Accessibility & Accommodations for Alt-ELP Assessments

Each student participating in an alternate assessment of English language proficiency (Alt-ELP) should be able to participate under optimal testing conditions. Some students may need accessibility features that meet their individual needs, either embedded within a technology platform or non-embedded and provided by a human.

Similar to the approach used for general assessments, many alternate assessments now have levels of accessibility features. The levels include:

  • Universal features (such as embedded zoom or highlighting or non-embedded features such as magnification) are available to all students. 
  • Designated features (such as embedded text-to-speech or non-embedded features such as translated directions); these features identified by an adult or team of adults and must be decided on before testing so that they can be available to the student.
  • Accommodations, either embedded or non-embedded, which are changes in testing materials or procedures beyond what are available to any student taking the Alt-ELP (for example, a human sign language interpreter for an English learner with a hearing impairment who does not use American Sign Language).

These approaches to accessibility allow for more accurate measurement of an English learner’s English language proficiency, and are an important part of technology-based and paper-pencil testing of English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Alt-ELP assessments have many accessibility features incorporated into their design, but some English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities still will need universal features, designated features, or accommodations. None of these accessibility features alters the construct being measured by the Alt-ELP assessment. Designated features and accommodations documented in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) should be consistent with those in the state’s accessibility policies for the Alt-ELP assessment.

Decisions about accessibility features for the Alt-ELP assessment need to be made by people who know the educational needs of the student. Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams must make decisions for English learners with the most significant cognitive disabilities who participate in the Alt-ELP assessment. The IEP team should include the parent and student, general education teacher (or at least input from this teacher), and an English language development educator. Decisions must take into account both the student’s disability and language learning needs.