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

Erik D. Larson, Martha L. Thurlow, Sheryl Lazarus, Kristin K. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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


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

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