This chapter will provide specific information about three aspects of accessbased item development. The first section will explain some overarching considerations associated with context, the second section will focus on language usage and support mechanisms, and the last section will address some issues surrounding the development of access-based rubrics. While the rest of the chapter will explain the particular aspects within each section, Table 6.1 briefly outlines the contextual and structural factors discussed in this chapter, and the tools and resources discussed in Chapter 7. Within the table are general descriptions of each type of intervention, and a list of the aspects within each intervention likely to be salient for English language learners (ELLs). Readers will note that the section categories are rather artificial. Context and culture are pervasive influences item writers need to be aware of in order to make informed choices about language, text and item supports for various students. Rubric considerations need to account for how students from different backgrounds might vary in their interpretations of items and tasks and must provide the ground for effective scoring of content in student responses. Rubrics have to be sensitive to the broad range of communication strategies the scorers will encounter. The task of writing accessible items involves the thoughtful consideration of barriers for students with many different needs, and an appreciation of how this diverse set of students might differentially compensate for shortcomings so the barriers can be minimized. Because

of this, there is no easy checklist of solutions or a clear distinction between what item writers should and shouldn’t do and when. Given this caveat, the next several pages will attempt to illuminate the issue by highlighting some types of activities considered to be useful for students with different impediments. The goal will be to produce items with multiple opportunities and avenues of access.