Thursday, March 5, 2015

Badger/SBAC Accommodations for IEP or 504 Plan

The previous post Tools All Students Can Use on the SBAC Badger Exam we discussed how, in the age of online assessment, students can be provided with some built-in test-taking supports that were not previously easily accessible in paper format assessments. In Tier 2 Supports for Badger/SBAC pt 2 we discussed built-in supports for students who struggle with reading, writing or test-taking, but are not serviced in special education. Still one more layer of support is available for students that have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan. These students must be identified and set up in the Test Operations Management System (TOMS) prior to the test administration.

Students with these specific needs can get support like directions and Math/Listening portion content provided in American Sign Language. Closed captioning on listening tasks is also available. Students with vision impairments proficient in Braille will have the opportunity to have content presented to them in Braille and answer using a Braille keyboard.

Text-to-Speech is a Designated support available for tier 2 level students in certain areas, but students with an IEP or 504 plan may also be able to access text-to-speech options for the ELA portions of the exam (only for students in grades 6-8). This is a very small portion of students - recommended to be only 1-2% of the testing population because students are no longer reading the content they are being tested on, they are listening to it while reading.  Keep in mind that students who are recommended to use text-to-speech on any portion of the Badger should have ongoing experience with text-to-speech in their education. Computer-read content is much different than human-read content. For assessment purposes, as well as college/career readiness and life skills practice, students should experience text-to-speech throughout their educational experience using tools like Read & Write for Google, Kurzweil or Read Out Loud/Solo. A small percentage of students could also qualify to have the test read aloud by a trained human voice, an option called Read Aloud.

Students who have an IEP or 504 plan that includes other technology supports and accommodations can have access to those types of supports on the Badger exam as well, including: using an abacus, a physical calculator, such as a talking calculator, or a multiplication table provided by SBAC/Badger. Students with physical impairments can also utilize alternative response options, such as using a switch to navigate the screen for choosing answers. In rare circumstances, such as photosensitivity due to epilepsy, can have stimuli printed for reading.

For the writing portions of the exam, students may also qualify for a human scribe to write verbatim what is dictated. Use caution with this option is these students must also have practiced this skill throughout their schooling experience and be able to take part in writing planning portions of the exam using a scribe as well. This option is most often used with students with severe motor impairments or temporary motor impairments, such as a broken arm. Students also have the opportunity to use external speech-to-text devices to compose written responses. Using speech-to-text should be a regular part of this student's educational experience in order to ensure that it is beneficial for the test-taking experience.

If you have any questions about these supports, the Power Point presentation by DPI is a great resource. That link can be found here.

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