Publications & Resources

Accessible Reading Assessments for Students With Disabilities: The Role of Cognitive, Grammatical, Lexical, and Textual/Visual Features

Jan 2011

Jamal Abedi, Seth Leon, Jenny Kao, Robert Bayley, Nancy Ewers, Joan Herman and Kimberly Mundhenk

The purpose of this study was to examine the characteristics of reading test items that may differentially impede the performance of students with disabilities. By examining the relationship between select item features and performance, the study seeks to inform strategies for increasing the accessibility of reading assessments for individuals from this group. The findings suggest that there are certain revisions that can be done on current assessments to make them more accessible for students with disabilities. Features such as words per page, typeface changes, point size changes, and unnecessary visuals may be easily adjusted to the optimum level without affecting the validity of the assessment. These changes may help all test takers, not just students with disabilities.

Abedi, J., Leon, S., Kao, J., Bayley, R., Ewers, N., Herman, J., & Mundhenk, K. (2011). Accessible reading assessments for students with disabilities: The role of cognitive, grammatical, lexical, and textual/visual features (CRESST Report 785). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).