Special Education

Questions and Answers on Individualized Education Program (IEP) Development, The State's Model IEP Form and Related Documents

Testing Accommodations - Updated April 2011

The following questions and answers address some of the important issues raised by requests for clarification of the federal and State requirements for IEPs.  This document will periodically be updated.  This guidance does not impose any requirements beyond those required under applicable law and regulations.  This document supersedes any previously issued guidance on this topic.

If you have questions regarding the IEP form and related requirements, you may submit them to the following mailbox: SEFORMS@nysed.gov.

    1. In the NYSED Test Accommodations manual it refers to "flexible setting."  Can the IEP state "flexible setting" with some criteria, for instance, flexible setting to provide access to minimal noise, or for administration in a small group?  The issue is "separate setting" means "a separate room apart from the standard setting being used to administer the test," and people don’t want to exclude the student from taking the test in a classroom if it can meet the needs for a setting modification.

      The State’s IEP form includes drop-down options on how testing accommodations should be indicated in the IEP.  Testing accommodations must be clearly stated to ensure a consistent understanding by the CSE or CPSE, school principal, teacher(s), supplementary school personnel, student and the student's parents.   Flexible setting is a category of testing accommodations that includes both changes in the conditions of the setting, such as special lighting or adaptive furniture; or changes in the location itself, accomplished by moving the student to a separate room.  Types of setting accommodations include the following:

      • Separate location/room – administer test individually
      • Separate location/room – administer test in small group (3-5 students)
      • Provide adaptive or special equipment/furniture (specify type, e.g., study carrel)
      • Special lighting (specify type, e.g., 75-watt incandescent light on desk)
      • Special acoustics (specify manner, e.g., minimal extraneous noises)
      • Location with minimal distraction (specify type, e.g., minimal visual distraction)
      • Preferential seating

      Following is an example of how a recommendation for a flexible setting should be indicated in the IEP.

      Testing Accommodations (to be completed for preschool children only if there is an assessment program for nondisabled preschool children):
      Individual testing accommodations, specific to the student’s disability and needs, to be used consistently by the student in the recommended educational program and in the administration of district-wide assessments of student achievement and, in accordance with Department policy, State assessments of student achievement
      Testing Accommodation Conditions* Implementation Recommendations**
      Special Acoustics All tests Location with minimal extraneous noise
      *Conditions – Test Characteristics:  Describe the type, length, purpose of the test upon which the use of testing accommodations is conditioned, if applicable.
      **Implementation Recommendations:  Identify the amount of extended time, type of setting, etc., specific to the testing accommodations, if applicable.

      For additional information on testing accommodations, see:

    2. Can a preschool student with a disability have test accommodations in his/her IEP?
      Yes, if the preschool student with a disability would be participating in State or district-wide or classroom tests and the student was determined by the CPSE to need testing accommodations.
    3. The State IEP form does not include Tests Read as a drop-down option.  Can additional drop-down options be added to this section of the form?  (Added 4/11)
      The State IEP form provides a limited list of testing accommodation drop-down options.  Since the list is not finite, text boxes in the State form allow entry of other testing accommodation recommendations as appropriate.  “Tests read,” an accommodation in the method of presentation, may be documented in a student's IEP using one of the additional text boxes in the State form or may be added to the list of drop-down options within a computerized format of the IEP.  Additional testing accommodation options may also be added, consistent with State policy.
Last Updated: April 18, 2011