The Forward Assessment: Accommodations Information for Students with Visual Disabilities
In preparation for the successful implementation of Wisconsin Forward Exam , DPI and The Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired have been working with DRC, (Data Recognition Corporation,) in order to assist in the successful launch of this new state assessment. The dedicated work related to this specific field has ranged from overall systems operations of the examination platform, to the application of the specifically designed assistive technology required, and frequently, used by students who have visual disabilities.
The following are the key points district personnel should be aware of in terms of the implementation of the Forward Exam, as related to accommodations necessary for students who have visual disabilities.
The Forward Assessment will be available in hard copy version for braille readers. The braille for this testing cycle has been provided in EBAE. It should be noted that, In terms of graphics, students may ask for assistance in discerning details in the tactile graphics. Proctors should inform students of this at the start of each test.
The Forward Exam has been tested using a large array of screen magnification devices including the built‐in Zoom feature, Zoom Text among others. When tested, all screen magnification devices tested performed well and worked as designed.
In terms of screen readers, the Forward Assessment does currently have in place a Text To Speech function. Tests revealed that the TTS system however does not appear to provide perfect navigation.
Therefore, at this time it is recommended that students who require the use of screen readers would be best served by having the Forward Assessment read to them by their teacher, or selected alternate, highly‐qualified educational professional.
In terms of on screen display requirements, the Forward Assessment does offer a wide range of display options, including color contrast variations and reverse contrast. These options should prove helpful for users who require display modifications. These display options function well, are built into the testing system, and can be adjusted to optimize for each student’s individual viewing requirements.
Further information related to accommodations and the Forward Exam may be found on the following link: http://dpi.wi.gov/assessment/forward/accommodations
Questions regarding accommodations information for students with visual disabilities may also be directed to:
Peter D. Dally, M.A.
Director, Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired