Albus, D., & Thurlow, M. (2008). Accommodating students with disabilities on state English language proficiency assessments . Assessment for Effective Intervention , 33 (3), 156–166.

Journal Article

Albus, D., & Thurlow, M. (2008). Accommodating students with disabilities on state English language proficiency assessments. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 33(3), 156–166.


Audio recording device/software (Response); Braille; Breaks during testing; Enlarged print (on paper); Extended time; K-12; Magnification device or software; Oral delivery; Oral delivery of directions only; Student reads aloud (to self); U.S. context; Visual cues




The authors summarized findings from a national study of state English language proficiency assessment (ELPA) accommodation policies for English language learners (ELLs) with disabilities on these state assessments. Policy variations were distinguished across states in the accommodations offered, and information on state-specific policies was provided.


Not applicable, as the objects of study were state policy documents from across the U.S.

Dependent Variable

State information on accommodations was collected from state department of education websites between April 6, 2006, and May 3, 2006. General accommodation policy documents and, where available, those specifically for ELP assessments were collected.


Although further investigation and empirical research is needed on accommodations for students with disabilities taking ELP assessments, especially as the number of these students continues to grow, this analysis of states shows some promising practices. One of these is states using charts to address accommodations by domain of the assessment (e.g., reading, writing, listening, and speaking), being specific about those allowed or not allowed for each. Other practices included policies that take into account individual student needs rather than global decisions and states acknowledging that decision making is an ongoing practice that can change over time (e.g., with the possibility of braille versions of assessments among future options). Limitations of the study were reported, and future research possibilities were suggested.