Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

CAPA Core Adaptations

How to adapt test tasks to address the unique needs of children with disabilities.

Students eligible for the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) for Science represent a diverse population. Without compromising the comparability of scores, adaptations are allowed on the CAPA for Science to ensure the student’s optimal performance. The CAPA includes two types of adaptations:

  1. Suggested adaptations for particular tasks, as specified in the task preparation.
  2. Core adaptations that are applicable to many of the tasks.

The list that follows includes the core adaptations that may be appropriate for students across many of the CAPA for Science tasks, and is not specifically limited to the disability subcategory listed. The examiner should become familiar with these core adaptations and use them when appropriate. Unlisted adaptations (such as COLORING stimulus cards) are not allowed. If an adaptation is not listed, check with the CDE before beginning the administration of CAPA to the student.

General Adaptations:
  • The following are interchangeable: “Show me,” “Point to,” “Give me,” “Find.”
  • Position manipulatives and stimulus cards in the way that students can best perceive them.
  • Place materials on a surface with a boundary so they will not fall away or roll out of reach as a student uses them.
  • Structure the testing environment to eliminate distractions for students who are particularly distractible.
Visual Impairments:
  • As needed, enlarge stimulus cards.
  • Substitute braille, textured, or auditory materials (such as a beeping ball) for visual stimulus materials if such materials are used regularly by the student.
  • Change cues such as “Show me” to cues such as “Tell me.”
  • Describe pictures as needed.
  • Allow students to handle objects as needed.
  • If a student uses glasses, they should be worn during the assessment.
Auditory Impairments:
  • Allow the student to use an augmentative communication device.
  • Use American Sign Language (ASL) or manually coded English in place of oral speech when appropriate.
  • Allow nonverbal students to respond with gestures, movements, or vocalization in place of speech.
  • When appropriate, accept eye gaze as a way of indicating a response.
  • If a student uses hearing aids, they should be worn during the assessment. Check the aids daily to make sure they are functioning properly.
Sensorimotor Impairments:
  • Extend wait times if the student has difficulty initiating an activity.
  • Accept a change in muscle tone or a change in facial expression as an observed behavior.
  • Position and stabilize the student so that the most controlled movement is possible.
  • Allow students to direct another in performing physical tasks.
Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Monday, November 7, 2016
Recently Posted in Testing
  • CAST Accessibility Supports - Operational Test (PDF) (added 26-Apr-2017)
    This document presents the lists of universal tools, designated supports, and accommodations for the operational California Science Test that aligns with the California Next Generation Science Standards.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 202 (added 20-Apr-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, April 20, 2017.
  • Grade 5—Numbers and Operations in Base Ten (added 18-Apr-2017)
    The Digital Library Instructional Learning Series links Smarter Balanced Digital Library resources with content from Interim Assessment Blocks.
  • 2016-17 Physical Fitness Testing Schedule (updated 18-Apr-2017)
    California Physical Fitness Testing Window and Data Submission Deadline Dates.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 201 (added 14-Apr-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, April 12, 2017.

  • CAASPP Update, Issue 198 (added 12-Apr-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, March 22, 2017.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 200 (added 07-Apr-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, April 5, 2017.
  • CAASPP Update, Issue 199 (added 30-Mar-2017)
    California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) e-mail update, March 29, 2017.
  • Card Sort Blank Activity (added 27-Mar-2017)
    This is the Card Sort Blank Activity as provided at the 2017 CAASPP Institute Training.
  • Card Sort Structure Activity (added 27-Mar-2017)
    This is the Card Sort Structure activity as provided at the 2017 CAASPP Institute Training.