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The Validity of Accommodations or the Accommodations of Validity: Are They the Same Thing?. Kurt F. Geisinger The University of St. Thomas. Assessment of Individuals with Disabilities. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

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the validity of accommodations or the accommodations of validity are they the same thing

The Validity of Accommodationsorthe Accommodations of Validity:Are They the Same Thing?

Kurt F. Geisinger

The University of St. Thomas

assessment of individuals with disabilities
Assessment of Individuals with Disabilities
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • Definition of Disability:
  • (1) physical or mental impairment that limits life activities
  • (2) documentation of such an impairment
  • (3) being regarded as having such an impairment whether or not it limits activities
principles of accommodated test administration
Principles of Accommodated Test Administration
  • Under ADA, individuals with disabilities must have tests administered to them using reasonable and appropriate accommodations.
  • The goal of modified test administration is to “provide a test that eliminates, insofar as possible, sources of difficulty that are irrelevant to the skills and knowledge being measured.”--Willingham et al., 1988
types of accommodated test administration
Types of Accommodated Test Administration
  • Test forms may be presented in improved type, large-type, Braille, or audio-cassette
  • Time limits can be enforced, extended (to different degrees), or waived
  • Test takers may be given extra rest pauses, a reader, a recorder, a sign language interpreter, a tape recorder to register answers, convenient test-taking locations and testing times.
  • Testing of compensatory skills
what makes an accommodation useful what makes it valid
What Makes an Accommodation Useful? What Makes it Valid?
  • Ease of use?
  • Affordability?
  • Expert judgment?
  • Psychometric proof of equivalence?
  • Lack of legal challenge?
  • All of the above…
difficulty in getting psychometric proof
Difficulty in Getting Psychometric Proof
  • Small Numbers/Accommodation
  • Differences in the severity and nature of the disability
  • Meaningfulness in testing individuals with accommodated and non-accommodated measures
  • Appropriateness of grouping people with different disabilities with the same accommodation statistically
  • Criterion deficiencies
research needed on accommodated test administration
Research Needed on Accommodated Test Administration
  • Accommodated measures must be researched to assess whether scores earned are comparable to those earned under standard conditions and whether the scores from adapted measures continue to be stable and meaningful.
  • Timing of testing is the #1 concern
    • Maximum available time—pragmatic concerns
    • Fatigue
  • University Design
extended time the final frontier
Extended Time: The Final Frontier
  • Modern definitions of learning disabilities/dyslexia
  • Many discrete disabilities
  • The infinite variety of levels of disability
  • Combinations of disabilities occur often
  • Can one treat all individuals with the same accommodation but different disabilities as the same? (for analysis)
  • Flagging as a “hot topic”
the need for speed test speededness
The Need for Speed:Test Speededness
  • What is the justification of the need for speed in considering the construct being measured?
  • The purpose of the test…Is the test a measure of achievement or a predictive test?
  • How much should time be extended?
  • The justifications for above differ
speed and achievement measures
Speed and Achievement Measures
  • Must work normally be done quickly?
  • Must knowledge be quickly accessible?
  • Is slowing down responses a reasonable accommodation in “real life”?
  • Examples of each…
some conclusions
Some Conclusions
  • We must use accommodations
  • Accommodations generally work & yield valid scores
  • Biggest concern: extended time limits & speed
  • If speed is not essential, reduce or eliminate it
  • The nature of the construct and purpose of the testing are paramount determinants
  • Research is difficult but more is needed