Grade 2 Alternate Assessment Accessibility & Accommodations

This section is only applicable to students who will participate in the Tennessee Alternate Assessments designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities.

Regardless of whether a student takes an alternate assessment or a regular assessment, annual assessments allow students to show what they know based on grade-appropriate content. How a student will access grade-level content will differ based on individual student needs. IEP teams will discuss and determine participation and eligibility using the alternate assessment participation guidance included in the IEP. Students who participate in the alternate assessment system will do so according to the grade enrollment of the student.

Tennessee offers schools an optional grade 2 assessment and an optional alternate grade 2 assessment for English language arts and math. Alternate assessments are designed for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The structures of alternate assessments are designed for students with a variety of communication, physical and cognitive disabilities in a way that provides them access to answer test questions and participate in the test as independently as possible. The alternate assessments were designed by teachers and professionals most familiar with students with significant cognitive disabilities.

For additional guidance or information regarding alternate assessment, please visit the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities site.

Accommodation Test Administration Conditions: Available to any student participating in alternate assessment

The following accommodations may not be needed by all students but should be individualized for each student during administration. Accommodations needed may also vary by the content. Most students who use an accommodation require the accommodation on a daily basis. The vast majority of IEPs for students who participate in the alternate assessment will already include the accommodations in one or more of the following sections of the IEP:

  1. Custom Classroom Accommodations (may be used to indicate paper use)
  2. Communication needs under the Narratives Page (could be used to include Scribe and/or paper)
  3. Custom Supplementary Aides

The following outlines the alternate assessment accommodations.


Scribe/Transcription (A) The student will indicate via their communication system the response to the test administrator who will then record the student’s response.
Assistive Technology for student response to items (B) Students will have access to the same assistive technology as they do during instruction for the purpose of communication, writing, computation, or accessing visual information.
Assistive Technology for presentation of items to students (C) Test administrator will use assistive technology consistently used with the student during content instruction in as similar a manner as occurs daily (i.e., eye gaze boards, magnifiers, recordable switch, manipulatives)
Sign Language (e.g., ASL, PSE, SEE) (D) Test administration including verbal directions, reading of the item, and student response, occurs using the sign language that is used during daily instruction.

Paper versions of items

*TCAP science and social studies is only available in a paper version (E)

The Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA) for English language arts and math can be printed and the student assessed on the paper version. The test administrator then enters the student’s responses online after the assessment is complete.
Frequent Breaks (F) The alternate assessment is not timed and is administered one-on-one. The assessment can be divided over a series of sessions, days, or weeks as needed by the student to demonstrate their skills.
Adaptive and Specialized Equipment or Furniture (G) Student is provided specialized equipment or furniture needed for successful testing environment (e.g., low lighting, adaptive seat).