Can my students use speech-to-text software to test on computer for the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math exams?

Use of speech-to-text software is an allowable accommodation for the Grades 3-8 ELA and Math exams, as noted in Appendix A, page ii of the Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Manual.

The Questar Secure Browser does not provide speech-to-text software through the Nextera Test Delivery System as it does for Text-to-Speech. 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.

The new Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities manual that was released from the Office of Special Education in February 2018 notes that students with speech-to-text 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 text-to-speech software into the CBT platform. This is allowed on the Grades 3-8 ELA and math exams.

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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