Can my students use speech-to-text software to test on computer?

For the Grades 3–8 English Language Arts (ELA) Computer-Based Tests (CBT), the Speech-to-Text (STT) Tool is available for those students who have been identified as needing the Speech-to-Text accommodation. This accommodation is not available in the online Question Sampler but is available in the Practice Tests using the Secure Browser for ELA only. The Secure Browser practice test logins are can be found here: Questar Secure Browser Practice Test Logins.

Use of speech-to-text software is an allowable accommodation for the Grades 3-8 State Assessments, as noted in Appendix A, page ii and for the Elementary and Intermediate-level Science Tests as noted in Appendix J, page ii of the Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Manual.

The Questar Secure Browser does not provide speech-to-text embedded software for Math and Science through the Nextera Test Delivery System as it does for ELA. Other accommodation needs that may require software unavailable as a specific accommodation in the Nextera Test Delivery System include word prediction software, spell-checking software, and any other application that is installed on the student’s computer to provide a testing accommodation.

As stated in the Testing Accommodations manual, students testing in Math or Science with a speech-to-text accommodation may participate in the NYS computer-based tests in the following manner: "If a student using such accommodations is participating in computer-based State testing, the student’s exact responses must be entered into the computer-based testing platform by a test proctor or appropriate school staff" (page 29).

Some schools are providing the speech-to-text accommodation to students who have this accommodation as part of their IEP or 504 plans by use of two computers and a dedicated individual who can transfer the student's spoken responses from the speech-to-text software into the CBT platform. 

Schools and CSEs should always provide a testing accommodation in the best and most appropriate way for the student. Schools and CSEs should always use the Secure Browser practice tests to help determine the best and most appropriate way to provide a testing accommodation to a student.   For a review of all available student testing accommodations on Nextera Admin, please see the CBT Support resource How to Set Student Testing Accommodations for CBT.   

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