Framework Documents and Guidelines

Accessibility is at the core of the Smarter Balanced assessment system. The assessment system includes a variety of tools, designated supports, and accommodations that make assessment items and tasks accessible to all students, including those with disabilities and English language learners. Detailed information about accessibility supports are available on the Smarter Balanced Accessibility and Accommodations site, including the following documents (PDF): 

  • Accessibility and Accommodations Factsheet (PDF)  NEW  
    A one-page document detailing Smarter Balanced's approach to meeting the needs of all students and resources available during assessment  (August 25, 2015)
  • Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines (PDF)
    Includes detailed descriptions of the tools, supports, and accommodations currently available to students during assessments along with recommended uses of each (August 25, 2015)
  • Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines FAQ (PDF)
    Provides information to support guidelines implementation (August 25, 2015)
  • Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Implementation Guide (PDF)
    Provides states with tools and information necessary to support LEA, district, and school implementation of the Smarter Balanced assessments (August 1, 2014)
  • Accessibility and Accommodations Framework (PDF)
    Describes the foundational principles that have guided the resources available in assessments including information about advances in assessment made available by digital technologies (January 26, 2014)
  • Smarter Balanced Resources and Practices Comparison Crosswalk (PDF)
    Supports educators in understanding the similarities between the assessment resources and classroom practices by providing a description of both the resource and its classroom equivalent (March 3, 2014)
  • Scribing Protocol (PDF)
    Supports standardization of the use of a scribe (an adult who writes down what a student dictates) and provides guidelines for the use of scribe as a designated support and and/or documented accommodation, including scribe qualifications (August 24, 2015)
  • Read Aloud Guidelines (PDF) and
    Spanish Read Aloud Guidelines (PDF)  NEW ​
    Supports standardization of the use of a test reader (an adult who presents test text orally) and provides guidelines for the use of a test reader as a designated support and/or a documented accommodation, including test reader qualifications (August 24, 2015)
  • Instructions for Using Embedded Glossaries (PDF) (DocX)
    Supports test administrators and students in accessing the appropriate embedded glossary designated support during assessment 
  • Accessibility Resources 2014-15 to 2015-16 Comparison (PDF NEW 
    Includes a table detailing availability of accessibility resources during 2014-15 and 2015-16 test administrations 
  • Guidelines for Choosing Text-to-Speech (TTS) or Read Aloud in Grades 3-5 (PDF NEW 
    Includes questions for teachers that can be used to guide decisions in selecting the appropriate accommodation (July 13, 2015)