Guidelines for Choosing Text-to-Speech or Read Aloud Accommodations
The decision to provide a student in Grades 3-8 with text-to-speech or human read-aloud accommodations for the English language arts (ELA) reading passages is a significant decision, one that has possible long-term implications for the child. These accommodations are typically provided to students with a visual or print disability who use this accommodation during instruction. These accommodations are defined as follows:
Text-to-Speech of the ELA Reading Passages: Text is read aloud to the student via embedded text-to-speech technology. The student is able to control the speed as well as raise or lower the volume of the voice via a volume control.
The Planning and Placement Team (PPT) or 504 Team should complete the Decision Guidelines for Text-to-Speech of the Smarter Balanced ELA Reading Passages to confirm eligibility. Effective immediately, this form will no longer be submitted to the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), however it should be maintained and filed locally by the school/district.
Additionally, an authorized TIDE user must enter the Text-to-Speech for Passages accommodation in TIDE Test Settings prior to testing.
Read Aloud of the ELA Reading Passages: Text is read aloud, including the ELA reading passages, to the student by a trained and qualified human reader. To determine student eligibility, the PPT or 504 Team should complete the Documented Evidence for a Read Aloud of the Smarter Balanced ELA Reading Passages. If based on the preponderance of evidence a student meets eligibility for a human reader, the District Administrator for testing should contact the CSDE to request a petition for special documented accommodations. Approved requests require the submission of the Read Aloud Protocol for Smarter Balanced Assessments: Security/Confidentiality Agreement. Details will be provided to the district during the special documented accommodation process.
For additional information on reader options, refer to the Smarter Balanced Guidelines for Read Aloud Test Reader.
Other Resources Include:
- Text-to-Speech/Read Aloud Accommodations for ELA Reading Passages Flowchart – This resource should be used to determine student eligibility for the text-to-speech or read aloud accommodation for the Smarter Balanced ELA Reading Passages. It includes the appropriate procedures based on the needed accommodation.
- Connecticut Smarter Balanced and NGSS Assessment Reader Options Table – This resource defines the purpose, test requirements, and necessary documentation (if applicable) for various embedded and non-embedded Smarter Balanced and NGSS reader supports and accommodations.