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The State of New York Test Access and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

All students, including students with disabilities, are expected to learn and achieve high standards. To meet this goal, students with disabilities must have access to general education curriculum courses, electives and required assessments. This was affirmed in 1997 when the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was amended to require that students with disabilities, including students with severe cognitive disabilities through the development of a State alternate assessment, participate in State and districtwide assessments. universal design principles in developing and administering State and districtwide tests. These efforts are also consistent with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which requires each State to implement a system of accountability for schools and districts that is designed to ensure that all children perform at or above proficiency on state academic achievement standards and state assessments. Many students with disabilities will require testing accommodations in order to participate in testing programs on an equal basis with their nondisabled peers. Such accommodations provide students with the ability to demonstrate mastery of skills and attainment of knowledge without being limited or unfairly restricted due to the effects of a disability.
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