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Conceptualizing Accessibility for English Language Proficiency Assessments

Guzman-Orth, Danielle; Laitusis, Cara; Thurlow, Martha L.; Christensen, Laurene
Publication Year:
ETS and the National Center for Educational Outcomes White Paper
Document Type:
White Paper
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Accessibility Elementary Secondary Education English Language Learners (ELL) English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) Policies Students with Disabilities Testing Accommodations Test-Takers with Disabilities


This paper is the second in a planned series of white papers from Educational Testing Service (ETS) that conceptualize next-generation English language proficiency (ELP) assessment systems for K-12 English learners (ELs) in the United States (for more discussion, see Hauck, Wolf, & Mislevy, 2013). The goal of this paper is to address accessibility issues in the context of ELP assessments and to discuss critical considerations to improve the accessibility of ELP assessments for ELs and ELs with disabilities. Although accessibility for ELs and ELs with disabilities who are taking content assessments is also important, a discussion about content assessments is beyond the scope of the paper at this time. In this paper, we discuss challenges and areas of possible directions to pursue for ongoing and future ELP assessment development, policy implications, and research considerations to improve the ELP testing experience for all users.

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