Latest MAP Growth Feature Improves Accessibility

Latest MAP Growth Feature Improves Accessibility - TLG-IMG-10302018A lot goes into building an inclusive and accessible assessment because of all the moving parts. As a not-for-profit with a mission of partnering to help all kids learn, NWEA is always on the lookout for technology and tools that give students with disabilities an experience that is personalized, differentiated, and yet as close to their peers’ experience as possible when they take the MAP Growth assessment.

We previously blogged about our efforts to make MAP Growth accessible – from providing alternative text (or alt-tags) to images within our test items, to working with other organizations like the Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at WGBH to bring these changes to life.

That’s why NWEA is excited to announce the latest development – that we are adding Desmos calculators to MAP Growth. Like NWEA, Desmos has a mission of supporting every student. By adding the Desmos calculators to MAP Growth, NWEA will bring a more powerful, more equitable, and more accessible experience to the millions of students it serves every year. The Lead Calculator Engineer at Desmos, Dr. Jason Merrill, notes, “It’s always exciting for us to collaborate with a partner who cares as deeply about accessibility as NWEA does.”

Here are 3 reasons we partnered with Desmos to add this feature to MAP Growth:

1. Equity

Desmos calculators are free to use on any device, from Chromebooks to the phones in students’ pockets.

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Desmos has deep support for students with disabilities, especially students with visual impairments. Its calculators work seamlessly with screen readers across a variety of platforms, and built-in sonification can even convert graphed curves to sounds.

3. Familiarity

Desmos calculators are used by more than 20 million students – and growing – in the United States each year.

NWEA is committed to building the most effective, and the most inclusive, assessments possible. By partnering with Desmos to bring its powerful, equitable, accessible, and familiar tools to MAP Growth, we’re taking one more step to fulfill our mission and best serve all students. To learn more about our Accessibility work, check out our website.