Choosing Accommodations for English Language Learners with Disabilities

Saturday, June 22, 2013: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Chesapeake G-H (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
  • Accommodations for ELLs with Disabilities.ppt (2.5 MB)
  • Content Strands:
    1. Transitioning special populations
    This presentation describes a collaboration effort between the ELL SCASS and ASES SCASS to develop a manual on accommodations for ELLs with disabilities who participate in large-scale content assessments and the instruction they receive. With Race to the Top initiatives, many states have joined consortia to work together on common assessment systems using technology-based testing platforms. New policy and implementation issues with regard to accommodations for ELLs with disabilities underscore the need for states to update their accommodation policies. This presentation will provide an overview of the manual and its application in states.

    The complexities related to participation in instruction and assessment and corresponding accommodations for ELLs with disabilities are more than simply language plus disability. The ASES SCASS and ELL SCASS have engaged in a collaborative process, along with a team from NCEO, in order to address the unique needs of this small, but important population. The manual titled Accommodations Manual: How to Select, Administer, and Evaluate Use of Accommodations for Instruction and Assessment of English Language Learners with Disabilities highlights the following five steps to be considered by educators who serve ELLs with disabilities:


    1. Expect English language learners with disabilities to achieve grade-level academic content standards.
    2. Learn about accommodations for instruction and assessment.
    3. Select accommodations for instruction and assessment of individual students.
    4. Administer accommodations during instruction and assessment.
    5. Evaluate and improve accommodations use.

    The manual represents the best thinking of 2012, including recommendations for instruction and assessment accommodations on technology-based platforms. In the age of technology-mediated educational practices, many computer-based accommodations facilitate instruction and assessment of ELLs with disabilities effectively if they are selected and utilized properly. In the manual, we also propose a collaborative decision-making approach through which an ELL/IEP team or ELL/504 Plan team can be responsible for developing, implementing, and improving accommodation policies and practices for ELLs with disabilities.

    Highlights of the presentation include the framework for understanding the intersection of disability-related needs and language-related needs of ELLs with disabilities. State participants will discuss both the application of the manual in their states and potential use of the document across consortia.