Designing Accessible Reading Assessments (DARA) Overview
The Designing Accessible Reading Assessments (DARA) project was funded by the U.S. Department of Education in October 2004 and is one of three projects funded as part of the National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects (NARAP).
Based at ETS, DARA is affiliated with the Partners for Accessible Reading Assessment (PARA) and the Technology Assisted Reading Assessment (TARA) projects. PARA is a consortium of the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO), the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), and Westat. The TARA project, also based at ETS, included partnerships with NCEO and the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST).
Currently each NARAP project working on a program of research to support the design and development of an accessible diagnostic reading assessment for students with reading-based disabilities. Their goal is to develop formats for assessing reading proficiency that meet the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation.
The DARA project has a particular focus on students with learning disabilities that impact reading and has undertaken a program of research that includes experimental design, psychometric analysis of operational test data, and more qualitative procedures such as focus groups and think aloud studies.