SMARTER BALANCED READY: Big Idea #8

Accessibility Resources Let Students Demonstrate Their Knowledge

In 2016-17, members moved forward with increased confidence in implementing the Smarter Balanced Assessment System, taking advantage of improved interim assessments and updates to the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines. The Accessibility, Bias, and Sensitivity Advisory Committee identified some implementation areas to add to the Big Ideas for Implementation, so we reached out to Smarter Balanced members for success stories in two key areas:

  • How do members make appropriate selection and determination of accessibility resources for all students?
  • How have members transitioned students who are blind or visually impaired to testing online?

We found that the alignment of the testing environment to daily classroom learning is essential to elicit accurate student performance results. In both the resource specialist classroom and the general education classroom with students who are blind or visually impaired, daily use of technology devices with accessibility supports has made learning more accessible. As Smarter Balanced assessments integrate some of the same technologies used in the classrooms, students are better able to demonstrate their knowledge.

In the following stories, teachers in California, Connecticut, and Idaho shared their successes and lessons learned to celebrate improvements in student performance with the help of improved accessibility resources.

Accessibility Supports Help Students Show What They Know

Students Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired Enjoy Online Testing