School Curriculum and Standards Authority 27 Walters Drive Osborne Park WA 6017

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1 Western Australian Certificate of Education Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Disability adjustments Information for principals and assessment coordinators

2 School Curriculum and Standards Authority, 2014 This document apart from any third party copyright material contained in it may be freely copied, or communicated on an intranet, for non commercial purposes in the educational institutions, provided that the School Curriculum and Standards Authority is acknowledged as the copyright owner, and that the Authority s moral rights are not infringed. Copying or communication for any other purpose can be done only within the terms of the Copyright Act 1968 or with prior written permission of the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. Copying or communication of any third party copyright material can be done only within the terms of the Copyright Act 1968 or with permission of the copyright owners. Any content in this document that has been derived from the Australian Curriculum may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 3.0 Australia licence. School Curriculum and Standards Authority 27 Walters Drive Osborne Park WA 6017 For further information please contact: Telephone: Facsimile: Web: 2013/25556[v2]

3 Western Australian Certificate of Education Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Disability adjustments Information for principals and assessment coordinators Introduction Students with a diagnosed disability may require disability adjustments for the WACE Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) in instances where the disability will significantly affect their access to the assessment. For the OLNA in 2014, the School Curriculum and Standards Authority has authorised principals to determine and implement disability adjustments. This document provides guidance for principals in determining adjustments that may be appropriate for a particular student. Evidence used to determine disability adjustments, such as health reports, reading test scores or teacher comments, must be retained in the school until the student is no longer enrolled. This evidence may be reviewed or audited by the Authority. Where it is deemed by the Authority that a student has been provided with disability adjustments without sufficient evidence of need, and that the student has been advantaged by this action, any assessment results may be invalidated, and the student may be required to re sit the assessment without the special adjustments. As the assessment will be conducted online, adjustments such as a scribe or extra time to write for students with a fine motor disability will not be necessary. The assessment format allows all students to adjust font size through the browser. Principals can approve arrangements for separate supervision, special furniture, lighting or other environmental conditions and access to medication or diabetic support. The OLNA comprises three components. Each component will allow sufficient time for most students to finish in the allocated time. Only students with a severe disability that has a significant functional affect are likely to need extra working time. Conducting the assessment in separate sessions will minimise the need for special adjustments, such as rest breaks for students with a disability. As adjustments must be catered for online, schools must advise the Authority of any student approved for rest breaks, extra working time or who needs a special format assessment. See below for determining a student s need for these adjustments. Some students will need additional or atypical adjustments such as a modified assessment for severe vision impairment or extended time for students with a severe physical disability. The Authority can provide guidance on such matters. Contact details are provided at the end of this document. OLNA Disability adjustments Information for principals and assessment coordinators Page 1

4 Rest breaks Rest breaks are appropriate when a student is physically or psychologically incapable of completing an assessment in the continuous period specified for that assessment. The need for rest breaks is indicated when the student is diagnosed with a condition such as chronic fatigue, acute anxiety, active glandular fever, recurrent pain or severe vision impairment. The effectiveness of rest breaks will generally be evident from the student s use of that adjustment in classwork and internal assessment tasks of a similar length to the assessment. It should be clear to teachers that the student is more focused, alert or productive after taking a break. Students approved for this adjustment may take a rest break at times of their own choosing. The screen will be adjusted for these students to include a pause button. Such students will have the same amount of working time available as other students. Extra time to work (five minutes per half hour of assessment time to a total of 10 minutes) Students needing extra time may be identified from those with a severe disability which significantly inhibits their access to the assessment. This may include students with a physical disability that significantly inhibits use of a keyboard or tablet, a severe vision impairment for whom standard screen adjustments will not provide reasonable access or those with a severe learning disability who demonstrate a very low reading comprehension score or written expression score (bottom fourth percentile or Stanine 1 of the age cohort) on a standardised reading test or standardised test of written expression. It will not include students with typical learning disabilities. The requirement for extra time to work will need to be considered separately for each of the components, taking into account the nature of the work required in each. The Authority will adjust the maximum amount of time allowed for the approved student to complete the assessment to include the extra time. Generally, it is recommended that schools not grant more than five minutes of extra time per half hour of assessment time, however, in some cases, up to an additional 15 minutes per half hour of published assessment time may be provided. The Authority will audit all disability adjustment requests made by schools for the OLNA against the record of disability adjustment requests from Year 9 NAPLAN. A reader Principals may approve the support of a reader (a registered teacher) for the Numeracy component only. Students needing a reader may be identified from a very low reading comprehension score (bottom fourth percentile of the age cohort) on a standardised reading assessment such as Progressive Achievement Test in Reading (PAT R) Reading Comprehension 4 th Edition ACER Press, Page 2 OLNA Disability adjustments Information for principals and assessment coordinators

5 The reader may read any instructions before the start of the assessment. The reader must only read the question (but not numbers or symbols) from the screen, and cannot rephrase or interpret the question. Special format assessment Students with severe vision impairment who are unable to adjust the online format sufficiently to meet their access needs (for example needing a Braille format) can be provided with a suitable format for each section of the assessment. Principals must advise the Authority of this need at least four months before the scheduled assessment. A Braille format of the assessment will not be available for the March 2014 assessment; however a Braille version will be available for the September 2014 assessment if the Authority is notified no later than 1 May Scribe assistance Students with severe physical disability who are unable to type may need to be supported in the Writing assessment by a scribe. Students with temporary disability, illness or other short term impediment to performance These students may postpone sitting the OLNA to the next sitting. The assessment will be offered in March and September of each year. Students with a temporary disability, illness or other short term impediment to performance may choose to sit any or all components of the OLNA, but will not qualify for special adjustments. Students who are absent or unwell on the day that they are scheduled to sit the assessment can be rescheduled by the school to sit the assessment on another day within the current assessment period. Failure to sit the assessment All Year 10 students who want to achieve a WACE are required to participate in the assessment components for which they have not prequalified by achieving Band 8 or higher in the corresponding Year 9 NAPLAN component (Reading, Writing and/or Numeracy). Students will have up to six opportunities (two per year) between Year 10 and Year 12 to demonstrate the literacy and numeracy minimum standard. Students with significant intellectual disability and/or those with significant co existing conditions which severely limit their capacity to participate in the SCSA Literacy and Numeracy Assessment may be exempted from sitting the assessment in Semester 1, Year 10. This will be determined after consultation has occurred, involving the principal, student, and the relevant parent/carer, and a decision is reached that the student is not able to access the assessment with the disability provisions available. Students with identified special needs may choose not to sit the assessment and will therefore be ineligible for a WACE. OLNA Disability adjustments Information for principals and assessment coordinators Page 3

6 Foundation courses have been developed specifically to support the development of literacy and numeracy skills for students identified as being at risk of not demonstrating the literacy and numeracy minimum standard. To be identified as being at risk, a student must have: sat the first three OLNAs (Semester 1 2 in Year 10 and Semester 1 in Year 11); made a genuine attempt in each of those sittings; and not demonstrated the minimum standard. Application for special adjustments Schools must advise the Authority by 24 February 2014 of any student needing the above special adjustments in the March 2014 sitting (except the special format assessment). Principals must forward an electronically completed copy of the OLNA Disability adjustments request form by to with the subject title OLNA_Schoolname_Disability_Adjustments by 24 February Late applications cannot be accepted due to the programming required to accommodate the needs of these students. Students needing special adjustments who have not been registered by the due date will need to sit the assessment in the next sitting. Alternatively, students may choose to sit the assessment under standard conditions in the current sitting and apply for special adjustments for the next sitting only if the required standard is not met. Further information Principals who require further advice or assistance in determining appropriate disability adjustments should contact the Senior Consultant Special Provisions on or For further information about the Disability adjustments request form, contact the Principal Consultant Online Assessment on or Page 4 OLNA Disability adjustments Information for principals and assessment coordinators

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