Russell, M., Hoffmann, T., & Higgins, J. (2009). NimbleTools: A universally designed test delivery system . TEACHING Exceptional Children , 42 (2), 6–12.

Journal Article

Russell, M., Hoffmann, T., & Higgins, J. (2009). NimbleTools: A universally designed test delivery system. TEACHING Exceptional Children, 42(2), 6–12.


Attention problem; Calculation device or software (interactive); Disabilities Not Specified; Electronic administration; Electronic administration; Electronic administration; High school; K-12; Learning disabilities; Math; Multiple accommodations; Multiple disabilities; Oral delivery; Screen display; U.S. context




This study examined accommodations offered in the computer administration of test items in two pilot tests, including read-aloud tool, magnification tool, talking calculator, and masking tool.


The two pilot tests involved two sets of high school students who were administered a grade 10 test in Florida (U.S.). The first pilot involved a total of 9 students; all 9 were diagnosed with dyslexia, 8 of them also were diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, 4 had reading challenges, 3 had arithmetic challenges, and 2 had dyscalculia. In the second pilot test, 31 students participated; their specific disabilities were not reported.

Dependent Variable

Performance on tests utilizing released items from the New Hampshire grade 10 mathematics test served as the dependent variable. Data were also gathered from observers witnessing student use of the tools during testing, as well as from focus group facilitators who met with students after the testing experience.


In the first pilot test, observations and student feedback provided various information with which to improve the accessibility and use of accommodations tools, including the ease of use of the read-aloud tool and the addition of tutorial directions to clarify use of the magnification tool. Further, students indicated consistently positive remarks about the computer-based test in comparison with their previous experiences in general. In the second pilot test, comparing students' scores on the paper-and-pencil test and the computerized version with NimbleTools accommodations, students scored higher at a statistically significant level. During the focus group discussions, students indicated their preference for the computer-based assessment with accommodations, and offered specific feedback about their experiences.