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Accessibility for Technology-Enhanced Assessments

About the ATEA Project

Innovative, technology-enhanced assessments represent a major shift in the application of technology and educational testing innovation in K–12 schools across the country. The ATEA Enhanced Assessments Grant was awarded to the Kansas State Department of Education in 2012 to investigate and promote the accessibility of technology-enhanced tests for students with vision and motor disabilities. These are among the students who have historically received the most individualized, and thus non-standardized, accommodations when taking tests. Issues of access to test content and score comparability had not previously been studied for these students. The Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas served as the contractor for the project activities designed to address these questions.

A major goal of the project was to generate and disseminate guidelines and recommendations for accessibility and equitable test delivery so that inferences from test scores for these students would be comparable to those from the scores of other students. The Accessibility Guide for Technology-Enhanced Items recommends accommodations and adapted item formats for inaccessible TE items based on interactions with experts, teachers, and students. The Report of ATEA Project Activities explains the subjects, procedures, and outcomes of these activities, including evidence for score comparability between item formats.

The ATEA Mission

Students with vision and motor disabilities will be able to demonstrate their proficiency on the same innovative test items and tasks as students without disabilities.

Presentation or response requirements of innovative test items may interfere with accessibility for students with vision and motor disabilities. In these cases, alternative formats and accommodations will enable these students to access identical content and perform tasks of equivalent cognitive complexity while measuring the same constructs.