Accessibility and Accommodations

ELPA21 provides access to all.

Accessibility is our top priority

ELPA21 assessments are designed to be accessible for most test-takers. The reports and documents listed below outline the various ways in which the ELPA21 assessment tests are accessible to test takers and administrators. Read on to find out how to get the most of the tests.

It is expected that each client will consider their options for the development and implementation of a federally required alternate ELP assessment. We encourage all decision-makers to develop an action plan that includes all ELs when assessing language proficiency.

A tiered approach to accessibility and accommodations features

Universal features

Universal features are available to all students and are usually based on student preference and selection.

Designated features

Additional features can be provided to individual students. Educators familiar with their students’ characteristics and needs should decide who would benefit from these options.


Accommodations are changes in procedures or materials that increase equitable access for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan.

Embedded vs. non-embedded features

Some features of the ELPA21 assessment are embedded, meaning they are part of the technology platform and can be selected or deselected by school personnel familiar with a student’s specific needs. Others are non-embedded, meaning test administrators can give individual students external materials and devices or personal assistance. [Graphic: universal features, designated features, accommodations]


In collaboration with the National Center for Educational Outcomes (NCEO), an alt-ELPA committee was formed in 2017 and concluded its work in 2018. The committee made significant progress on an alternate assessment for ELs with the most significant cognitive disabilities. The alt-ELPA committee and NCEO produced several documents laying the groundwork for this very important subgroup of students. There are currently four documents available, the first of which is a white paper titled Developing an Alternate ELPA21 for English Learners with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities (2018). This paper was developed as ELPA21’s commitment to the development and implementation of an alternate assessment for ELs with the most significant cognitive disabilities and builds on the 2016 report featured above. The purpose of this document is to propose steps ELPA21 might take to ensure it develops and implements a technically adequate and appropriate alternate assessment for ELSCD. The full suite of documents is shown below.