Selecting and procuring accessible and inclusive assessments will help ensure the usefulness of any assessment system. There are several actions a district can take to concretize the process. First, it is important to update or create the assessment procurement policy to require that assessments meet accessibility standards, such as WCAG 2.x or Section 508. Another is to align allowable assessment accommodations with the accommodations that have been identified in a student’s IEP or 504 plan, when possible. Finally, train all educators—general and special—on the process of requesting and justifying accommodations to increase the likelihood each learner will be provided with their needed accommodation.
The Center for Inclusive Technology in Education Systems (CITES) uses an iterative design-thinking process, in partnership with local districts, to identify and refine a set of promising practices that enhance assessments within an inclusive technology ecosystem.
Actions districts can take to procure accessible assessment systems:
- Include accessibility standards in the assessment selection criteria and procurement policies.
- Align assessment accommodations to accommodations students use for learning.
- Train general and special teachers about technology accommodations that are available on district and state assessments.