Accommodations for Students with Disabilities on State English Language Proficiency Assessments: A Review of 2011 State Policies

Laurene L Christensen, Deb Albus, Kristin K Liu PhD, Martha L Thurlow, Aleksis P Kincaid


A report documenting states' participation and accommodation policies for English language learners (ELLs) with disabilities on their English Language Proficiency (ELP) assessments. The states' online policies from 2011, after state verification, showed that 49 states addressed participation criteria for ELLs with disabilities. Of these states, 36 states allowed for selective participation of students with disabilities on the ELP assessment, meaning that a student may participate in some domains but not others. Most often, ELLs who were deaf/hard of hearing or who had visual impairments or blindness were considered for selective participation. The summary of findings suggests that over time, states have become more detailed in their policies relating to participation and accommodations for ELLs with disabilities on ELP assessments. Continued attention to the participation and performance of ELLs with disabilities in ELP and other state assessments is essential.


August 2013 
National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO)


  • Specific life stage
    • Children
    • Adolescents and young adults
  • Educational accountability and assessment
    • English Learners with Disabilities
    • Accessibility & Accommodations
    • Assessment Participation
    • Students with Disabilities