Disability adjustments are provided to students with disability to enable an equivalent learner experience during NAPLAN testing and to encourage maximum participation. These adjustments are detailed in National protocols for test administration.
As every student with disability has individual needs, experiences and functional abilities, no typical or uniform testing experience applies to all students with disability. As is currently the case for NAPLAN tests, a student’s requirements need to be established prior to testing. Read the Guide for schools to assist students with disability to access NAPLAN (PDF 256 kb) for more information.
As the transition to NAPLAN Online continues, special print paper-based tests will continue to be available, where required.
Teachers and schools, in consultation with students and their parents/carers, are in the best position to determine the needs of individual students. For NAPLAN, some adjustments must be approved by the local test administration authority. The following are important considerations in the application of adjustments in the NAPLAN tests:
- Adjustments should generally reflect the kind of support and assistance provided in the classroom for assessment activities for students to demonstrate what they know and can do.
- Adjustments should allow students with various disabilities to access the tests. A student may have access to more than one adjustment in any one test, and adjustments may be different for different tests for a given student.
- When providing adjustments, the integrity of the NAPLAN tests should be maintained. For example, reading the stimulus material and/or questions to a student during the reading test is not appropriate or permitted, even if this is what the student has in their normal classroom.
ACARA interviewed students with disability, their parents/carers and teachers about the accessibility adjustments available in NAPLAN Online.
For NAPLAN Online, tests are delivered through an online assessment platform. A range of question types are provided, including audio-based spelling questions as well as some questions that have visually detailed material. As part of the available adjustments, alternative format questions may be suitable for some students with disability.
Questions that some students with disability may not be able to access are substituted with a more accessible format. The demonstration site showcases the two categories of alternative format questions: audio and visual, including colour themes.
Audio alternative questions are relevant to the conventions of language test, while visual alternative questions are relevant to the reading and numeracy tests.
Where a student requires alternative questions in these categories, and has been identified as such by the school, the platform will automatically substitute every question, when required. As with all adjustments, a student may have access to more than one adjustment in any one test, and adjustments may be different for different tests for a given student. For example, a student requiring visual adjustment questions may also use the platform zoom tool and/or assistive technology adjustments.
Schools will work with parents and students to identify, on a case-by-case basis, reasonable adjustments required for individual students with disability to access NAPLAN Online.
All questions are keyboard accessible. Students with disability who require access to the questions using a keyboard only are encouraged to view the keyboard shortcuts for NAPLAN Online. Students may also like to access the public demonstration site using only their keyboard to familiarise themselves with the type of questions, and related functionalities available in the online assessment.
Accessing the NAPLAN Online test
The NAPLAN Online National Assessment Platform uses a locked-down browser (LDB) to help ensure security during testing. Schools must apply to their test administration authority on behalf of students who use assistive technology. The test administration authority will then provide access to an unsecured browser, if required. Considerations for assistive technology can be found in the National protocols for test administration.
All screen elements will meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.0 level AA.