2020–2021 Accessibility Features

During state assessments for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®), STAAR Spanish, and the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS), certain accessibility features may be provided to students based on their needs. In general, these procedures and materials are available to any student who regularly benefits from the use of them during instruction. A student cannot be required to use them during testing and there is no need to document their use on the answer document or in the Texas Assessment Management System for online administrations. District and campus testing coordinators are responsible for ensuring that test administrators understand the proper implementation of these procedures and use of these materials. In some cases, a student who uses them may need to complete the test in a separate setting to eliminate distractions to other students and to ensure the security and confidentiality of the test. In addition, if the administration of an accessibility feature requires a trained test administrator to view secure test content, he or she must sign the appropriate part of the security oath.

A list of the accessibility features is provided below.

  • signing test administration directions for a student who is deaf or hard of hearing
  • translating test administration directions into the native language of an English learner
  • allowing a student to use a bilingual dictionary on mathematics, science, and social studies assessments (word-to-word translations; no definitions or examples; no applications on tablets or other devices)
  • allowing a student to read the test aloud to facilitate comprehension (includes use of PVC pipe or recording device)
  • reading aloud or signing the writing prompt to any student who requests this assistance
  • providing reading assistance on the grade 3 mathematics test for any student:
    • The test administrator may read a word, phrase, or sentence in a test question or answer choice to any grade 3 student but only when asked to do so by the individual student.
    • If a student needs the entire test read aloud, the eligibility criteria for an oral administration must be met.
  • typing a student’s response to the writing prompt into the online test for any grade 4 student who is taking STAAR writing online and cannot type proficiently:
    • The test administrator transcribing the student’s response must do so in accordance with guidelines for transcribing found on the Transcribing page of the Complete Paper Administrations section in these District and Campus Coordinator Resources.
    • Students taking the grade 7 writing test, English I, English II, or English III must meet the eligibility requirements for Basic Transcribing if this type of support is needed.
  • making the following assistive tools available:
    • various types of scratch paper, dry erase boards, or any other medium that can be erased or destroyed
    • colored overlays and the color settings for online tests
    • blank place markers and the guideline tool for online tests
    • magnifying devices and the zoom feature for online tests
    • various types of highlighters, colored pencils, or any other tool that can be used to focus attention on text
    • amplification devices (e.g., speakers, frequency-modulated [FM] systems)
    • projection devices (e.g., closed-circuit televisions [CCTVs] or LCD projectors for online tests)
  • giving permission for a student to use tools to minimize distractions or to help maintain focus (e.g., stress ball, noise-reducing headphones, or instrumental music [no lyrics] played through an individual student’s headphones or ear buds)
  • allowing individual test administration 
  • allowing small-group administrations
    • The number of students in a small group is determined at the local level based on individual student needs.
    • The number of students in a group should mirror, to the extent possible, classroom testing situations.
  • reminding students to stay on task
  • photocopying or enlarging the following non-secure test materials:
    • test administration directions
    • blank answer documents
    • the state-supplied mathematics graph paper
    • the state-supplied reference materials for grade 8 mathematics and science, Algebra I, and Algebra II (Mathematics reference materials for grades 3–7 contain rulers and may NOT be photocopied because the rulers could be distorted. However, reference materials without rulers can be printed from the Help tab in the Assessment Management System.)