Davies, M. D, Elliott, S. N & Cumming, J. (2016). Documenting support needs and adjustment gaps for students with disabilities: Teacher practices in Australian classrooms and on national tests. International Journal of Inclusive Education,20(12), 1252-1269. United Kingdom: Routledge. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2016.1159256
Accommodations or adjustments for students with disabilities (SWDs) who need them are required in Australian education law and policy for classroom instruction and assessment, and external educational accountability tests. Drawing upon the structure of the Assessment Accommodations Checklist and more than a decade of accessibility research, the Checklist of Learning and Assessment Adjustments for Students (CLAAS) was developed to help teachers select and document adjustments that support SWDs and students with additional needs in classroom instruction and assessment, and external tests. The CLAAS was trialled with 21 primary school teachers documenting adjustments for 89 students with diverse needs. Teachers indicated that the CLAAS provided a comprehensive list of adjustments, was useful for recording adjustments across classroom instruction and assessment, and external tests, and provided guidance about potential adjustments for SWDs or with additional learning needs. The documented adjustments also indicated some considerable gaps between supports provided in classrooms compared with the Australian educational accountability tests. Findings also provided initial evidence for the reliability and validity of use of the CLAAS for its intended purposes. The CLAAS is a promising tool for helping both researchers and teachers systematically document and provide equitable and inclusive adjustments for SWDs and additional learning needs given their needs for classroom learning, assessment and external testing and examination requirements.
Learning Sciences Institute Australia
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