Knowing What All Students Know: Procedures for Developing Universal Design for Assessment

Leanne R. Ketterlin-Geller


Universal design for assessment (UDA) is intended to increase participation of students with disabilities and English-language learners in general education assessments by addressing student needs through customized testing platforms. Computer-based testing provides an optimal format for creating individually-tailored tests. However, although a theoretical basis for universal design is well established, little practical information is available to assist test developers in creating and implementing universally designed tests. This article discusses the application of universal design to assessment and describes how these principles are applied to a test of 3rd grade mathematics ability. I present the steps involved in conceptualizing, constructing, and implementing a universally designed test in anticipation that test developers, state department assessment coordinators, and other researchers will benefit from this application. Recommendations for future research and development efforts to create accessible computer-based learning environments for all students are explored.

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