Students with disabilities must participate in statewide assessments. The manner in which they participate in those assessments is an IEP team decision.
There are 3 ways in which a student with a disability can participate in assessments:
1. Participate in the Ohio's State Tests without accommodations
2. Participate in the Ohio's State Tests with allowable accommodations
3. Participate in the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD)
Participation Criteria for AASCD:
-The student has a significant cognitive disability
-The student requires extensive, direct, and individualized instruction and substatial supports to achieve measurables gain the grade- and age-appropriate curriculum.
-The student is learning content linked to Ohio's Learning Standards-Extended
-The students cannot participate in the general statewide assessment with or without accommodations, based on his/her IEP
Participation Criteria for the AASCD can not be based upon:
-Disability category or label
-Poor attendance or extended absences
-Native language, social, cultural, or economic difference
-Expected poor performance on the general education assessment
-Academic and other services the student receives
-Educational enironment or instructional setting
-Percentage of time receiving special education services
-English Learner (EL) status
-Low reading level/achievement level
-Anticipated disruptive behavior
-Impact of student scores on the accountability system
-Anticipated emotional duress due to participating in general statewide assessment
-Need for accommodations
Ohio's State Tests Accessibility Features
Ohio regards tests as tools for enhancing teaching and learning. Ohio is committed to providing all students, including but not limited to, students with disabilities, English language learners, English language learners with disabilities, and underserved populations, with equitable access to high-quality, 21st century assessments. By applying principles of universal design, leveraging technology, and embedding and allowing a broad range of accessibility features, Ohio’s State Tests provide opportunities for the widest possible number of students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Ohio sets and maintains high expectations that all students will have access to the full range of grade-level and course content standards. Together, these elements will increase student access to Ohio’s State Tests with fidelity of implementation.
Ohio’s goals for promoting student access include:
● Applying principles of universal design to the development of the assessments such that the assessments provide the greatest amount of accessibility and minimize test related barriers for all students;
● Measuring the full range of complexity of the standards;
● Leveraging technology for the accessible delivery of the assessments;
● Building accessibility throughout the test without sacrificing assessment validity; and
● Using a combination of accessible design and accessible technologies from the inception of items and tasks.
Through a combination of universal design principles and computer-embedded accessibility features, Ohio has designed an inclusive assessment system by considering accessibility from initial design through item development, field-testing and implementation of the assessments for all students. Although accommodations may still be needed for some students with disabilities and English language learners to assist in demonstrating what they know and can do, the computer-embedded accessibility features should minimize the need for accommodations during testing and ensure the inclusive, accessible and fair testing of the diverse students being assessed.
For more information regarding the accessibility features offered through the Ohio's State Tests, please visit: