): Test Directions Delivery: Testing sessions for students who are deaf or have a hearing impairment and who normally communicate in sign language or using cued speech may include a qualified interpreter or transliterator for testing directions or to interpret/transliterate questions answered by the Test Examiner.

Interpreting/Transliterating Accommodation on Mathematics, Science, History/Social Science, and Writing Assessments: Students who are deaf or have hearing impairments and who normally communicate in sign language or using cued speech may be given access to state assessments using the interpreting/transliterating accommodation provided by a qualified interpreter or transliterator. This accommodation may be provided as specified in the IEP or 504 Plan for Mathematics, Science, History/Social Science, and Writing tests. The Interpreter/Transliterator may interpret/transliterate test directions, sample items, and questions regarding the mechanics of testing directed to and answered by the Examiner. For these content areas, the accommodation may also be provided for test items interpreted/transliterated directly from assessments (paper or online formats including Computer Adaptive Test) or from items read to the student by Test Examiners. The student’s IEP Team or 504 Committee should determine the best method to provide the student with hearing impairments or deafness access to assessment items.

Interpreting/Transliterating Accommodation on the Reading Assessment: Students who are deaf or have a hearing impairment may be considered by school divisions for the interpreting/transliterating accommodation on the Reading assessment because of difficulty hearing phonemes, which is a part of the decoding process. Eligibility must be determined by a diagnostic tool or instrument administered by a qualified professional. If a student who is deaf or hearing impaired is found eligible for the interpreting/transliterating accommodation because his/her hearing impairment severely limits the ability to decode text, the test would be administered through an interpreter if that student uses sign language as his/her method of communicating.

Washington

Accommodation:

Math, ELA: For ELA listening items only. For math items only. Test content is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in the listening stimuli and items.

Science: District provides student access to the assessment through a trained adult interpreter. Test content is translated by a human signer into ASL. The human ASL signer and the test content (online or paper) are viewed by the student. The adult interpreter adheres to the GAAP Sign Guidance. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information.

West Virginia

Accommodation:

Test presented through sign language, locally provided, excluding ELA passages (P06): For WVGSA a trained examiner may present directions in ASL or Signed Exact English (SEE). For students who have a hearing loss and use sign language as the primary mode of communication. Locally provided interpreters, certified (in accordance with Policy 5202), are allowed – in lieu of the ASL videos when IEP documentation indicates ASL is not the student’s primary language or for EL students. Educational sign language interpreters must not clarify, elaborate, paraphrase, or provide assistance with the meaning of words, intent of test questions, or responses to test items. A student’s teacher should not serve as the interpreter/translator in a testing situation unless a second person is present to monitor for quality and fairness. Student must be in a one-to-one setting with an adult (T10).

Directions presented through sign language, locally provided (P16): : A qualified examiner presents test directions in sign language. Certified (in accordance with Policy 5202) locally-provided interpreters are allowed in lieu of the American Sign Language videos when IEP documentation indicates ASL is not the student’s primary language. Students who have a hearing loss and use an interpreter for instructional presentation of materials and directions. Educational sign language interpreters must not clarify, elaborate, paraphrase, or help with the meaning of words, intent of test questions, or responses to test items. A student’s teacher should not serve as the interpreter/translator in a testing situation unless a second person is present to monitor for quality and fairness. This accommodation can be provided in the regular session in the back of the room (or wherever it is typically provided to the student for classes).

Embedded American Sign Language, excluding writing (P34): Listening test content is interpreted into American Sign Language (ASL) video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. An ASL interpreter or ASL-certified instructor signs during instruction. Some students who have hearing loss and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who have hearing loss, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, some students who have hearing loss will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test. This accommodation must be carefully monitored to ensure signing is working for the items which is allowed. Scripts are available for use by those who are not fluent in ASL – see accommodation code P48.

Test presented through sign language, locally provided, including ELA reading passages (P50): For WVGSA a trained examiner will present directions, stimulus material, questions, and answer choices in ASL or Signed Exact English (SEE). For SAT School Day, test passages, questions, and response choice presentations must be only in SEE. Instructional practices: For students who have a hearing loss and use sign language as the primary mode of communication. When to select: For students who have a hearing loss and use sign language as the primary mode of communication. Locally provided interpreters, certified in accordance with Policy 5202 are allowed – in lieu of the ASL videos (WVGSA has ASL videos) when IEP documentation indicates ASL is not the student’s primary language or for EL students. Educational sign language interpreters must not clarify, elaborate, paraphrase, or provide assistance with the meaning of words, intent of test questions, or responses to test items. A student’s teacher should not serve as the interpreter/translator in a testing situation unless a second person is present to monitor for quality and fairness.

Wisconsin

Accommodation:

Video sign language: Not allowed for the passages in the ELA Reading Session. Online delivery of test content in American Sign Language (ASL) is presented as a pre-recorded embedded video of a human signer. Students activate the VSL and can view as often as needed using the controls provided. VSL is available for mathematics, science, social studies, and ELA (not allowed for the passages in the ELA Reading Session). The pre-recorded VSL allows for standardization and consistency in administration of the sign language accommodation. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may utilize this accommodation when accessing audio and text-based content in the assessment. In-person sign interpretation services or direct communication of the test content in sign language is not an allowable accommodation and invalidates the assessment. A sign language interpreter is allowed to sign scripted directions from the test administration manual that proctors read to students prior to testing.

Wyoming

Accommodation:

American Sign Language (for ELA listening items): Test content is translated into ASL video. ASL human signer and the signed test content are viewed on the same screen. Students may view portions of the ASL video as often as needed. Some students who are deaf or hard of hearing and who typically use ASL may need this accommodation when accessing text-based content in the assessment. The use of this accommodation may result in the student needing additional overall time to complete the assessment. For many students who are deaf or hard of hearing, viewing signs is the only way to access information presented orally. It is important to note, however, that some students who are hard of hearing will be able to listen to information presented orally if provided with appropriate amplification and a setting in which extraneous sounds do not interfere with clear presentation of the audio presentation in a listening test.

Alternate forms of Sign Language by a human signer: Per the IEP or 504 Team some students may use SEE - Signing Exact English or CASE - Conceptually Accurate Signed English also called PSE. Presented by a Certified Educational Interpreter currently signing for the student. In addition to providing Sign Language by a human signer, some students may need to be in close proximity to the signer in order to lip read while reading sign. For students using this signing system in the classroom via a human signer.

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. (2022). Signed administration: States’ accessibility policies, 2022 (NCEO Accommodations Toolkit #24b). National Center on Educational Outcomes.

The Center is supported through a Cooperative Agreement (#H326G210002) 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. Consistent with EDGAR §75.62, the contents of this report were developed under the Cooperative Agreement from the U.S. Department of Education, but do 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