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IES Contract

Title: The Universal Assessment System (UAS)
Center: NCSER Year: 2008
Principal Investigator: Russell, Michael Awardee: Nimble Assessments
Program: Small Business Innovation Research in Special Education      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2.5 years Award Amount: $849,777
Award Number: ED08CO0056

Purpose: The project team is developing the Universal Assessment System (UAS), a universally designed test delivery platform that provides accessibility for students with disabilities. This project expands the accessibility features included in a beta version of the UAS to provide access to tests for deaf and hearing impaired students through the use of signing, blind students through interactivity with electronic Braille displays, and students with language processing challenges through embedded writing supports.

Project Activities: Technology development includes the creation of new interface features that enable interoperability with signed video, electronic Braille displays, and writing supports. Research activities include a series of usability studies, large-scale stress testing of the system when the new features are employed, and a set of efficacy studies that examine effect of the use of the UAS on test validity.

Products: The end product will be a single, universally designed system that delivers educational tests via the Internet or a local CD. The system will enable up to 20 different accessibility and accommodation tools to be activated based on a student's need and to monitor the use of these tools during testing.

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