Disability adjustments scenarios

Contents

Introduction

This section contains a number of scenarios that provide examples of how the adjustments outlined in the National protocols for test administration may be applied. The scenarios that follow are examples only, and are to be used only as a guide in circumstances with students that may be in a similar situation. The students at your school may be in a different situation to those outlined in these scenarios and require different adjustments and provisions. Teachers and schools are in the best position to determine the needs of individual students, in consultation with students and their parents/carers.

Adjustments should generally reflect the kind of support and assistance provided in the classroom in order for students to show what they know and can do. However, some support that is used in classroom learning and assessment is not appropriate in the NAPLAN assessment setting. If some methods students use in their classroom based assessment are not permitted in the NAPLAN assessment setting, adequate time and support should be provided to these students to enable them to adjust to the NAPLAN assessment conditions accordingly.

The adjustments for NAPLAN are permitted in line with the Disability Discrimination Act  1992, and Disability Standards for Education (2005), which emphasise that reasonable adjustments must be made to help ensure students with disability are able to access the tests wherever possible. The Disability Standards for Education (2005), state that the education provider:

  • must take reasonable steps to ensure that the student is able to participate in the courses or programs provided by the educational institution, and use the facilities and services provided by it, on the same basis as a student without disability, and without experiencing discrimination
  • must decide whether an adjustment is necessary to ensure that the student is able to participate in the courses or programs provided by the educational institution, and use the facilities and services provided by it, on the same basis as a student without disability

The Disability Standards for Education (2005) also state that when assessing whether a particular adjustment for a student is reasonable, regard should be given to all the relevant circumstances and interests, including:

  • the student's disability
  • the views of the student or the student's associate
  • the effect of the adjustment on the student, including the effect on the student's:
    • ability to achieve learning outcomes
    • ability to participate in courses or programs
    • independence
  • the effect of the proposed adjustment on anyone else affected, including the education provider, staff and other students
  • the costs and benefits of making the adjustments

Please check with your state or territory test administration authority (TAA) if in doubt.

The NAPLAN tests are designed to provide a summative, nationally comparable understanding of student performance in reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy. The tests are not designed as formative tools. and adjustments appropriate for learning environments may not be appropriate for NAPLAN. Adjustments are not appropriate (even if they are usually provided for the student in their classroom) if they compromise a student's ability to demonstrate the following skills:

  • Reading: The NAPLAN reading tests assess the ability of students to independently make meaning from written standard Australian English texts including those with some visual elements. Reading the stimulus material and/or questions aloud to a student during the reading test is therefore not appropriate or permitted.
  • Writing: The NAPLAN writing tests assess a student's ability to convey thoughts, ideas and information through the independent construction of a written text in standard Australian English.
  • Language conventions: The NAPLAN language conventions tests assess a student's ability to independently recognise and use correct standard Australian English grammar, punctuation and spelling in written contexts. Reading questions aloud to a students during the language conventions test is therefore not appropriate or permitted.
  • Numeracy: The NAPLAN numeracy tests assess students' knowledge of mathematics, their ability to independently apply that knowledge in context, and their ability to independently reason mathematically. Reading numbers or symbols aloud to students or interpreting diagrams in the numeracy test is therefore not appropriate or permitted.

Depending on circumstances, some students may require separate supervision during the tests, or have consideration given to the seating position of the student, to minimise distruption to other students.

Further guidance is provided below on the following three adjustments outlined in the National protocols for test administration - extra time, rest breaks and the electronic test format. Information about reading to students is also provided.

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Extra time and rest breaks

Teachers and schools are best placed to determine how many minutes of extra time a student should have to take the test. Generally, it is recommended that no more than 5 minutes of extra time per half hour of test time be granted, however in some cases it is recommended up to an additional 50% of published test time be provided. In any case, the school is best placed to make a final decision based on the specific circumstances of the student in question, in line with TAA requirements.

Where relevant, rest breaks can be used as an alternative to extra time to avoid student fatigue, although there will be instances where both (i.e. extra time and rest breaks) are necessary.

Braille users: The logistics of using Braille or a Brailler may warrant the provision of some extra time for all students accessing the test in this manner, regardless of their proficiency in this medium. For example, students who use Braille are also required to use two large Braille books in the reading test (i.e. the reading magazine and question book) working between the two at the same time (e.g. taking their fingers off one book to refer to the other and finding their place in each). Students using Braille are required to respond on their Brailler and then tactually find their place for the next question.

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 Electronic test format

The electronic test format enables students to answer questions on screen by clicking a radio button or typing their answer in a text box. In order to be eligible to use the electronic tests, students must currently use assistive technology (i.e. a computer) as part of their usual adjustments when participating in classroom  assessments and not be able to access the tests through any of the other adjustments available.

The electronic test format tests will contain the same content as those undertaken by other students. The test results of students deemed eligible to use the electronic test format tests will be included as part of the official cohort of students undertaking the tests; and these students will be provided with a NAPLAN student report.

Schools may obtain a sample NAPLAN electronic test from the relevant test administration authority to enable students to familiarise themselves with the medium in preparation for the tests.

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Reading to students

Reading to students is a provision available to all students, in line with the following (as taken from the NAPLAN National protocols for test administration):

Test administrators are permitted to:

  • Read test instructions
  • Read writing instructions
  • Read practice questions
  • Read the writing stimulus
  • Read numeracy questions (but not numbers or symbols)

The literacy demands of the test should not exclude a student from accessing the numeracy tests, however it is not intended that a teacher lead the class through the numeracy test, question by question, unless the literacy standard of the whole class is a barrier to access.

Test administrators are not permitted to:

  • Read numbers or symbols
  • Interpret diagrams or rephrase questions
  • Read questions, multiple choice distracters or stimulus material in the reading or language conventions tests
  • Paraphrase, interpret or give hints about questions or texts
  • Engage a parent or student to assist a student to read permitted sections of the tests (the reader should be a regular NAPLAN support person)

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Vision impairments and/or poor motor sensory control

SCENARIO A

The situation

  • Sam* is in Year 5.
  • He has been using Braille since infancy and accesses it for all his reading and writing materials.
  • He has highly proficient Braille skills and regularly uses a Braille typewriter when producing written work for classroom activities and assessment tasks.

Key points to consider

  • Sam normally uses a Brailler in his classroom activities.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Braille

Applicable  Extra time

Not Applicable  Scribe

Not Applicable  Electronic test format

NOTES

As a Braille user, extra time is relevant in Sam's case. Sam's school principal, in discussions with him and his parents, decided an extra 10 minutes per half hour of the writing test was appropriate, 15 minutes extra for the language conventions and reading tests and 20 minutes extra for the numeracy test.

 

SCENARIO B

The situation

  • Antonia* is in Year 3.
  • Antonia has severe vision problems due to a degenerative eye condition, and requires all her work provided in large font.
  • Antonia has only been learning Braille for a few months and is not proficient using this medium.
  • Previously Antonia accessed her classroom resources using large print materials and has been using the support of a scribe for classroom (writing) learning and assessment tasks.

Key points to consider

  • Antonia does not have fluency using the Braille code.
  • Antonia uses a scribe for her writing tasks

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Not Applicable  Braille

Applicable  Scribe (if available for the Writing test - see notes below)

Applicable  Extra time

Applicable  Large print

NOTES

In this case, Antonia's principal determined that up to 5 minutes of extra time per half hour of the tests was appropriate for Antonia to use when participating in the Writing test using a Scribe. (For example, if Antonia requests the Scribe read back her words for the sake of continuity during the writing test etc). Antonia used large print for the other tests.

 

SCENARIO C

The situation

  • Rosalia* is in Year 9.
  • Rosalia has cerebral palsy which severely restricts her movement in her upper limbs.
  • Rosalia's vision is limited and she has difficulties with motor sensory control and her hand/eye coordination.
  • Rosalia has regularly used a computer with text prediction and screen reader software (i.e. 'zoom text') to support her to complete classroom learning and assessment (see notes).
  • Rosalia may experience fatigue when accessing her assistive technology; this fatigue is an effect of her cerebral palsy.

Key points to consider

  • Rosalia normally uses assistive technology in her classroom activities.
  • Rosalia has severe physical disabilities which restrict her movement.
  • She experiences fatigue.
  • Rosalia has low vision.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Electronic test format

Applicable  Rest breaks (see notes below)

Applicable  Extra time

Not Applicable  Text prediction software

NOTES

Text prediction software is not permitted in the NAPLAN assessment setting.

Rosalia is eligible to use the electronic test format.

In this case, it was determined that up to 15 minutes of rest time per half hour of the tests was appropriate if Rosalia needed this because of the fatigue she suffers due to her impairment. Up to 15 minutes of extra time per half hour of the tests was also made available to Rosalia only if she required it (too much extra time can prolong fatigue), in recognition of the severity of her impairment and how long it may take her to complete the tests. This time also accounted for differences between her learning accommodations and the adjustments permissible for NAPLAN.

 

SCENARIO D

The situation

  • James* is a Year 7 student.
  • James has a severe degenerative vision impairment.
  • For most of his classroom learning and assessment, his teachers have been providing his work in large print (a size N36).
  • He has found this method to be sufficient to complete his school learning and assessment, although sometimes James requires a few minutes longer than other students to complete class assessments when using this method.
  • James is also learning Braille, though he is not yet proficient and is unable to access assessment tasks using this method.
  • James also uses a computer and screen magnification software (zoom text) to access some of his writing assessments.

Key points to consider

  • James regularly uses a computer with screen magnification software to produce and participate in his class learning and assessment.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Extra time

Applicable  Large print (see notes below)

Applicable  Computer with screen magnification software for the writing test only

Not Applicable  Electronic test format

NOTES

James regularly uses a computer for producing and participating in his classroom learning and assessment. James may use a computer to type his answer to the writing test and screen magnification software ('zoom text') to review his response. James can access the remaining tests via large print.

In this case, it was determined that up to 5 minutes of extra time per half hour of the tests be made available to James because of the time he may require to read the large print materials.

 

SCENARIO E

The situation

  • Luke* is a Year 7 student.
  • Luke has a severe form of Nystagmus which causes rapid involuntary eye movement.
  • Luke also has a shunt in his brain and an atypical head position. He needs to turn his head in a particular way to see clearly.
  • When anxious, Luke's Nystagmus is often exacerbated and his vision temporarily decreases.
  • Writing with pen and paper is very difficult for Luke, due to his head position, and he regularly uses a computer to access his classroom learning and assessment.

Key points to consider

  • Luke uses assistive technology for all his regular classroom learning and assessment
  • Timed tests may create emotional stress that can cause the Nystagmus to increase and Luke's vision to temporarily decrease (see reference list)

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Electronic test format

Applicable  Extra time (see notes below)

Applicable  Rest time

NOTES

Luke is eligible to access the electronic test format.

It was determined that up to 10 minutes extra time per half hour of the tests was appropriate due to the difficulties and related time taken Luke requires to control his eye movement. Five minute rest breaks were permitted per half hour of the test to account for the emotional stress Luke may experience taking a timed test.

 

SCENARIO F

The situation

  • Jessica* is in Year 9.
  • She was born with a painless degenerative eye condition. She requires all her printed material to be provided in large print (font size N24).
  • She has adept fine motor sensory skills.
  • Jessica's teachers provide all her work in large print (N24) and she has been able to complete all her classroom learning and assessment as required.
  • Jessica also uses low vision aids to assist the completion of her learning and assessment.

Key points to consider

  • Jessica requires printed material in large font (N24).
  • Large print is how Jessica generally accesses her classroom learning and assessments.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Large print

Applicable  Extra time (see notes below)

Not Applicable  Braille

Not Applicable  Scribe

NOTES

Because Jessica is adept at accessing her work in large print, and has adapted well to this provision in the classroom, it was unlikely that extra time would be necessary for her to complete the tests. However, due to the logistics involved in reading large print, 5 minutes of extra time per half hour of the test was made available to Jessica if she needed it.

The receipt of adjustments is dependent on the resources available in each school, state and/or territory.

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Autism spectrum

SCENARIO G

The situation

  • Calvin* is a Year 5 student.
  • Calvin has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and has been attending occupational therapy for a couple of years to develop his fine motor skills, including handwriting, and to assist with his organisational and planning skills.
  • Calvin also has difficulties with pencil grip, pencil control (and fine motor skills) which impact on his handwriting legibility and cause him to become easily frustrated with writing tasks.
  • His need to concentrate on letter formation and the constraints of letter size due to writing on lined paper, contribute to his inability to complete written work.
  • The pressure he applies to his pencil grip often destroys his bookwork.
  • To assist with this, Calvin has been using a computer to complete his classroom tasks.

Key points to consider

  • Calvin regularly uses a computer to complete all his usual classroom activities.

 

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Computer for the writing test (text prediction/spell check off)

Applicable  NAPLAN support person (see notes below)

Applicable  Rest break (for the Writing test)

Not Applicable  Electronic test format

NOTES

In this case, it was determined that Calvin be permitted up to 5 minutes of rest breaks per half hour of the writing test to assist with any potential frustrations (which he has regularly displayed when participating in classroom learning and assessment). He was permitted to use a NAPLAN support person to assist in a manner the school deemed appropriate e.g. shading in the 'answer bubbles' (at his direction) for the other tests.

Note: not all students with Asperger Syndrome will have the difficulties identified above.

 

SCENARIO H

The situation

  • Benjamin* is a year 3 student with autism.
  • Ben has a timed behaviour management strategy that allows him 10 minutes of break time per hour during classroom activities because of the obsessive nature of his disability.
  • His teacher, where possible, provides Ben with a more flexible working schedule to complete tasks.
  • Ben likes the routines of the school day and needs to be prepared for changes wherever possible.

Key points to consider

  • Benjamin requires a flexible schedule to complete his tasks.
  • He has an obsessive trait.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Rest break

NOTES

In this case, it was determined at the school that up to 5 minutes of rest time per half hour of the tests was appropriate. This reflects Benjamin's usual flexible practices in the classroom which take into account for his difficulties concentrating.

The receipt of adjustments is dependent on the resources available in each school, state and/or territory.

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Severe speech and/or physical impairment

SCENARIO I

The situation

  • Jenni* is a Year 3 student.
  • She has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk.
  • She has limited use of her arms and one hand and is unable to speak.
  • Jenni uses an electronic wheelchair and a talking machine.
  • In class, Jenni uses visual communication supports, some (modified) sign language and body gestures to communicate including moving her head.
  • When accessing her classroom learning and assessment, Jenni generally uses a computer to complete her work tasks with a multimedia tool (e.g. Clicker software) that enables her to write with whole words, phrases or pictures and an augmentative communication device (e.g. Go Talk). See notes below.
  • Jenni also frequently requires her classroom reading materials in large print.

Key points to consider

  • Jenni regularly uses assistive technology and software to access her classroom learning and assessment.
  • Jenni regularly uses large print alongside assistive technology to complete classroom learning and assessment

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Electronic test format

Applicable  Extra time

Applicable  Rest breaks (see notes below)

Applicable  Large print

NOTES

Jenni's school requested access to the different tests in different ways to replicate Jenni's usual access to learning and assessment in the classroom; i.e. viewing the reading stimulus in large-print, while accessing the questions via the electronic test format. (Jenni is eligible to use the electronic tests format).

In the NAPLAN tests, the use of multimedia tools/software that enables students to write with whole words, phrases etc are not permitted. To account for the subsequent adjustments Jenni is required to make in light of this, and to accommodate the logistics involved in accessing the tests via large print and on screen, 10 minutes of extra time per half hour was deemed appropriate for Jenni to use in the writing test, and up to 20 minutes extra time per half hour for the other tests. Jenni was also allowed rest breaks as and when she required (up to 15 minutes in total per test).

The receipt of adjustments is dependent on the resources available in each school, state and/or territory.

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Temporary injuries/medical conditions

SCENARIO J

The situation

  • Sophie* is a student in Year 5.
  • Two weeks before the NAPLAN tests, Sophie broke her right arm (she is right handed). Sophie has limited movement in her fingers due to both the cut of the cast and the injury she sustained.
  • Sophie finds gripping a pen with her right hand painful. She will be in a cast for many weeks.
  • For the last two weeks, Sophie has been using a computer in class to type out her written work.

Key points to consider

  • Sophie sustained the injury prior to the test.
  • Sophie sustained the injury to her prominent hand/arm used to participate in classroom learning and assessment tasks.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  NAPLAN support person

Applicable  A computer for the writing test (predictive text, spelling and grammar check turned off)

Applicable  Extra time

NOTES

Sophie can use a computer to complete her response to the writing test. A NAPLAN support person can be used for the language conventions, reading and numeracy tests (e.g. to shade in bubbles or write a short response or answer dictated by the student).

A NAPLAN support person either has to be a teacher or other person as engaged by the school (cannot be a parent of the student or another student), and should be familiar to the student.

If no alternative adjustment is appropriate the student must be marked absent from the test session.

 

SCENARIO K

The situation

  • Nicktarios * is a Year 9 student.
  • He has chronic type 1 diabetes which is managed with insulin.
  • On occasions his sugar levels may be erratic. Nicktarios's school health care plan identifies his schedule for the monitoring of his blood sugar. This occurs at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • Nicktarios has developed independent skills and self manages his health care needs.
  • Nicktarios has no difficulties with his hearing, vision, or motor sensory abilities.
  • In class learning and assessment, Nicktarios is permitted to access appropriate snack foods, water or additional toilet breaks as required.

Key points to consider

  • Nick has chronic type 1 diabetes.
  • Nick is allowed to be excused from class for short breaks as part of his medical needs.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Rest breaks (see notes below)

NOTES

In this case, it was determined at the school that approximately 10-15 minutes of rest break time in total could be used by Nicktarios per test, as and when needed.

 

SCENARIO L

The situation

  • William* is in Year 9.
  • He has an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) following an accident.
  • He now experiences some learning difficulties in classroom curriculum areas where he previously excelled.
  • His injury has impacted on his ability to process information, organise his routines and thoughts and retrieve information from memory.
  • His lack of self control has also been noted.
  • Due to his ABI he is often impulsive and impatient which leads to inappropriate behaviour in the classroom environment.
  • His teachers have implemented strategies to support William in all learning and assessment environments including memory aid strategies (e.g. digital recording device with scripts downloaded electronically), planning techniques (e.g. mind mapping and highlighting) and reduced visual and noise distraction (see notes).
  • William is often late to school due to the impact of the ABI on his sleep patterns, and experiences fatigue at various times throughout the school day.

Key points to consider

  • William regularly displays impulsive and inappropriate behaviour in the classroom.
  • William experiences fatigues which impacts on his attendance and behaviour in the classroom.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Rest break

Applicable  Extra time

Not Applicable  Electronic test format

NOTES

The digital/electronic memory aid strategies etc used by William in classroom learning and assessment are not permitted in the NAPLAN tests.

In William's case, it was determined that 10 minutes of rest breaks and 10 minutes of extra time per half hour of the test was appropriate due to both the mental and physical fatigue he experiences and the time it takes for him to process information due to his injury.

The receipt of adjustments is dependent on the resources available in each school, state and/or territory.

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Hearing disabilities

SCENARIO M

The situation

  • John* is in Year 7.
  • He is profoundly deaf and is fluent in Auslan.
  • John has no difficulties reading or writing.
  • His classroom support teacher (who specialises in Auslan) regularly uses Auslan to confirm instructions relating to his classroom learning and assessment.

Key points to consider

  • John is profoundly deaf and regularly uses Auslan to communicate.

 

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Not Applicable  Extra time (see notes below)

Not Applicable  Scribe

Applicable  Oral/signed support

NOTES

Signing is permitted for sections of the test that can be read to all students (see 'reading to students'). There are no verbal components to the tests and as John has no difficulties reading or writing, and is fluent in Auslan, the provision of extra time was deemed not applicable in this case. In other cases extra time may be required depending on the fluency in oral signage of the teacher and student in question, and whether the student requires the test instructions to be repeated throughout the test.

 

SCENARIO N

The situation

  • Shari* is a Year 3 student.
  • She has had several episodes of acute otitis media (inflammation of the middle ear) which is usually accompanied by pain and fever.
  • When Shari is experiencing an episode of otitis media she does not respond to speech from various positions in the classroom and will make frequent requests for verbal communications to be repeated.
  • Shari's teachers have become aware that during these episodes she is experiencing a degree of hearing loss which can vary with the progress of the infection.
  • Her specialist has indicated that the hearing loss she is experiencing is in the mild to moderate category.
  • She does not access or use signing.
  • Shari's speech perception is also affected, specifically her phonetic awareness, which has affected the development of her literacy skills.

Key points to consider

  • Shari's episode of otitis media usually leaves her in pain and or/with fever.
  • These episodes directly impact her ability to perform to her utmost capacity (in learning and assessment) even when not experiencing an episode of otitis media (see reference list).

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Rest break

NOTES

Rest breaks may be applicable in this case if Shari is experiencing an episode of otitis media during the tests. In this case, Shari's school determined that 10 minutes of rest breaks per half hour of the test was appropriate because of Shari's fluctuating condition and related pain.

If Shari were to experience an acute episode of otitis media during the tests, it may be more appropriate to allow her to sit it during a catch-up session, or to mark her absent from the test session.

As literacy is an issue, Shari is able to have all the test instructions and numeracy questions read to her, see 'reading to students'.

The receipt of adjustments is dependent on the resources available in each school, state and/or territory.

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Fatigue inducing conditions and/or attention disorders

SCENARIO O

The situation

  • Sherab* is a Year 3 student who has Rod Cone Dystrophy (Retinitis Pigmentosa).
  • This condition has caused his vision to deteriorate significantly and he experiences chronic fatigue.
  • Sherab is not a proficient Braille user and his vision acuity requires him to access print materials larger than N36 font to read comfortably.
  • His eyes may become painful during some classroom tasks.
  • He regularly uses a computer and assistive technology in his class to complete his school learning and assessment and often controls the spacing between words (eg double line spacing) to assist him when reading.
  • The impact of fatigue and need for breaks is recognised by all his teachers.

Key points to consider

  • Sherab regularly uses assistive technology to access learning and assessment in the classroom.
  • Sherab suffers chronic fatigue.
  • Requires font size larger then N36.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Electronic test format

Applicable  Rest breaks (see notes below)

Not Applicable  Extra time

Not Applicable  Braille

NOTES

Sherab is eligible to use the electronic test format.

In this case, it was determined that rest breaks of up to 15 minutes in total be granted per test as required, due to the fatigue Sherab experiences. Extra time was not deemed appropriate as this simply prolonged Sherab's fatigue.

 

SCENARIO P

The situation

  • Christopher* is in Year 7.
  • He is currently using a scribe in class.
  • He has been diagnosed by a medical practitioner with DAMP (Deficiency of Attention, Motor Proficiency and Perception).
  • Christopher's diagnosis impacts on his ability to maintain attention to classroom tasks, and affects his perception of colour.
  • The motor proficiency component is a physical disability which leads to rapid fatigue.
  • This has an impact on his ability to sustain writing even after an extremely short period of time.
  • During independent classroom activities, extra time does not assist Christopher as it basically extends his feelings of fatigue and pain.
  • His capacity to complete tasks is increased through the use of a support person/scribe.

Key points to consider

  • Christopher currently uses a support person/scribe in class for all his regular classroom learning and assessment.
  • Extra time does not assist Christopher when completing learning and assessment tasks independently.

 

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Rest break

Applicable Scribe (for the writing test)

Applicable NAPLAN support person (for the other tests)

Not Applicable  Extra time (see notes below) 

NOTES

A scribe can be used for the writing test. A NAPLAN support person can be used for the language conventions, reading and numeracy tests (eg to shade in bubbles or write a short response or answer dictated by the student).

In this case, it was determined that a rest break of up to 10 minutes per half hour of the test be made available to Christopher because of his experiences of chronic fatigue and difficulties maintaining concentration.

 

SCENARIO Q

The situation

  • Samantha* is in Year 3.
  • She has Attention Deficiency Disorder (as confirmed by her doctor) and learning difficulties.
  • Samantha finds it difficult to concentrate on her classroom tasks and often takes longer than her peers to carry out and complete tasks.
  • Samantha has also been diagnosed (by a medical specialist) with Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome (now known as Irlen Syndrome).
  • Her teachers have been providing her work on coloured paper supported with coloured overlays which has improved her ability to sustain time on her reading tasks.
  • Samantha experiences difficulties with 'multi-modal' tasks, such as listening to the teacher at the same time as constructing a project (for example hands on activities in maths).
  • Her teachers use strategies that support her learning and assessment including providing scaffolds in writing to assist with her organisation of ideas (see notes).

Key points to consider

  • Samantha usually accesses her school work on coloured paper and coloured overlays.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Extra time

Applicable  Coloured overlays

Not Applicable  Screen reader

Not Applicable  Assistive technology

NOTES

The provision of scaffolds for writing etc, are not permitted in the NAPLAN assessment setting.

In this case, it was determined at the school that up to 5 minutes of extra time per half hour of the tests was appropriate because of the difficulties Samantha contends with in assessment tasks due to the effects of her Irlen Syndrome.

Samantha is able to have all the test instructions and some of the questions read out to her; see 'reading to students'.

The receipt of adjustments is dependent on the resources available in each school, state and/or territory.

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Learning and/or intellectual disabilities/behavioural difficulties

SCENARIO R

The situation

  • Mia* is a student in Year 5, who has difficulty reading texts printed on white paper due to an unspecified condition.
  • The school accommodates individual difference and for most of her classroom activities, Mia's worksheets and resources are printed onto coloured paper.
  • This supports her participation in classroom learning and assessment.
  • Mia also has difficulty hearing, with glue ear being diagnosed by a medical practitioner.
  • She does not respond to quiet sounds and may appear inattentive.
  • While her hearing loss is not profound she benefits from being close to the source of the sound.
  • Mia is always seated at the front of her classroom.

Key points to consider

  • Mia regularly uses coloured paper and overlays to assist in her completion of classroom learning and assessment tasks due to her difficulties reading text on white paper.
  • She requires specific seating positions in the classroom and testing situations – to ensure she can hear the instructions.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Coloured overlays

NOTES

Good management of the test environment will ensure that Mia is able to hear instructions.

 

SCENARIO S

The situation

  • Cheryl* is in Year 5 and has a mild intellectual disability.
  • She is enrolled in a support class (i.e. special setting for students with a mild intellectual disability).
  • She integrates into a regular Year 5 class for some curriculum subjects.
  • Cheryl is cognitively behind her same-age peers in her literacy and numeracy skill development.
  • She is immature in some of her behaviours and social interactions, using non-complicated language and short sentences.
  • Cheryl's teachers scaffold her writing tasks with sentence starters and word banks to assist with vocabulary use in class (see notes).
  • Her teachers keep distracters to a minimum and repeat instructions or directions seeking clarification from Cheryl to ensure she understands.
  • The literacy demands of some activities require materials and information to be read to her and for most of her classroom learning and assessment she requires extra time to complete/participate appropriately.
  • Her teachers provide her with a flexible schedule in which to complete her work.

Key points to consider

  • Numeracy and literacy support strategies are utilised in Cheryl's classroom learning.
  • Cheryl's cognitive development is slow compared to that of her same age peers.
  • Cheryl's parents would like her to participate in all school learning and assessment including NAPLAN.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

Applicable  Extra time

Not Applicable  Rest break

NOTES

The provision of writing scaffolds or sentence starters/word banks are not permitted in the NAPLAN assessment setting.

In this case, it was determined that up to 10 minutes of extra time per half hour of the tests was appropriate because of Cheryl's regular need for extra time to comprehend instructions and complete tasks.

Cheryl is able to have all the test instructions and numeracy questions read to her, see 'reading to students'.

 

SCENARIO T

The situation

  • Shane* is a Year 9 student enrolled in multiple education settings.
  • For the past two years Shane has been attending a school in a specialist behaviour setting.
  • He is currently on a three day/two day model.
  • In the past Shane has had great difficulty following rules, and behaving in a socially acceptable way, with several instances of serious violation of school rules.
  • While Shane has been attending school in the specialist behaviour setting he has been successfully practising different ways of handling difficult and stressful situations.
  • He has been learning how to independently manage change to routines and the consequence for his actions and behaviours.
  • Shane has developed skills to accept that one mistake in a task does not mean that the page is worthless and therefore destroyed.

Key points to consider

  • Shane is enrolled in multiple education settings.
  • Shane has displayed positive changes in behaviour including accepting consequences to his behaviour.

Adjustments relevant/applicable?

NONE (see notes below)

NOTES

Students enrolled in multiple settings should be encouraged to participate in NAPLAN testing in the setting where they are the most settled and able to manage their behaviour. They need to understand that the teacher support is limited to the constraints of the testing regime.

Shane's access to the test is not compromised by his situation, however good management of the test setting will be essential to his performance. Separate supervision may be required if teachers deem Shane's behaviour to be inconsiderate of other students leading up to/during the test.

The receipt of adjustments is dependent on the resources available in each school, state and/or territory.

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References

  1. Windsor, Richard L., Windsor and Laura, K., Understanding Nystagmua, 2000.
  2. Hodge, T and Downie, J., Together we are heard: Effectiveness of daily 'language' groups in a community preschool, Nursing and Health Sciences, Volume 6, no.2, 2004
  3. Moeller, M., Tomblin, J., Yoshinaga-Itano C., Connor, C., and Jerger, S., Current State of Knowledge: Language and Literacy of Children with Hearing Impairment, Ear and Hearing, Volume: 28, no. 6, 2007.

 

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*To protect the privacy of individuals, names have been changed and scenarios conflated or constructed. Any resemblance to actual students is unintentional and purely coincidental.

This document was prepared following expert advice and consultation with state and territory jurisdictional representatives. It will be reviewed from time to time as necessary.