Accommodations

This section refers to information about accommodations for the OSSLT.

General Information about Accommodations

EQAO relies on educators to administer the assessments in accordance with EQAO guidelines and to ensure the security and validity of the assessments. All accommodations outlined in this user guide must be adhered to whether the student is taking the assessment in an electronic format or with an alternative version. Instructional materials that facilitate responses to questions cannot be used.

Students with special education needs are eligible for accommodations. These accommodations should be listed in their Individual Education Plan (IEP) and used for regular classroom activities, as well as for formative and summative assessments. These accommodations, including verbatim scribing, must be documented in the e-assessment platform by the school administrator under Accommodations and Alternative Version tab. Refer to the section Support for Students During the OSSLT for information regarding supports for all students.

For information on how to assign an accommodation to a student, see the section called Viewing and Managing Additional Accommodations for Students.

Permitted Accommodations

All accommodations outlined in this user guide must be adhered to. No instructional materials that facilitate responses to questions can be used.

Role of the School Administrator for Accommodations

The school administrator is responsible for

  • making decisions about student participation;
  • ensuring that all accommodations are provided;
  • documenting the relevant information in the e-assessment platform according to the instructions in this user guide;
  • sending an information letter to parents or guardians outlining approved accommodations.

Accommodations are permitted for students who

  • have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that outlines accommodations that are necessary for and consistent with regular classroom practices and
  • receive these accommodations for all forms of assessment.

Decisions about accommodations must be made

  • based on the accommodations outlined in this user guide and those identified on the student’s IEP;
  • so that they are consistent with regular classroom practice, including assessments;
  • prior to the test;
  • for each student individually; and
  • in consultation with the student and parents or guardians and with the appropriate teaching staff.

Accommodations include the following:

  • Extended periodic supervised breaks
  • Sign language or an oral interpreter
  • Additional assistive technology tools, such as Google Read & Write or Kurzweil
  • Verbatim scribing of responses (refer to the Guidelines for Scribes section)
  • Alternative version, which contains multiple-choice and open-response questions only and is available in the following formats:
    • Printable PDF (regular or large print)
    • Unified English Braille (contracted and uncontracted)
    • American Sign Language (ASL) video format

To select a Braille format of the assessment follow the steps in Viewing and Managing Additional Accommodations for Students.

Note: If a Braille format or American Sign Language video format is required, a school administrator will indicate that the student has an accommodation in the e-assessment system. If the Alternative Version of the test is required, the school administrator will use the link provided in the Accommodations and Alternative Version tab in the e-assessment system. EQAO requires between five and seven business days to process a request for Braille and three business days to process a request for American Sign Language. 

Note: If a regular-print format or large-print format is required, a school administrator will indicate that the student has an accommodation in the e-assessment system and then use the link provided to request this format.  EQAO requires three business days to process a request for this format.

Accessibility and Accommodation Software

The following is a list of accessibility and accommodation software that is supported by the e-assessment platform:

  • Read&Write for Google Chrome Extension
  • Kurzweil: The downloadable version
  • Kurzweil: The extension for Firefox and Chrome
  • NVDA
  • VoiceOver
  • Read Aloud
  • JAWS
  • ChromeVox
  • Natural Reader

If a student requires one or more of these assistive technologies, or if an assistive technology is not listed here, please contact your school board IT representative.

Note: Variations in the pronunciation or inflection of words and phrases may occur due to the variety of software formats, speech engines and computer systems. Revisions may be made by the school to rectify such variations, providing that no change is made to any content.

Using Read&Write for Google Chrome

Students who have Read&Write noted in their IEP may use this assistive technology to complete the OSSLT.  

Read&Write for Google Chrome is supported by the e-assessment platform. The OSSLT includes various question formats (drag and drop, drop-down menu, checklist, selected response). As these questions are more interactive than those in a standard document or on a webpage, students will need to use the Read&Write Hover Speech tool to access them.

The e-assessment platform has a built-in text-to-speech tool that is designed to work with the assessment platform. If a student is less proficient with the Read&Write Hover Speech tool, the built-in text-to-speech tool may be an alternative way to meet the student’s needs.

Below are some videos that demonstrate how to use this assistive technology with the e-assessment platform.

Other Assistive Technology

If the student requires other assistive technology follow the steps in Viewing and Managing Additional Accommodations for Students.

Note: Schools are encouraged to use the chosen assistive technology during the online practice test to ensure the technology functions appropriately for the student. If a student is using any of these other assistive technologies, the alternative version of the test may be required. A school administrator will indicate that the student has an accommodation in the e-assessment system and then select the format of the Alternative Version of the OSSLT.

Once approved by EQAO, the alternative version will be assigned to the student in the e-assessment platform and a link to the matching printable PDF will be emailed to the school administrator. Student responses of this alternative version must be transcribed into the online platform.

Using JAWS

Students who require the Job Access With Speech (JAWS) may use this assistive technology to complete the OSSLT.

JAWS is supported by the e-assessment platform.

Below are some videos that demonstrate how to use this assistive technology with the e-assessment platform.

Using the American Sign Language Video Format

The alternative version of the OSSLT is available in the American Sign Language (ASL) video format. If a student requires this format, the school administrator will indicate that the student has an accommodation in the e-assessment system and then select the format of the Alternative Version of the OSSLT. EQAO requires at least one week to process the order of the ASL video format. A link will be sent to schools once the request has been processed.

Guidelines for Scribes

If a student uses the alternative version of the OSSLT (e.g., regular print, large print or Braille, or ASL video), student responses must be entered directly into the e-assessment platform.

Transcribing Student Responses into the E-Assessment Platform

If a scribe is unable to enter the student’s dictation directly into the e-assessment platform, they must enter it into the platform after the student has completed the assessment session. The student’s teacher can login to the platform using the student’s login information and allow the scribe to type in the student’s response.

Scribes must be adults and must not be relatives of the students they are assisting. Scribes should only work with students who have been identified as receiving this accommodation, and they should not scribe for any other students.

Scribes must follow the guidelines below:

  • Record the student’s responses by transcribing them into the e-assessment platform or writing on the paper response form exactly what the student dictates.
  • Input answers to the selected-response questions as directed by the student into the e-assessment platform.
  • Assume each sentence begins with a capital and ends with a period.
  • Read the dictation back to the student if requested.
  • Prompt the student’s attention back to the test. Prompts can include a tap on the desk or a verbal signal (e.g., a word or phrase) to draw the student’s attention back to the test.
  • Show the student the transcription after the student has finished responding to a question, and ask if any corrections are necessary. Make corrections according to the student’s directions.

Scribes will avoid the following: 

  • Reviewing test prior to administration.
  • Editing or altering the student’s dictation in any way, unless directed by the student.
  • Correcting the student’s responses unless directed by the student.
  • Prompting in order to draw the student’s attention to a specific part of the assessment. Prompts do not include clarification, explanation or translation of any part of the test.
  • Initiating the use of test-taking strategies.
  • Showing any reaction to the student’s responses.
  • Engaging in incidental conversation with the student or others.

Note: Once the student’s answers for both Session A and Session B of the OSSLT have been transcribed into the e-assessment platform and successfully submitted, the school must store any printed copies of the alternative version in a secure location until Individual Student Reports are generated. When they are, shred all printed copies of the alternative version. Braille should be returned to EQAO using return label.

Special Consideration of Accommodations for Students

Special Consideration of Accommodations can be provided to students if they are unable to participate in the assessment without accommodations, due to special circumstances.

Special circumstances include the following:

  • Additional Accommodations: The student has an IEP but requires an accommodation not described in their IEP.

Note: The parent, guardian or school administrator may submit a request for consideration to the supervisory officer.

  • Temporary Circumstance: The student has a unique circumstance or temporary condition that hinders or impedes the student from completing the assessment online.

Note: The school administrator may grant permission for the use of appropriate accommodations or consider a deferral if it is not possible to provide the accommodations.

  • New to School: The student does not have an IEP, due to a recent transfer into the school from another jurisdiction. There is documentation to show that accommodations are necessary.

Note: The parent, guardian or school administrator may submit a request for consideration to the supervisory officer.

Decisions about special considerations for accommodations for students must be made

  • consistent with regular classroom practice, including assessments;
  • prior to the test;
  • for each student individually;
  • in consultation with the student and parents or guardians and with the appropriate teaching staff; and
  • by referring to the permitted accommodations in this user guide.

Note: There is no deviation from EQAO guidelines and instructions without explicit written direction from EQAO. Schools should email info@eqao.com to request permission for needed accommodations that are not listed in this user guide.

Updated on November 28, 2022