Visual Impairments And High Stakes Testing Do They Go Toget

Danielle Magid

Visual impairments and high-stakes testing, do they go together?1

How high-stake testing does not work for everyone

IDEA necessitates that “all children with disabilities are included in all general state and district-wide assessment programs” (612A [16]). However this is not always the case when it comes to students with visual impairments. When students take a high-stake test are their abilities being assessed, or are their disabilities be assessed? There needs to be more investigation on necessary accommodations being exercised for certain individuals. The three authors of this article, Kim Zebehazy, Elizabeth Hartmann, and Julie Durando, all believe that alternate assessments need to be considered for students with visual impairments or other disabilities. What this mean is that there needs to be alternate assessments that keep in mind a students’ disability. It is a fact that, “students with visual impairments have low vision or blindness that adversely affects their educational performance” (p.599), therefore it would also apply for them in regards to taking a test.

What needs to change in high-stake testing

One of the focuses in this article is the fact that representatives who are members of the assessment review committee need to be informed on visual impairments. In addition, these members also need to keep in mind that students with visual impairments cannot be tested on contexts that are inaccessible. An example from the article, “in an alternate assessment, a preliteracy skill or reading pictures would not apply the same way to students who are tactile learns” (p.599). Furthermore, do add to that Zebehazy, Hartmann, and Durando believe that, “assessments must consider the individual ways in which these students receive information through their other sensory channels in the absence of vision” (p.599). Just like one shoe does not fit all, one test does not valid for all, and we need to realize that. We need to makes changes for those who have disabilities, like visual impairment.

What we need to remember

When designing or putting together assessments, we must keep in mind how these assessments are taking place. Are they fair to everyone, especially those with disabilities? We must encourage research in making sure that high-stake tests are reasonable and legitimate for all students.