Publications & Resources

White Paper on English Language Learners With Significant Cognitive Disabilities

Aug 2017

Martha L. Thurlow, Laurene L. Christensen, and Vitaliy V. Shyyan

The English Language Proficiency for the 21st Century (ELPA21) states are developing a college- and career-ready assessment of English language proficiency (ELP). This assessment is designed for all English language learners (ELLs)1 except those who have the most significant cognitive disabilities. This White Paper was developed by the Administration, Accessibility, and Accommodations Task Management Team (AAA TMT) to provide the ELPA21 states with recommendations for ways to include their ELLs with the most significant cognitive disabilities in an assessment of their English language proficiency. It is expected that each state will consider its options for the development and implementation of a federally-required alternate ELP assessment, and then develop an action plan for the option, or blend of options, that the state chooses to ensure that all of their ELLs are included in an assessment of English language proficiency.

Thurlow, M. L., Christensen, L. L., & Shyyan, V. V. (2016). White paper on English language learners with significant cognitive disabilities. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, National Center on Educational Outcomes, English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century.