Accessibility Accommodations and Fairness

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 PARCC is committed to providing all students, including but not limited to, students with disabilities, English learners, and underserved populations with equitable access to high-quality, 21st-century PARCC assessments.


The second edition of the PARCC Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual is a comprehensive policy document that provides guidance to districts and decision-making teams to ensure that the PARCC Mid-Year, Performance-Based, and End-of-Year Assessments provide valid results for all participating students.

By implementing universal design principles, leveraging technology, and offering accommodations, PARCC intends to provide opportunities for the widest possible number of students to demonstrate what they know and can do while maintaining high expectations for all students. Driven by what is expected of students in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the claims of the PARCC summative assessments, common policies for accommodations, participation, and assessment accessibility features will increase equitable access, fidelity of implementation, and comparability across PARCC states.

Goals for Promoting Student Access

  • Apply principles of universal design for accessible assessments throughout every stage of developing assessment components, items, and performance tasks
  • Minimize/eliminate features of the assessment that are irrelevant to what is being measured, so that all students can more accurately demonstrate their knowledge and skills
  • Measure the full range of complexity of the standards
  • Leverage technology for delivering assessment components as widely accessible as possible
  • Build accessibility throughout the test itself with no trade-off between accessibility and validity
  • Use a combination of ‘accessible’-authoring and accessible technologies from the inception of items and tasks
  • Established Committees on Accessibility, Accommodations, and Fairness comprised of knowledgeable testing officials from member states and national experts Open Policies for Public Comment

Approved PARCC Policies

Policies That Have Been Through Public Comment

  • Draft Accommodations Policies for Reading Access & Calculator [January 16 – February 4, 2013] 
  • Draft Writing Access Accommodations Policies [February 8 – February 20, 2013]
  • Draft Accommodations Manual [April 18 – May 13, 2013] 

Policies in Development

PARCC is collaborating on these policies with the other assessment consortia working to develop common assessments, including the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and the consortia for English language proficiency and for students participating in state alternate assessments. 

  • Participation policies for students with disabilities
  • Participation policies for English learners
  • Common definition on English learner

Working Groups for Accessibility, Accommodations, and Fairness

•  Accessibility, Accommodations, and Fairness Operational Working Group
•  Accessibility, Accommodations, and Fairness Technical Working Group

Communications Brochures 

Download the PDFs below.