Paradigm Shifts in States’ Assessment Accessibility Policies: Addressing Challenges in Implementation

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3 Scopus citations


Providing accessibility features and accommodations to students with disabilities has been recognized as an important way to improve access to instruction and to assessments. This recognition was in large part a result of a paradigm shift that saw students with disabilities being held to the same standards on state assessments as their peers without disabilities. This article describes this paradigm shift of the 1990s, putting into context a more recent paradigm shift that, since 2009, has pushed the field to think about access to instruction and assessments for all students. It reviews recent research on making decisions about accessibility features and accommodations for all students, including those with disabilities, and then identifies implications for policy and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-252
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Disability Policy Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The DIAMOND project is supported by a contract to the University of Minnesota?s National Center on Educational Outcomes from the state of Minnesota (Award #104284), based on a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (Award #S368A150015).

Publisher Copyright:
© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2019.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • K-12 education
  • accessibility
  • accommodations
  • assessment/evaluation
  • instruction
  • testing/state standards


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