Accommodations Toolkit

Speech-to-Text: States' Accessibility Policies, 2021

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National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO) logo.

This summary of states’ accessibility policies for speech-to-text 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 speech-to-text.

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

Figure 1. States’ Accessibility Policies for Students with Disabilities for Speech-to-Text, 2021

Reading/ELA/Writing

  • Universal Features (U): 0 States
  • Designated Features (D): 1 States
  • Accommodations (A): 34 States

Math

  • Universal Features (U): 0 States
  • Designated Features (D): 1 States
  • Accommodations (A): 30 States

Science

  • Universal Features (U): 0 States
  • Designated Features (D): 1 States
  • Accommodations (A): 24 States

Table 1. Accommodations Policies for Speech-to-Text by State, 2021

U=Universal Feature, D= Designated Feature, A=Accommodation, ELA= English Language Arts, X = Allowed, SD = Allowed for Students with Disabilities, 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

Alaska

Arizona

P

P

P

N

Arkansas

SD

N

California

SD

SD

SD

N

Colorado

SD

SD

SD

N

Connecticut

SD

SD

N

Delaware

SD

SD

SD

N

District of Columbia

SD

SD

N

Florida

Georgia

SD

N

Hawaii

SD

SD

N

Idaho

SD

SD

SD

N

Illinois

SD

SD

SD

N

Indiana

SD

SD

SD

N

Iowa

SD

SD

SD

N

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

SD

SD

SD

N

Maine

Maryland

SD

SD

SD

N

Massachusetts

SD

SD

SD

N

Michigan

SD

SD

SD

N

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

SD

SD

SD

N

Montana

SD

SD

N

Nebraska

SD

SD

SD

N

Nevada

SD

SD

N

New Hampshire

X

X

X

N

New Jersey

SD

SD

SD

N

New Mexico

SD

SD

SD

N

New York

SD

SD

SD

N

North Carolina

North Dakota

SD

SD

SD

N

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

SD

SD

N

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

SD

SD

SD

N

South Carolina

South Dakota

SD

SD

SD

N

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

SD

SD

SD

N

Vermont

SD

SD

SD

N

Virginia

SD

N

Washington

SD

SD

SD

N

West Virginia

SD

SD

SD

N

Wisconsin

SD

N

Wyoming

SD

SD

SD

N

Total (Students with Disabilities)

0

1

34

0

1

30

0

1

24

Note: Blank cell = no policy found

Table 2. Details and Specifications: States’ Speech-to-Text Accessibility Policies

State

Details/Specifications

Arizona

Speech-to-text is prohibited on the writing section of the ELA assessment.

Arkansas

Accommodation (ELA Writing):

Definition: Software used in conjunction with a word processing program which converts spoken language into written text, used for the writing test and constructed-response questions. Recommended Usage: Examinees with motor disabilities which impede their ability to independently write. Arkansas Policy: Requires completion and approval of the ADE: DESE Special Accommodations Request Form. Notes: Use of a computer with voice recognition software is required for paper testing. Voice recognition software on mobile telephone devices is not allowed. Examinees must be tested one-to-one. Follow the instructions in the Test Coordinator Manual for how to submit examinee's response for scoring.

California

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer to dictate responses for constructed response items. Non-Embedded - Students use their own assistive technology devices and voice recognition software. Embedded - The student uses functionality embedded in the test delivery system. External assistive technology devices are not required.

Colorado

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Available to students as documented on their IEP or 504 plans. Because this accommodation requires that the student provide answers orally, this accommodation must be provided in an individual, one-on-one, testing environment. Additional considerations for test security must be applied when students are using speech-to-text (STT) software. Students must not retrieve or access work from another student. Students must not be able to access additional programs/applications or the Internet while testing. Student must not be able to access any previously saved data while in the testing environment. Extra time may not be given for “lost” work.

Assistive technology devices with student answers on them are secure test materials and must be secured as such. For students using assistive technology and/or augmentative communication devices that:

  • Do not produce a printed product, perform transcription of responses directly from the device.
  • Do produce a printed product, print student work and transcribe responses into TestNav or the student’s test book prior to the student beginning the next test unit.

Verbatim transcription should occur in the presence of a second school adult and follow the transcription guidelines. Student work and/or answers that are not transcribed are not scored. STT programs that have a kiosk mode that lock out all other applications/programs while testing should be used. STT programs that can still access the internet while in kiosk mode are not approved for use by individual students during testing. Contact the DAC for the list of district-approved STT programs that ensure student privacy and restrict internet access while in kiosk mode. The DAC should contact CDE for guidance on how to set up testing for these students. Only authorized personnel may have access to the test, test materials, and student answers. Schools must have procedures in place for secure retrieval of printed materials. Remove all student responses from the assistive technology device immediately following the transcription or printing for transcription purposes. Students may not have access to assistive technology devices that contain secure materials until all secure materials are removed from those devices. Secure devices that contain secure materials with other secure testing materials. It is the DAC’s responsibility to ensure that the District Use of Speech-to-Text forms and District level Privacy Policies are submitted to and approved by CDE. It is the DAC’s responsibility to ensure this is done in a secure manner. The DAC may adapt the Secure Data Removal form (Appendix G) to verify that this was completed. Make documentation available upon request by CDE. Printed pages containing the student’s answers are secure materials. Return printed pages to the SAC along with any used scratch paper from the test unit.

Connecticut

Accommodation (ELA open-ended questions, Math):

Often used with students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as dyslexia), this accommodation allows students to orally dictate their responses to Smarter Balanced open-ended items using Cambium Assessment’s internal speech-to-text software. Any open-ended item (often associated with the Math Performance Task and the ELA reading and writing assessments) will have a speech-to-text icon that can be activated by the student and used to generate a dictated response. Students will need to review the transcription to ensure the response is accurately captured. Districts are highly encouraged to allow students to practice this accessibility feature using the Practice Tests in advance of summative testing.

This non embedded speech-to-text or voice-recognition software accommodation allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses, or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Students use their own assistive technology devices, which generally include a microphone and headphones. Students need to be familiar with the software with many opportunities to use it during instruction. Speech-to-text software requires that students know writing conventions, and that they have the reviewing and editing skills; thus, experience with this accommodation prior to testing is essential. When students use their own assistive technology devices, all assessment content must be deleted from these devices after testing for security purposes. When voice-recognition software, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, is downloaded to a computer and used as a standalone that is compatible with the secure online Test Delivery System, it can function within the Test Delivery System. To allow this non-embedded accommodation to function, the permissive mode must be activated in TIDE. Few items on the Smarter Balanced math and ELA Assessment require the need for typing, therefore, this accommodation may not be needed for some students. While some applications for the speech-to-text (STT) accommodation are compatible with the CAI Secure Browser and Test Delivery System, many are not depending upon the testing platform, manufacturer, the STT application, version updates, and security considerations. Therefore, the CSDE strongly encourages districts to test the student’s STT application with the secure practice test each year prior to testing. An embedded STT is available and recommended for students requiring this accommodation. However, there may be reasons why a student requires the use of STT as a non-embedded accommodation, relying on their own assistive technology.

Delaware

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Voice recognition software generally can recognize speech up to 160 words per minute. Students may use their own assistive technology devices. Students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as dyslexia) or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. Permissive mode is not needed for embedded speech-to-text to function. Practice with this is needed before testing.

District of Columbia

Accommodation (ELA, Math):

Student dictates responses either verbally, using an external speech-to-text device, an augmentative/assistive communication device. The student must be familiar with any assistive technology external device used for test administration. Student dictates responses either verbally, using an external speech-to-text device, an augmentative/assistive communication device. The student must be familiar with any assistive technology external device used for test administration.

Georgia

Accommodation (ELA Writing):

For students taking Grades 7–10 ELA Writing or Writing Retake on the computer, an integrated speech-to-text tool is available in the secure browser for students who have that accommodation set in TIDE. A student using speech-to-text must be tested in a separate setting so that other students are not disturbed and that the student’s spoken answers are not heard by other students. For students taking the ELA Writing on paper, responses may be printed from the program used for speech-to-text and returned for scoring. For directions on how to return typed ELA Writing responses, see pages 42–43. If students use speech-to-text to provide responses for ELA Reading, Mathematics, FSA EOC tests, NGSSS EOCs, or Statewide Science Assessment, a paper-based test must be used, and the responses must be transcribed by a test administrator into the test document. If using a third-party speech-to-text program, all electronic files containing student responses and/or planning must be deleted immediately after the test session. FDOE does not provide a list of suggested programs to use for a speech-to-text accommodation. The program should be one that the student uses on a regular basis for classroom accommodations so that he or she is familiar with it. A student who has a text-to-speech accommodation, in addition to a speech-to-text accommodation, may use the text-to-speech functionality to read back his or her response(s). For ELA Writing, students who use speech-to-text devices must have the opportunity to plan their writing and view their planning notes using the device. Autocorrect spelling may be used; however, it is the student’s responsibility to go back and edit his or her response and make sure that there were no mispronunciations.

Hawaii

Accommodation (ELA, Math):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Voice recognition software generally can recognize speech up to 160 words per minute. Students may use their own assistive technology devices. Students who have motor or processing disabilities or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. Students will need to be familiar with the software, and have had many opportunities to use it prior to testing. Speech-to-text software requires that the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential. If students use their own assistive technology devices, all assessment content should be deleted from these devices after the test for security purposes. For many of these students, using voice recognition software is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. Still, use of speech-to-text does require that students know writing conventions and that they have the review and editing skills required of students who enter text via the computer keyboard. It is important that students who use speech-to-text also be able to develop planning notes via speech-to-text, and to view what they produce while composing via speech-to-text.

Idaho

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Voice recognition software generally can recognize speech up to 160 words per minute. Students may use their own assistive technology devices. Students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as dyslexia) or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. Students will need to be familiar with the embedded speech-to-text functionality, and have had many opportunities to use it prior to testing. The embedded speech-to-text software requires that the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential. For many of these students, using voice recognition software is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. Still, use of speech-to-text does require that students know writing conventions and that they have the review and editing skills required of students who enter text via the computer keyboard. It is important that students who use speech-to-text also be able to develop planning notes via speech-to-text, and to view what they produce while composing via speech-to-text.

Illinois

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Student dictates responses either verbally, using an external speech-to-text device, an augmentative/assistive communication device (e.g., picture/word board), or by dictating, signing, gesturing, pointing, or eye-gazing. The student must be tested in a separate setting. The student must be familiar with any assistive technology external device used for test administration. Note: TestNav does not have embedded Speech-to-Text functionality—students must use allowable Assistive Technology or an external third party device (responses must be transcribed). Responses must be transcribed exactly as dictated/signed (e.g., the human scribe/signer may not change, embellish, or interpret a student’s responses when transcribing) into the student’s standard test booklet or answer document. Only transcribed responses will be scored. Test Administrators are responsible for collecting all paper nonscorable student work created using assistive technology devices. Test-related content must be deleted from all devices. Nonscorable student work must be securely shredded.

In making decisions whether to provide the student with this accommodation, IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators should consider whether the student has:

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

Indiana

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

The Secure Browser provides software to record a student’s verbal response to open-ended items as text. If the embedded STT tool is utilized, permissive mode is not required. Students using the embedded Speech-to-text tool requires a one-on-one testing environment. Students using the Speech-to-text tool through assistive technology outside of the Secure Browser must test in a one-on-one testing environment with two staff members: a transcriber and a TA who will proofread to confirm accuracy.

Iowa

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

The student uses an assistive technology device to dictate responses during the test. Students who have documented motor impairments, who have had a recent injury that makes it difficult to produce text using computer keys, students who are deaf or hard of hearing, or have processing disabilities (such as dyslexia) might benefit from this accommodation. The test administrator must ensure that all the assessment content is deleted from the computer or assistive device after the test for security purposes. This accommodation will be administered in combination with a scribe recording the student’s responses verbatim in TestNav or paper answer document. There is no direct speech-to-text capability in TestNav.

Kentucky

Currently there is not a secure method for providing this feature on online state testing. KDE is working on methods of providing this in the future but as of yet is unable to provide it due to test security reasons. Currently, Speech-To-Text functionality is being developed and plans are to offer it in a trial, pilot-based format before going operational with the capability within TestNav.

Louisiana

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Speech-to-text conversion or voice-recognition software allows students to dictate responses into their computer microphone and have the responses converted to printed text. For this accommodation, students will use their own assistive technology devices at a separate computer station equipped with speech-to-text/voice recognition software in order to respond to multiple-choice, open-ended items, and extended responses on the LEAP 2025 assessments. Students who use voice recognition software routinely and for whom this accommodation is listed in their IEP may use speech-to-text/voice recognition software as an accommodation on the LEAP 2025 assessments. Students must become familiar with the software and must have opportunities to practice using it prior to testing. It is also important that students who use speech-to-text devices be given the opportunity to develop planning notes using speech-to-text and view what they produce via speech-to-text. Upon completing a test, the student’s responses should be printed out, and the guidelines for transcribing student responses followed.

Maryland

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

The student dictates responses either verbally, using an external speech-to-text device, or by dictating, gesturing, pointing, or eye-gazing. Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) is a method of communication. It can consist of gestures, pictures, symbols, words, or a combination of all of these. It can range from simple picture communication symbols to a sophisticated computer system with voice output. Input can be done by pointing or using switches, voice recognition systems or eye gaze systems. The methods of AAC will vary and be personalized to meet the needs of the individual. Students with motor and/or writing difficulties may use speech-to-text software to produce written documents. This type of software translates oral speech into a typed document. All speech-to-text devices and software must be tested in an Infrastructure Trial to test whether or not the speech-to-text device or software will interact directly with the testing platform. If the device or software will not interact directly with the platform, a second testing device may be needed. Currently, no online testing platform has embedded speech-to-text functionality. A student who uses a speech-to-text device during assessments must have his/her responses transcribed by a certified Test Administrator, or by a staff member working under the direct supervision of a certified Test Administrator exactly as the responses were voiced. After the student’s responses are transcribed, the memory of the communication device must be cleared. Refer to the specific assessment’s TAM for directions on returning or securely shredding the original word-processed print-out.

Massachusetts

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

A speech recognition program or device that converts speech into text (other than a smartphone) used to generate responses to test questions. Students using the speech-to-text accommodation for grades 5 and 8 STE tests, or high school Biology test, will be able to use a speech-to-text “web extension” that functions within TestNav. This embedded assistive technology will allow students to dictate their responses directly into the computer-based test without using a separate, adjacent (external) device. The web extension for speech-to-text will function only on the computer-based grades 5 and 8 STE tests; the high school Biology test; and (if listed in a student’s IEP or 504 plan as special access accommodation SA3.2) the ELA tests. The web extension for speech-to-text does not function on mathematics or Introductory Physics computer-based tests due to its incompatibility with the Equation Editor answer box used for open responses. Students using the speech-to-text special access accommodation for the CBT ELA test will be able to use an embedded speech-to-text “web extension” that functions within TestNav. This embedded assistive technology will allow students to dictate their responses directly into the computer-based test without using a separate adjacent (external) device.

Michigan

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

This is a type of software that takes audio content and transcribes it into written words in a word processor or other display. This may be useful for students with disabilities who have difficulties writing by hand or using a keyboard. This support can be used with paper/pencil assessments. At this time, third-party software has not been verified as compatible with Michigan’s current online testing engines.

Missouri

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Students with this accommodation in their IEP/504 plan may use that technology in conjunction with the INSIGHT student platform. The software must be provided by the district. Please Note: The INSIGHT student platform currently blocks the use of other software. Prior to the use of this accommodation, districts should make an effort to find an alternative solution such as the use of a scribe. If the use of Speech-To-Text software is required, the software must be used on a different device. Answers resulting from the use of the software must be treated securely and must be transcribed into the system. The use of assistive technology software should be familiar to the student and should be software the student uses in the everyday classroom. This accommodation must be chosen in the Portal under student accommodations prior to testing.

Montana

Accommodation (ELA, Math):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses to Constructed Response item interactions. The student’s spoken words are then transcribed as text in the item response areas. Students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as dyslexia) or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. Speech-to-text requires that the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential.

Nebraska

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Assistive technology: The student is able to use assistive technology, which includes such supports as typing on customized keyboards, assistance with using a mouse, mouth or head stick or other pointing devices, sticky keys, touch screen, and trackball, speech-to-text conversion, or voice recognition. Students who have difficulty manipulating a mouse or standard keyboard may need an alternative communication device.

Nevada

Accommodation (ELA, Math):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Voice recognition software generally can recognize speech up to 160 words per minute. Students may use their own assistive technology devices. Students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as dyslexia) or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. Students will need to be familiar with the software, and have had many opportunities to use it prior to testing. Speech-to-text software requires that the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential. If students use their own assistive technology devices, all assessment content should be deleted from these devices after the test for security purposes. For many of these students, using voice recognition software is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. Still, use of speech-to-text does require that students know writing conventions and that they have the review and editing skills required of students who enter text via the computer keyboard. It is important that students who use speech-to-text also be able to develop planning notes via speech-to-text, and to view what they produce while composing via speech-to-text.

New Hampshire

Designated Feature (ELA, Math, Science):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Voice recognition software generally can recognize speech up to 160 words per minute. Students may use their own assistive technology devices. Students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as dyslexia) or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. Students will need to be familiar with the software, and have had many opportunities to use it prior to testing. Speech-to-text software requires that the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential. If students use their own assistive technology devices, all assessment content should be deleted from these devices after the test for security purposes. For many of these students, using voice recognition software is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. Still, use of speech-to-text does require that students know writing conventions and that they have the review and editing skills required of students who enter text via the computer keyboard. It is important that students who use speech-to-text also be able to develop planning notes via speech-to-text, and to view what they produce while composing via speech-to-text.

New Jersey

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Student dictates responses either verbally, using an external speech-to-text device, an augmentative/assistive communication device (e.g., picture/word board), or by dictating, signing, gesturing, pointing, or eye-gazing. The student must be tested in a separate setting. The student must be familiar with any assistive technology external device used for test administration. Important Note: TestNav does not have embedded Speech-to-Text functionality—students must use allowable Assistive Technology software or extensions or an external device (responses must be transcribed).

In making decisions whether to provide the student with this accommodation, IEP teams and 504 Plan Coordinators should consider whether the student has:

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

New Mexico

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Constructed response items: For SWD for whom the physical act of keyboarding or writing interferes with their ability to express their thoughts. Voice recognition (VR) software embedded in CBT converts student responses to constructed response items (e.g., writing) to printed text. Student speaks into computer microphone and the computer generates a transcription.

Selected response items: For SWD whose disability limits their keyboarding or fine motor skills interferes with their ability to indicate their response. Voice recognition (VR) software embedded in CBT converts student responses to selected response items (e.g., multiple choice) to printed text. Student speaks into computer microphone and the computer enters the response.

New York

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Speech-to-text and word prediction software programs are considered to be changes in the method of response. Changes in the method of response do not require a request to reformat. A student who uses this technology to implement testing accommodations must use a school-provided device during State testing. When word processing using word prediction or when dictating using speech-to-text software on a State assessment, the school must print the student’s response and staple the response to the test booklet. If a student using such accommodations is participating in computer-based State testing, the student’s exact responses must be entered into the computer-based testing platform by a test proctor or appropriate school staff.

North Dakota

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

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

Oregon

Accommodation (ELA, Math):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Voice recognition software generally can recognize speech up to 160 words per minute. Students may use their own assistive technology devices. Students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as dyslexia) or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. And, for many of these students, using voice recognition software is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. Still, the use of speech-to-text does require that students know writing conventions and that they have the review and editing skills required of students who enter text via the computer keyboard. It is important that students who use speech-to-text also be able to develop planning notes via speech-to-text and to view what they produce while composing via speech-to-text. Students will need to be familiar with the software and have had many opportunities to use it prior to testing. Speech-to-text software requires that the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including the use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential. If students use their own assistive technology devices, all assessment content should be deleted from these devices after the test for security purposes.

Rhode Island

Accommodation (ELA):

This special access accommodation is only for students who meet at least one of the criteria in the next column. If the student meets one of the criteria from the next column, and is taking the computer-based test, the student can communicate their responses to the RICAS ELA test items in one of the following ways:

  1. HUMAN SCRIBE. See next column for details on the computer-based test.
  2. WEB EXTENSIONS. Web extensions are available to download for Co:Writer Universal and Read&Write.
  3. COMPATIBLE STT. A compatible STT device or software used on the same device as TestNav. See the Assistive Technology Guidelines for RICAS for instructions on determining compatibility with TestNav. RICAS PNP Column W (Compatible Assistive Technology) and Column AJ (Speech-to-Text as a Special Access Accommodation [ELA]).
  4. INCOMPATIBLE STT. If the student uses an external STT program that is not compatible with TestNav, the test administrator must transcribe student responses directly into TestNav from the student’s separate, external workstation.

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

Accommodation (Math):

The student has a disability that affects their ability to write and they use a scribe or speech-to-text device or software to address this challenge during instruction throughout the day. There are four scribe and speech-to-text options available for students taking the computer-based RICAS math test in either English or Spanish:

  1. HUMAN SCRIBE. See next column for details on the computer-based test.
  2. WEB EXTENSIONS. The web extensions available for Co:Writer Universal and Read&Write will not work on the math tests because they interfere with the Equation Editor. Instead, use either a separate device with a STT program of the student’s choice or a Human Scribe. See the next column for details.
  3. COMPATIBLE SPEECH-TO-TEXT (STT). A compatible STT device or software used on the same device as TestNav. See the Assistive Technology Guidelines for RICAS for instructions on determining compatibility with TestNav.
  4. INCOMPATIBLE STT. See SPEECH-TO-TEXT DEVICE OR SOFTWARE in the next column for detail on using and setting up a speech-to-text device or software that is incompatible with TestNav.

Paper-based RICAS math test: SPEECH-TO-TEXT DEVICE OR SOFTWARE. A speech-to-text device or software of the student’s preference is set up on a separate computer and the student takes the paper-based test.

Accommodation (Science):

Computer-based: A student uses a speech-to-text program. There are two options:

  1. STT program on a separate computer if program is not compatible with the Test Delivery System.
  2. Use Permissive Mode to run STT programs such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, which will work with the Test Delivery System. Always test the functionality of the student's STT program prior to testing to ensure compatibility. Select Permissive Mode in TIDE prior to testing.

Paper-based: A student uses an external speech-to-text program that is not compatible with the Test Delivery System on a separate computer to generate their responses to the test questions.

South Dakota

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Voice recognition software generally can recognize speech up to 160 words per minute. Students may use their own assistive technology devices. Students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as dyslexia) or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. Students will need to be familiar with the software and have had many opportunities to use it prior to testing. Speech-to-text software requires that the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential. If students use their own assistive technology devices, all assessment content should be deleted from these devices after the test for security purposes. For many of these students, using voice recognition software is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. Still, use of speech-to-text does require that students know writing conventions and that they have the review and editing skills required of students who enter text via the computer keyboard. It is important that students who use speech-to-text also be able to develop planning notes via speech-to-text, and to view what they produce while composing via speech-to-text.

Utah

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

For the RISE assessment, use of Speech-to-Text/Voice-Recognition Software used with assistive technology as a third-party application is allowed. This allows students to use their voice and input devices to the computer, to dictate responses, or give commands (i.e., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work) in place of a human scribe. 

Vermont

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Voice recognition software generally can recognize speech up to 160 words per minute. Students may use their own assistive technology devices. Students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as dyslexia) or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that make it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. Students will need to be familiar with the software, and have had many opportunities to use it prior to testing. Speech-to-text software requires that the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential. If students use their own assistive technology devices, all assessment content should be deleted from these devices after the test for security purposes. For many of these students, using voice recognition software is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. Still, use of speech-to-text does require that students know writing conventions and that they have the review and editing skills required of students who enter text via the computer keyboard. It is important that students who use speech-to-text also be able to develop planning notes via speech-to-text, and to view what they produce while composing via speech-to-text.

Virginia

Accommodation (ELA Writing):

Response accommodations for the short-paper component of the Writing assessment are available for students with a disability that interferes with the composing process or prevents them from composing their response within the online test. These students may use a word processor (software or device) which may have speech-to text capability or an augmentative communication device to complete the short-paper component of the SOL Writing test. To be eligible for this accommodation, documentation must exist indicating the student uses a word processor (software or device) which may have speech-to text capability or an augmentative communication device for his/her written work.

Washington

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer via embedded speech-to-text technology, to dictate responses or give commands. Voice recognition software generally can recognize speech up to 160 words per minute. Students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as dyslexia) or who have had a recent injury (such as a broken hand or arm) that makes it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. Speech-to-text technology requires that the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential.

West Virginia

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Voice recognition software generally can recognize speech up to 160 words per minute. Students may use their own assistive technology devices. Allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer (or a human), to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Students also use the speech to text as an alternative to writing rather than using a scribe. For example, as student uses software program to create and edit a writing assignment. This is an accommodation for students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as dyslexia), who have had an injury that makes it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys, or who may need alternative ways to work with computers. Students must be familiar with the software and have had many opportunities to use it prior to testing. Speech-to-text software requires the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential. If students use their own assistive technology devices, all assessment content should be deleted from these devices after the test for security purposes. For many of these students, using voice recognition software is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. Still, use of speech-to-text does require students know writing conventions and they have the review and editing skills required of students who enter text via the computer keyboard. It is important students who use speech-to-text also be able to develop planning notes via speech-to-text and to view what they produce while composing via speech-to-text.

Wisconsin

Accommodation (ELA Writing):

Software used in conjunction with a word processing program which converts spoken language into written text, used for the writing test. Recommended Usage: Examinees with motor disabilities which impede their ability to independently write. Notes: Use of a computer with voice recognition software is required for paper testing. Voice recognition software on mobile telephone devices is not allowed. Examinees must be tested one-to-one.

Wyoming

Accommodation (ELA, Math, Science):

Voice recognition allows students to use their voices as input devices to the computer, to dictate responses or give commands (e.g., opening application programs, pulling down menus, and saving work). Students may use their own assistive technology devices. Students who have motor or processing disabilities (such as cerebral palsy, dyslexia) which make it difficult to produce text or commands using computer keys may need alternative ways to work with computers. Students will need to be familiar with the software, and have had many opportunities to use it prior to testing. Speech-to-text software requires that the student go back through all generated text to correct errors in transcription, including use of writing conventions; thus, prior experience with this accommodation is essential. If students use their own assistive technology devices, all assessment content should be deleted from these devices after the test for security purposes. For many of these students, using voice recognition software is the only way to demonstrate their composition skills. Still, use of speech-to-text does require that students know writing conventions and that they have the review and editing skills required of students who enter text via the computer keyboard. It is important that students who use speech-to-text also be able to develop planning notes via speech-to-text and to view what they produce while composing via speech-to-text.

Attribution

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

  • Lazarus, S. S., Quanbeck, M., & Goldstone, L. (2021). Speech to text: States’ accessibility policies, 2021 (NCEO Accommodations Toolkit #16b). National Center on Educational Outcomes.

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