Bouck, E. C., & Yadav, A. (2008). Assessing calculators as assessment accommodations for students with disabilities . Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits , 5 (1), 19–28.

Journal Article

Bouck, E. C., & Yadav, A. (2008). Assessing calculators as assessment accommodations for students with disabilities. Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, 5(1), 19–28.


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Attention problem; Calculation device or software (interactive); Emotional/Behavioral disability; K-12; Learning disabilities; Math; Middle school; No disability; U.S. context




The use of graphing calculators as an accommodation for students with high incidence disabilities was examined.


Seventy-five students in grade 7 with and without disabilities from two classes in a large rural school district in the midwest participated. Fifty-six students did not have a disability, and 19 participants had high incidence disabilities. The majority of students with disabilities had a learning disability, while others had a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or behavior disorder/emotional impairment.

Dependent Variable

Students completed two math assessments that consisted of 28 open-response math problems that drew on the numbers and operations strand from the National Council of Teacher of Mathematics Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. Assessments were taken four weeks apart. Half of the students were given access to a TI-82 graphing calculator, and half of the students were not.


Students with and without disabilities who used a calculator performed better on an open-ended problem-solving math assessment than students who did not use a calculator. Because calculator use did not assist students with disabilities to a greater extent, researchers concluded that the validity of this accommodation was drawn into question.