Burk, M. (1999). Computerized test accommodations: A new approach for inclusion and success for students with disabilities . A.U. Software.


Burk, M. (1999). Computerized test accommodations: A new approach for inclusion and success for students with disabilities. A.U. Software.


This is a project report that was also presented as a paper at a meeting in October, 1998 in Washington, DC, at the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs' Cross Project Meeting "Technology and the Education of Children with Disabilities: Stepping Stones to the 21st Century."


Attention problem; Electronic administration; Electronic administration; Electronic administration; Enlarged print (on paper); High school; Intellectual disabilities; K-12; Layout/organization of test items; Learning disabilities; Magnification device or software; Math; Multiple accommodations; Multiple ages; Multiple content; No disability; Oral delivery; Oral delivery, live/in-person; Postsecondary; Reading; Recorded delivery (audio or video); Science; Social studies; U.S. context; Writing



A variety of accommodations were studied. Participants completed a paper-and-pencil version of the tests as well as computerized administration of the tests. All participants received computer administration, and some participants additionally received large print, extra spacing, sound (including a recorded voice reading the test), or a combination of these accommodations. These additional accommodations were assigned randomly to participants.


Students from various educational sites throughout the nation (U.S.) participated—including Phoenix, Arizona and Baltimore, Maryland, as well as Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas. Participants (totaling 182) were drawn from public schools, a private residential school, and an adult learning facility affiliated with a public school. Students with learning disabilities, mild intellectual disabilities, and attention deficit disorder participated; students and young adults without disabilities (n=50) served as a comparison group.

Dependent Variable

Three different tests were used, each for different groups of students. GED preparation students completed two abbreviated forms with equivalent items that were constructed from the GED practice test. These included math, writing, social studies, and science questions. Other students completed two forms of an abbreviated version of the Maryland Functional Math Test (released items). A third group completed two forms of a transition planning program posttest. Student participants completed a survey on their testing experiences, and educators were interviewed on accommodation practices.


Students with learning disabilities were found to perform significantly better on the computerized administration. No significant difference was found for students with intellectual disabilities, nor for students without disabilities, on the computer administration. The addition of sound—recorded voice reading test to student—increased the scores of students without disabilities. The sound accommodation was not effective for the other groups due to technical difficulties. For students with learning disabilities, large print did not appear to have a significant effect on scores; however, extra spacing did have a significant positive effect.