Sonoma County Office of Education

Accessibility Supports for Smarter Balanced Assessments

Accessibility Supports for California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) Assessments

The California Department of Education and the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium acknowledge that individuals may access and express information differently. This page offers information and resources to support educators in their work thinking about universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations as part of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). Accessibility supports can either be embedded within the testing interface or non-embedded and provided outside of the testing system.

Helpful Graphics

The following references provide helpful information about English, Math, and Science supports respectively. Click on each image below to expand.

2019-20 CAASPP Accessibility graphic for English Arts-Literacy CAASPP Accessibility graphic Math CAASPP Accessibility graphic Science

Universal Tools

Universal tools are available to all students based on student preference and selection. Universal tools are accessibility resources of the assessment that are either provided as digitally delivered components of the test administration system or separate from it..

Designated Supports

Designated supports for the Smarter Balanced assessments are those features that are available for use by any student for whom the need has been indicated by an educator (or team of educators with parent/guardian and student). Designated supports need to be identified prior to assessment administration.


Accommodations are changes in procedures or materials that increase equitable access during the Smarter Balanced assessments. Accommodations need to be identified prior to assessment administration and are allowable for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan. Accommodations all yield valid scores when used in a manner consistent with the Guidelines. They allow students to show what they know and can do.

The California Department of Education provides details on CAASPP Accessibility Tools through the following web resources:

Student Accessibility Resources

A CAASPP video resource provided here has video tutorials of embedded Universal Tools, Designated Supports and Accommodations.

Leilan, Student
"I like Amarosa because there's a much smaller student count and so teachers can be one-on-one with you. They can actually help you and be one-on-one with you while the class is doing something else. I feel like that's a huge game-changer." - Leilan, Student