Hearing Impaired Supports and Accommodations Video


Now that we started the recording, we can
actually start. So, quick introductions. My name is Jen Paul.
I’m the English Learner and Accessibility
Assessment Consultant. And I’m John Jaquith, the Assessment
Consultant for Students with Disabilities. Our topics for today are to review the supports
and accommodations framework. We know
we might have some new folks on the line who are just getting their feet wet with being
test coordinators for the district so we will go
over that. We will go over just a little bit about how to
select appropriate supports and
accommodations and then the meat of what we are going to cover today has to do with the
review of allowable supports and
accommodations for our students who do have hearing impairment. So, the big ideas for the framework are we
really want to encourage everybody to think
through making team based decisions even for your students who are English Learners. Now of course, for the population that we’re
talking about today, that team based decision
making is probably already a significant part of the work that you’re doing with your
students who do have hearing impairment. But just keep that in mind that we really, we
are really, really stressing and encouraging
involvement of all educators within a school that know about the student’s skills and
abilities to be a part of making those
decisions for supports and accommodations at the time of the assessment. The second bullet point is another very
important point in terms of not making blanket
decisions for your students as you think about supports and accommodations. We want
educators to make individual student
decisions and not just say for example, “Well, all my kids need text to speech, I’m
gonna turn that on for absolutely everyone”. We could say the same is true of something
like video sign language as an
accommodation. We know with certainty that not all of our
students need video sign language as an
option so, there’s no point in going through the motion of turning, turning that support type
on for all of your students. And, we do want to encourage folks to make
decisions about providing supports that the
student uses in their regular instruction. It can actually have a very negative impact to
the student at the time of the assessment if
something new is introduced that they are completely unfamiliar with. There is research in this area that does
suggest that it is not helpful to the student on
their assessment it could actually be harming them. So again, keep that in mind as you’re
making decisions for all of your students that
you might not need to turn everything on. Think through things diligently and make
those individual student decisions and I
actually think that that will help, it could help out potentially for classroom
instruction as well. The supports and accommodations
framework that we have in place is a three-
tiered system. The first tier is universal tools you may also
see this referred to as accessibility tools if
you’re looking at WIDA material. And these are tools that are going to be
available to all students. And these are categorized primarily because
they are driven at the, the use of these tools is
driven at the student level. So, it is a student’s decision and choice to
actually utilize let’s say for example a
highlighter either in a paper pencil testing mode or in an online testing mode. So, that’s an example of a universal tool. The next level of support is what we call
designated supports. These are gonna be supports that are
available to students who have a specific
need. And the identification of the use for these
types of tools and supports is going to be
driven at the educator level. So, a perfect example of something that
would fall under the designated supports
category is something like text to speech for example. So, we could have a student who is
just a struggling reader and they may need
that oral support, that audio support as they’re reading through text so, that’s something
that’s certainly allowable if again that is
deemed necessary by educators at the school level. It’s not driven by categorization into a specific
group of students. What I mean by that is it is not the case that a
student needs, absolutely needs to be
identified as a student with disabilities or as an English Learner. They could as in the example that I just gave,
just be a student that is needing again that
audio support because that has been deemed necessary for them. And then the third tier is the accommodations
level. Now this is driven by student categorization
meaning any of the supports that are going to
be listed under the accommodations sections are going to be only available to
students who have the need identified in their
IEP or 504 Plan. This is gonna be things like video sign language or your braille
assessment or enlarged print. Things like
that are very, very specific to a very small set of students. So, as we think about our students who do
have hearing impairment, we know that they
have a variety of different types of disorders that may be impacting their ability to interact
correctly or to the best of their ability if they
didn’t have supports on our state assessment. So how may that or how does that impact our
decisions about what we can choose to offer
them on the state assessments. So, we have our variety of things that are
available for them so what I’m gonna do is
walk through, we’re gonna walk through each of the state assessments we’ll start with M-
STEP and walk through what is allowable by
subject areas, because there are some differences as we think about what types of
supports could be offered to our students
across each one of the, each one of those content areas. So, we’re gonna start with English Language
Arts on M-STEP. So, everything that I’m gonna talk about for
this slide is listed as an accommodation and
again the accommodation level is for students who have this need identified in their
IEP or 504 Plan. And before I move ahead I do want to note
that we have muted everyone we had some
background noise and I think someone put us on hold so we had some really nice music
playing in the background, but I’ve muted
everyone if you do have questions as we’re going through the presentation, please feel
free to type those into the public chat. If we can towards the end of the presentation,
we will open the lines up and see what
happens and we’ll, we’ll take questions if we can that way if we don’t have too much extra
noise in the background. So, moving ahead into English Language Arts
for M-STEP. We have for M-STEP, English Language Arts
listening passages. So, of course for our students who have
hearing impairments this is going to be
problematic so we have accommodations that are actually built in to the online
assessment. And if students want to take the online
assessment then they do have the option of
utilizing the video sign language option. It’s going to sign for the students, the
passages as well as the items for that
passage. Now for how you can administer that you can
group administer students taking the video
sign language option so there’s no problem in doing that, you don’t need to sign in a one
on one administration. For paper/pencil testers for M-STEP English
Language Arts, a human signer is available
or an allowable so students can have ASL or signed exact English for the directions. Now for the listening passages and
questions only students can have American
sign language utilized for the passages and the questions. So, you can use signed exact for the
directions but when it comes to the actual content of those listening passages and
questions it needs to be done in ASL. Now you can group administer if you have a
signer then you can group administer in a
small group or you can choose to do this individually again that’s probably gonna be
determined perhaps by what’s on the IEP or
also the logistics and the availability of students and signers within your school. Now if you’re utilizing paper/pencil you should
not be administering in a mixed group of
students meaning you don’t want to cause a distraction
for students in the room who don’t need in-
person signer. So, we’d ask that those two groups of
students be separated if you are taking the
paper/pencil assessment. Again, this comes back to the potential for a
distraction and the negative impact that that
could have on any of the students. So, mathematics for M-STEP works in a very
similar fashion. So, for the online testers they can choose to
utilize the video sign language
option. Now for math questions, there is a video that will pop up on the screen for all of
the math questions. It’s on every single math question. That’s different from English Language Arts,
for English Language Arts remember that the
videos are only available on questions where there’s an actual listening passage. So, this is a little confusing because the way
the system currently works in Insight. The way the system currently works is the
student will still see the video sign language
button at the bottom of their screen regardless if there is a video there or not. So, that’s an important point to keep in mind
for English Language Arts. So, your students may see that and think that
there is a video there and ask you a question
about it. Well why isn’t there a video here and in most cases for English Language Arts it’s
functioning correctly there just isn’t a video
there. So, keep that in mind. Now for Mathematics
though like I said every single math question
is going to have a video that can be played. For paper/pencil again it’s very similar to what
we just walked through for English Language
Arts, so this can be administered in a small group, you can administer this individually,
just don’t mix the group for that reason of
potential for distraction for students. Now one of the big differences for here
though for the paper/pencil testers is that you
can sign the content in, in ASL or in Signed Exact. So, this is different from English Language
Arts — just keep that in mind. Science and Social Students the rules for
administration of online and paper/pencil are
very similar again to what we just saw with Mathematics. Now the big difference here is if you’re testing
online unfortunately at this time we don’t have
a video sign language option for science and social studies. However, if you would like to of course if
students need to have an in-person signer for
the test content that can certainly be done you just again want to make sure that you’re
minimizing distraction so you can again
administer in a small group or you can administer individually and again don’t mix
your groups of students. So how does this all works in eDirect for M-
STEP, so if you want to utilize the video sign language option or if you want to indicate that
a student has actually used an in-person
signer for any of the content areas that we just covered. You actually need to do these things
in eDirect. And eDirect is the system, the administration
system for the M-STEP assessment. So, for video sign language, somebody in
your district needs to be responsible for
turning that video sign language option on in eDirect prior to the student taking the test and
you printing out test tickets. That’s an
important piece too. So just keep that in mind that if you print out test tickets and video sign
language has not yet been turned on for the
student, that test ticket and that test that’s been assigned the student won’t have video
sign language for the student. They’ll log in
and they won’t, they won’t see what they need to see with the video sign language option. So, it’s important to do things in that order. You’ll also notice in eDirect that not all
supports are listed. Just keep in mind that
your Supports and Accommodations Table that is a document that we publish and put on
our website. That is gonna be your full list of what’s
allowable. So, the online eDirect list is just a subset of
what’s actually allowable. Similarly, to the online test for paper/pencil
testers you’re gonna need to record on the
back of their test booklet what supports or accommodations were used at the time of the
assessment and again just keep in mind that
not all of your supports and accommodations are listed on the back of that test booklet. Your
full list is in the Supports and
Accommodations Table. And this is just a screen shot of what eDirect
actually looks like so don’t take this as I think
that the system is a little bit different, this is an old screen shot but the principles
are the same. You’ll see the accommodation listed, you’ll
see a content area for which it can actually be
turned on for or utilized and then you would click in each
one of these small boxes and turn on or
indicate that the student used that particular support or accommodations for the actual
assessment. Now you notice that some cells in this table
don’t have boxes that can be checked. That means that, that may mean that it is not
available for that content area or it’s not
allowable, it’s one of the two. And so again you need to reference the
supports and accommodations table to make
sure that you have all of your information about what is allowable and available. Now for your WIDA testers, WIDA is always
very challenging for our students with hearing
impairments. WIDA assesses not just reading and writing
for our students who are English language
learners but it also assesses students’ abilities in listening and speaking. Which is
where this is always challenging for some of
our students here in Michigan. But there are some things that are allowable
for students. So, directions can be provided
by a human signer in ASL for listening, reading, writing, speaking, so that’s
allowable. Now when it comes to listening and speaking
if you have a student who’s identified as a
English language learner and a student with disabilities, you can apply for a WIDA test
exception for the listening and speaking
domains. So, basically what that does is allow you to
not be held accountable basically for having
to test those students in those particular domains. But you’ve got to go through this
approval process. The approval process happens in the BAA
secure site. There is a window of time in
which you need to make sure that you apply for those test exceptions and that opens this
December 8 and it will close at the end of
January. So just make sure you’re watching the
Spotlight for the dates and more information
about how that process works. Now what’s important to note here is that if
you request the WIDA test exception for
listening and speaking and we approve it, which we likely will in these cases for
students who are, who also have hearing
impairments. The students need to take the
paper/pencil test. So, that’s an important
caveat for you. The reason for this is because the online
WIDA test is adaptive and it starts with the
listening and reading domains. So, the only way to continue on with speaking
and writing in the online test is if you have
completed the listening section of the online test, well that’s just not an option for some of
our students, which is therefore why they
don’t have the option to take the online test at this time. Do we want to go ahead and take some
questions now? I think we will take a break here and I’m
gonna unmute everyone. We’ll see what
happens with background noise but if you have questions we’ll, we’ll stop here and do a
few of those. Hi folks everyone has been unmuted, does
anyone have any questions? I have a question regarding if the student is
not a sign language user and they’re doing
the listening portions, is that option there to read the script still? For the M-STEP assessment you’re asking
about? Yes So, our preference of course is to utilize the
video sign language option but in cases
where you did not get no American Sign Language I think that we’ll, we’d want to
probably work on what options might be best
for the student, how can they ask us that particular domain what do they currently, what
is their current level of knowledge with
whatever signing technique they are using. Well they, I am sorry to interrupt but I am
talking about students who don’t utilize sign
language at all. We use auditory oral methods in the classroom but needs the
benefits of the visual cues from someone
who is speaking and the pacing so the, the oral presentation on the test are too fast. In those cases I think that the best option is
paper/pencil assessment because then you
could, you would have a listening script in front of you and that could be, that listening
script could then be used to test the
administrator to help student in the way that you’re describing. There’s not gonna be a listening script online
test or for the online listening tests. Does that
make sense? So, basically any of our Auditory oral kids
should take paper/pencil tests. Yeah it’s gonna be your, like I said it’s not
gonna be a good, a good way to test online
given that we don’t have a online listening script or anything that we can give you or any
other test administrator.
Ok. Are there other questions? Ok we’ll go ahead and mute. We’re gonna go ahead and shift gears here a
little bit and talk about the SAT. The College Board does not use the same
supports and accommodations frame work
as we do. All supports and accommodations must be
applied for through the College Board. But for this particular population use of
American Sign Language and Signed Exact
English, and there are differences between ELA and Math, Mathematics, based upon
what’s being measured of course. But those certainly can be applied for through
the College Board process. Something to be aware of with the College
Board accommodations request process. If
you’ve already applied for and the student received an accommodation last year for
example through PSAT, or through an Advanced Placement Test they are already approved for this year. You do not need to reapply for
accommodations to the college, through the
College Board unless the student’s accommodation needs have changed so, that
certainly is good news. If you are applying for accommodations for
the first time, for example maybe your ninth
graders or other students that may have moved in to the district, it’s important that you
put in for those, you put in those requests in
as soon as possible. The due date is not until February, however
it’s important that you put those requests in
as soon as possible because if the College Board comes back with a denial, think of that
as a provided for more information. Most
cases the College Board is looking for additional information; read through that
denial to find out what they are looking for so
you can work with them. The ACT Workkeys, is, there aren’t, there’s not
a request process for this, however students
responding using the American Sign Language is certainly allowable for the ACT
Workkeys assessments. We’re gonna talk a little bit about MI-Access.
With MI-Access, we do not provide the Visual
Sign Language at this time … the feedback that we’ve gotten from the field is the majority
of the students taking the assessment who
use ASL or Sign Exact English, do not have experience with Video Sign
Language. The way they, the way in which they access
digital print generally is not through, Video
Sign Language. It’s more human signer. So, to ensure the students are being
assessed in the content and not their
understanding of the interpreter or video sign language, it is suggested that students taking
MI-Access Functional Independence with this
type of support receive the use, use an interpreter that they are used to
using on a daily basis during their
instructional day. The ASL or Sign Exact English are permitted
to be used for MI-Access assessment in the
following ways: Certainly, for directions or for clarifying
directions, for the Functional Independence ELA listening
items, the use of a script was just talked
about, for M-STEP for the paper/pencil section of
Functional Independence ELA there will be a
script for the online version. There is not a script provided however you
can do a live sign based upon what you are
hearing. It’s important to note that for Functional
Independence online the text to speech
feature is turned on for all students. It can be turned off if it’s not applicable.
However, for the listening portion it’s
important that it be turned back on so that if you are providing a live interpretation that can
be done. Oh, the other thing for Functional
Independence is that to be aware of though is
if you could you go back one slide for me, be careful about what you are providing to the
student in sign language. What is allowed to be signed to the student is
any content that is allowed to be read. So, if you are using the online version that’s
pretty easy you, you as the assessment
administrator could follow along with what’s being read on the screen. You’ll notice that some things are not read
intentionally. And the paper version that is outlined in the
inside cover of the test booklet in the do not
read aloud tables. So, it’s important to only provide sign in those
areas in which the student would typically
have something read. It’s also important to note that reading to the
student or signing every all of the content to
the student is not required. If the student would not otherwise need that
sign and its interpretation if they are an
average reader for example or they’re a functional reader, it’s important that they
access the information from the assessment
the way they would anything else. If you’re providing if you’re going over kill on
the support it could actually put the student at
a disadvantage. And maybe now is a good time to address
one of the questions that we had come in
about auditory oral students. So, the way I am understanding the question
is that you, Carol you’d like to read aloud the
majority of the test content to a student so that they could have the benefit of seeing
someone in front of them read the content
that’s my understanding of this. Ok good, alright, just wanted to verify that. So, that, that would actually fall under a
human reader support type or what we deem
or call a human reader. And that certainly an allowable support and
accommodation for almost all of the M-STEP
content areas there are some exception to what can be read aloud to students but keep
in mind for M-STEP math, social studies,
science you can read aloud all of the content to the students, all of it. That’s totally and perfectly fine. Now for English language arts it is a little bit
different. In grades 3-5 the content that cannot be read
aloud is the reading passages. That’s what cannot be read aloud. Now if you have further questions about that
then we’ll ask you to contact John and I
directly after the presentation. But the reason for that being is that it is a
reading assessment and it, it really has to do
with the construct of what’s being tested at those grade levels. And that’s the reason why that can’t be read
aloud in those grade levels. Now if you’ve got students in grades 6-8 the
reading passages can be read aloud it’s not
problematic. But that is, that is an accommodation that
would be something that would be necessary
obviously required by the student’s IEP. Another question for MI-Access again too it’s
a little different from MI-Access in that there’s
very little of MI-Access that can’t be read, anything that is in the do not read aloud
table in the inside if you are using a human
reader or if you are using a human reader with the paper pencil version for example for
the same purpose or for any other purpose the do not read aloud table outlines what you
can or cannot read and that’s usually only
when a question violates the construct being measured. For our Participation and Supported
Independence level assessment we don’t
have a video sign language option however sign language interpretation should be used
when it mirrors what and how it is used for
instruction. So, again using the do not read aloud tables
as the guide which is in the inside cover of
the assessment administrator booklet these are the assessments that where we used
either activity base observation types of items,
or the picture cards or options and lieu I’m sorry — objects in lieu. When the only limitation there is based upon
what we’ve outlined that might violate the
construct. We often get the question with this
framework, with this supports and
accommodations framework, what do I put on the IEP and what do I leave
off? For example, I’ve got a student that requires
preferential seating or requires special
lighting, for example in the classroom. But that’s not, that’s not even a universal tool
that’s just a standard administration practice
that is available to anybody, can I just leave that off the IEP? And that’s up to the IEP team really to
determine. But don’t, please don’t think of the IEP as a
gateway to providing supports and
accommodations to your student on the state assessment. The IEP outlines what a
student’s need is and how those needs are
met. So, the student needs it and presumably they
would need it for instruction as well then
please do put it on the IEP. By leaving it off the IEP just because it falls on
our accommodation, our supports and
accommodations table in one place or another, if you don’t put it on the IEP the
student runs the risk of not getting that
support. Think of the student that might move out of
your district out of, even out of your building
just before the assessment or moves from state to state, they run the risk of not getting
those supports and accommodations. So, if the student requires it then certainly put
it on the IEP. We have a number of resources that are
available on all of our program web pages —
the M-STEP webage, the MME, the MI-Access web pages, these are our supports and
accommodations table, our supports and
accommodations Manual, Scribing Protocol, ELA and Math Read-Aloud Guidelines, Math
Spanish Read-Aloud Guidelines, Math Arabic
Read-Aloud Guidelines, it’s new this year, Recommended Qualifications Guidelines for
Translators, Word-to-Word Bilingual
Dictionary Guidance, M-STEP Multiplication Table which is only allowable in grades four
and up as an accommodation, and our
Supports and Accommodations Tracking Sheet which is an optional tool to help you
keep track of everything. Please be, please use these resources in
training your staff on how to administer the
assessment particularly if you have folks that are doing the read aloud are providing the
read aloud that are not otherwise giving the
assessment in other ways, make sure the folks that are giving any part of
the assessment are aware and are trained
using these resources. And certainly if you have questions after
today’s webinar please send them to
[email protected] if you we finish the webinar and you say oh you know what I
forgot I really wish I had asked this particular
question and go ahead and use that email address just put in the subject line
accommodations and supports, or supports
and accommodations question, you can reference the webinar if you’d like, certainly,
also if you have specific request, specific
student request about accommodations and supports for students. You can also put those requests through the,
through [email protected] there is a
guideline or some guidance in terms of how to set that up in our accommodations
manual. That, that’s how folks make sure that they get
routed to Jen and I properly but then our
internal team takes all of those into consideration. And just another note about what John said
we know that many of you have students that
have very unique and unique needs and certainly not everything in the supports and
accommodations table that’s listed may fit
those needs. So, we do encourage you to give us a call,
send us an email so that we can work with
you on what, what we can help do at the time of the assessment. We also are aware that there are students
with hearing impairments or students that
have hearing loss, that have other challenges as well that may not have been covered by the
scope of today’s webinar. Certainly, please help us, seek us out for
questions on those particular cases, but also
there are other webinars that we’re putting on as well that may address those. We’re trying
to after last year when we put together some
of these webinars there were very specific questions about very specific populations, so
we wanted to make sure that we had the
opportunity to do these specific webinars dealing with certain populations of individuals
where we had the most questions in the past. So, were hoping that it’s been helpful to you,
but certainly this only covers the scope of, of
the basics there are certainly other kinds of accommodations. Question came in, is the use of an FM system
a standard accommodation? And the answer to that question is, yes. If you
are using, if you are going through the college
board that would certainly be something that you would, in fact I think that is a designated
support if I’m not mistaken. But, yes it is, it is standard, if you, something
that is required for the SAT. It’s something that you certainly want to make
sure you are applying specifically for, for the
student. But for our state, for state level assessments,
M-STEP, MI-Access and Jen correct me if I am
wrong, for WIDA, as well. The use of an amplification system, FM
System, whether it’s for their room, whether
it’s specific to a child or whether it’s linked to their cochlear implants, it is, it is allowed,
certainly a standard accommodation. It’s actually a designated support. So, I am going to unmute folks right now so if
you do have additional questions of course
you can feel free to chat. But we are gonna open it up for questions. Does anybody have any questions? Ok folks, I am not hearing anything, please
know that you can send us emails anytime
you’d like and look for a copy of the powerpoint as well as a recording of today’s
lesson that’ll be posted to the website in the
next week or so. So thanks again everybody, enjoy the rest of
your Halloween, bye-bye.

Paul Whisler

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