Universal tools are access features that are either provided as digitally delivered components of the test administration system or provided separately from it. In general, universal tools are available to all students based on student preference and selection. The digitally delivered assessments include a wide array of embedded universal tools while others include non-embedded universal tools that are provided outside of the computer test administration system.
Designated supports are features available for use by any student when indicated by an educator (or team of educators with parent/guardian and student). Designated supports need to be identified prior to the assessment administration and must be entered into the Test Information and Distribution Engine (TIDE). Any non-embedded designated supports must be acquired prior to testing.
Accommodations are changes in procedures or materials that increase equitable access during the assessments. Assessment accommodations generate valid assessment results for students who need them; they allow these students to show what they know and can do. Montana OPI has identified digitally-embedded and non-embedded accommodations for students for whom there is documentation of the need for the accommodations on an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Accommodation Plan. An Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Accommodation Plan is required to apply any accommodations to a student's test experience. Determining in advance which accommodations an individual student will have for the assessment is necessary because these accommodations must be made available before the assessment administration. These accommodations can be set by entering information into TIDE for embedded accommodations or by ensuring the materials are available for non-embedded accommodations.