Assessment Accommodations: Case Studies

Related References
Types of Assessment


Guiding Principles

States recognize the importance of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) and the IEP team in making decisions about accommodations for individual students. Consider the following examples.

Case Study: Visual- Motor Coordination Difficulties
Brittany is a conscientious high school student with visual- motor coordination difficulties. In the classroom, her disability interferes with her ability to transfer information from the chalkboard or overhead to a paper on her desk. It also is hard for her to copy information from a book onto a piece of paper; typically, she loses her place in the book. One of the accommodations that Brittany's teacher has found helpful is to let Brittany write all answers in her textbook or activity book, rather than on a separate sheet. Her IEP team uses this information when considering possible accommodations for Brittany on the upcoming state assessment. The team decides there is sufficient evidence that Brittany will not be able to track from a test booklet to a test response form.

Because Brittany has been successful using the response accommodation of marking in the actual booklet, the team decides this also is an appropriate accommodation for her on the state test.

Case Study: ADHD
Ten-year-old Trevor will be taking the state assessment for the first time. His classroom teacher has expressed a concern to other IEP team members that due to his hyperactivity and distractibility, Trevor will be unable to work continuously for a typically administered portion of the test (15-20 minutes). The team discusses information that documents Trevor's ability to work in a study carrel and his positive response to teacher cues that redirect his attention back to the task. Based on this information, the IEP team decides that Trevor should take the test in a study carrel with teacher prompts. Based on numerous classroom observations, the school psychologist shares his concerns that Trevor's accommodations may distract other students who are taking the test, and he should, therefore, be placed in a separate setting for the assessment.

Because the test is not scheduled to happen for 2 months, the classroom teacher agrees to try the following accommodation: Trevor begins using a study carrel during regular classroom assessments. The teacher observes whether these accommodations are distracting to others. The team will make a decision regarding a setting change at the next meeting.

Case Study: ESL, Visual Disability
Twelve-year-old Antonio is new to the school this year. In addition to speaking English as a second language, Antonio has a visual disability that limits his ability to see printed text. During class sessions where the assignment is to work in texts and activity books, Antonio uses a magnification device. The IEP team agrees that Antonio should be able to use his magnifcation device for the statewide test. They also note that Antonio tends to respond better on tests when they are presented in his first language, Spanish.

After much discussion, the team decides that Antonio will use the following accommodations: offer Antonio the test in Spanish, have the test pre- recorded on audiotape, allow the use of a magnification device, and permit directions to be reread and restated in Spanish.

Excerpted from Assessment Accommodations Toolkit.

Council for Exceptional Children

Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.

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