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Now Showing Resource Section: Accessibility and Special Populations - Guidelines And Documentation

Resource Description
CSDE Assessment Guidelines /core/fileparse.php/51/urlt/2017-18_Assessment_Guidelines_LIVE_.pdf
Updated January 29, 2018
This document is intended to provide guidance for Connecticut school district personnel who must make decisions about testing special student populations for the following assessments: Smarter Balanced, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Field Test, Connecticut Alternate Assessment (CTAA) in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics, and the Connecticut Alternate Science Field Test.
Guidelines for Read Aloud, Test Reader /core/fileparse.php/51/urlt/Smarter_Balanced_read-aloud-guidelines_063017.pdf
Updated June 30, 2017

Test readers are allowable on Smarter Balanced assessments across all grades as a designated support for mathematics and English language arts (ELA) items as appropriate. This designated support is not allowable for ELA reading passages. Any educator who is providing this designated support is encouraged to read this document.

Guidelines for Spanish Read Aloud, Test Reader /core/fileparse.php/51/urlt/Smarter_Balanced_Guidelines-Read-Aloud-Test-Reader-Spanish_082415.pdf
Updated August 24, 2015
When a student cannot access text-to-speech, an embedded resource available on the Smarter Balanced Assessments, the student may be eligible to work with a test reader. A test reader is an adult who provides an oral presentation of the assessment text to an eligible student. The student depends on the test reader to read the test questions accurately, pronounce words correctly, and speak in a clear voice throughout the test. The test reader must be trained, qualified, and must follow the Smarter Balanced Guidelines for Spanish Read Aloud, Test Reader presented here. The guiding principle in reading aloud is to ensure that the student has access to test content. On Smarter Balanced assessments, test readers in Spanish are allowable across all grades as a designated support for mathematics. This requires that the student has Translation Stacked Spanish provided for mathematics. The test reader would read the stacked translation to the student.
Guidelines for Choosing Text-to-Speech or Read Aloud for Smarter Balanced ELA Summative and Interim Assessment Reading Passages for Students with Disabilities in Grades 3-8 /core/fileparse.php/51/urlt/Smarter_Balanced_guidelines-for-choosing-tts-or-read-aloud-in-grades-3-8_071315.pdf
Updated July 13, 2015

The decision to provide a student in grades 3-8 with text-to-speech or human read-aloud accommodations for the English language arts (ELA) reading assessment passages is a significant decision, one that has possible long-term implications for the child. These accommodations are defined as follows: 


Text is read aloud to the student via embedded text-to-speech technology. The student is able to control the speed as well as raise or lower the volume of the voice via a volume control.

Requires submission of:

Read Aloud:

Text is read aloud on the ELA reading test to the student by a trained and qualified human reader who follows the Guidelines for Read Aloud, Test Reader (published June 30, 2017).

Requires submission of:

Text-to-Speech Decision Guidelines 2018-2019 /core/fileparse.php/51/urlt/TTS-Decision-Guidelines-2019-MASTER.pdf

The Text-to-Speech Decision Guidelines 2018-19 form must be completed for any student in Grades 3-8 who will receive the accommodation of Text-to-Speech or Read Aloud of English language arts/literacy (ELA) reading passages on the Smarter Balanced assessments. This form can be completed online by selecting the “submit this form electronically” hyperlink embedded in the form.

A scribe is an adult who writes down what a student dictates when responding to test items. Dictation can happen in a variety of ways (e.g., speech, American Sign Language (ASL), braille, assistive communication device, etc.). The guiding principle in scribing is to ensure that the student has access to and is able to respond to test content. Scribes are allowable on the Smarter Balanced assessments.

Requires submission of:

  • Request to the CSDE a Petition for Approval of Special Documented Accommodations
  • 2018-2019 Scribing Protocol for Smarter Balanced Security/Confidentiality Agreement (Provided by the CSDE for approved Special Documented Accommodations)
  • 2018-2019 Read Aloud Protocol for Smarter Balanced Security/Confidentiality Agreement (Provided by the CSDE for approved Special Documented Accommodations)
2018-19 Test Supports/Accommodations Form /core/fileparse.php/51/urlt/2018-19-AccommodationForm-MASTER.pdf
This form is used to record designated supports/accommodations needed for students with an IEP, Section 504 Plan, or English Learners (EL). Information from this form must be submitted/uploaded to the Test Information and Distribution Engine (TIDE) Test Settings prior to testing.
Guidelines for Simplified Test Directions in the Test Administration Manual /core/fileparse.php/51/urlt/Smarter_Balanced_guidelines-for-simplified-test-directions_093016.pdf
Updated September 30, 2016
The designated support for simplified test directions for Smarter Balanced English language arts (ELA) and mathematics allows the test administrator to simplify or paraphrase the test directions found in the test administration manual according to the Simplified Test Directions Guidelines. Students who need additional support understanding the test directions may benefit from this resource. This designated support may require testing in a separate setting to avoid distracting other test takers.
Petition for Approval of Special Documented Accommodations 2017-2018 /core/fileparse.php/51/urlt/Petition-for-Approval-of-Special-Documented-Accommodations-2017-2018.pdf

In exceptional circumstances, there may be a student whose disabilities are such that the allowable accommodations listed in the Assessment Guidelines would be insufficient to provide access to the Smarter Balanced Assessments, the Standard Science assessments, the Connecticut SAT School Day, or the Connecticut Alternate Assessments (the CTAA and Alternate Science). In these cases, upon request, the District Test Coordinator (DA) will be provided with information regarding the Petition for Approval of Special Documented Accommodations. These special accommodation petitions MUST be submitted to the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) in writing, prior to March 26, 2018 (the start of the Connecticut testing window). These petitions must also include all of the necessary documentation to support any request for the use of an accommodation other than those allowed as indicated in the CSDE Assessment Guidelines current edition. The following accommodations apply:

  • Scribe
  • Read Aloud of ELA Reading Passages
  • Print-on-Demand
  • Human Signer for Mathematics and ELA
Braille Options 2017-2018 /core/fileparse.php/51/urlt/Smarter_Balanced_braille-options-2017-18.pdf
Various braille options are available for students that take Smarter Balanced assessments in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics. The selected braille option must be indicated in TIDE Test Settings.
Embedded Designated Support - Glossaries (Coming Soon)
Students who are English Language Learners may benefit from using a Translation Glossary for Smarter Balanced mathematics tests. These students should have the Translation Glossary option for the designated language selected in TIDE.
2018-2019 Accessibility Chart /core/fileparse.php/51/urlt/2019-Accessibility-Chart-MASTER.pdf
The 2018-19 Accessibility Chart identifies a range of universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations available students when accessing the Smarter Balanced and the NGSS Science Assessments.