NCEO Synthesis Reports: Access to Computer-Based Testing for Students with Disabilities (#45)

Part of the NCEO Synthesis Reports series.
Sandra Thompson, Martha L Thurlow, Rachel F Quenemoen, Camilla Lehr


This year 2002 report recommends a five step process for the transformation of paper and pencil tests to computer-based tests based on an overview of the opportunities and challenges of computer-based testing and a presentation of research findings and accommodation considerations. This process assumes that the principles of universally designed assessments have been followed and include the following five steps: (1) assemble a group of experts to guide the transformation, (2) decide how each accommodation will be incorporated into the computer-based test, (3) Consider each accommodation or assessment feature in light of the constructs being tested, (4) consider the feasibility of incorporating the accommodation into the computer-based test, and (5) consider training implications for staff and students. Authors also make initial considerations for common accommodations within the categories of timing/scheduling, presentation, response, and setting.


June 2002 
Number 45
National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)


  • Specific life stage
    • Children
    • Adolescents and young adults
  • Educational accountability and assessment
    • Accessibility & Accommodations
    • Students with Disabilities
    • Universal Design