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Frequently Asked Questions about Accessibility

Does the TA enter the students and accommodations into TIDE?

No. This is done by either a DA, DC, or SC user role, prior to the administration of an Interim or Summative Assessment.

Who enters student information for designated supports?

The DA, DC, or SC.

Is there a date by which designated supports and accommodations must be submitted?

Any time prior to student testing in the administration of an Interim and/or Summative Assessment.

Does TIDE have to be set up with accommodations immediately so students can access them for sample tests?

Not for the training and practice test, but accommodations need to be set prior to a student taking the Interim assessments.

Accommodations vs. Modifications. What can schools do for students that don’t have identified IEPs, but require modifications?

Universal tools are access features of the assessment that are either provided as digitally-delivered components of the test administration system or separate from it. Universal tools are available to all students based on student preference and selection. The Smarter Balanced digitally-delivered assessments include a wide array of embedded universal tools. These are available to all students as part of the technology platform. Some universal tools may need to be provided outside of the computer test administration system (non-embedded).

Designated supports for the Smarter Balanced assessments are those features that are available for use by any student for whom the need has been indicated by an educator (or team of educators with parent/guardian and student). Designated supports need to be identified prior to assessment administration. Embedded and non-embedded supports must be entered into the Test Information Distribution Engine (TIDE). Any non-embedded designated supports must be acquired prior to testing.

Accommodations are changes in procedures or materials that increase equitable access during the Smarter Balanced assessments. Assessment accommodations generate valid assessment results for students who need them; they allow these students to show what they know and can do. Smarter Balanced states have identified digitally-embedded and non-embedded accommodations for students for whom there is documentation of the need for the accommodations on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 accommodation plan. Determination of which accommodations an individual student will have available for the assessment is necessary because these accommodations must be made available before the assessment, either by entering information into the TIDE, for embedded accommodations, or by ensuring that the materials or setting are available for the assessment for non-embedded accommodations.

PLEASE NOTE: Any adjustments to the default of regular test Universal Tools (if you’re going to the next level of Designated Supports or Accommodations) must be entered into the TIDE system ahead of signing in for the test. A Teacher/Test Administrator (TA) will not have the credentials to change settings in TIDE – this needs to be done by a School Test Coordinator (SC), District Test Coordinator (DC), or District Administrator (DA) so it should be done ahead of time.

How will eligible students access speech-to-text accommodation?

This is a non-embedded Accommodation dictated by an IEP or 504. 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.

What is the “print on demand” option?

Print On Demand is an Accommodation for students with a documented disability in an IEP or 504. Print On Demand is a non-embedded accommodation consisting of paper copies of either passages/stimuli and/or items are printed for students. For those students needing a paper copy of a passage or stimulus, permission for the students to request printing must first be set in TIDE. For those students needing a paper copy of the test, the help desk must be contacted by the school or district coordinator to place an order for the student. A very small percentage of students should need this accommodation.

  • Accessibility and Accommodations
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