Graduate Records Exam (GRE) Inclusive Computer Adaptive Assessment for Blind Test Takers

Presented at 3:30pm in Mattie Silks on Wednesday, November 16, 2022.



  • Cary Supalo, Research Developer, Educational Testing Service

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: All Levels
  • Type of session: General Conference


This presentation will discuss how the GRE assessment has been adapted using text-to-speech, refreshable braille, and/or screen magnification within a traditional test center environment. Everything from signing in to submitting and receiving of test scores will be discussed.


For a long time, persons with visual impairments have had to work with human assistance to complete high stakes assessments both in the K12 and higher education spaces. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) has recently launched a new inclusive experience for students with BLV to take the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) at designated testing centers around the world. This testing experience allows a test taker with BLV to arrive at a designated testing center on the date and time of their assessment. Once identity has been verified, an inclusive testing experience begins. This is accomplished by means of text-to-speech, refreshable braille, tactile graphics and/or braille supplement, and screen magnification. Extended time is available for test takers who request and provide necessary documentation. The entire experience including submission of scores and selecting which schools you would like your scores sent to is fully accessible to evaluate takers with visual impairments.


  1. Access technologies can be used to make a high stakes assessment experience more inclusive
  2. Review answer methodologies
  3. Use of TTS, refreshable braille, and tactile graphics supplements

Disability Areas


Topic Areas

Other, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Cary Supalo

Cary A. Supalo: Dr. Supalo has been blind since he was seven years old and received his Ph.D. from Penn State University in chemistry in 2010. He currently works as part of the accessibility team at the Educational Testing Service located in Princeton, New Jersey. His current responsibilities include the evaluation of access technologies that are commercially available and under development and their possible impact on the high stakes assessment industry. He conducts data collection instrument design on several state department of education supported projects that involve students with print disabilities. Prior to his time at ETS, he served as a full-time research scientist in the Department of Chemistry at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. There he conducted chemical education research with Dr. George Bodner in how students with visual impairments perceive visual concepts in chemistry. Dr. Supalo also served as an assistant professor of chemistry and director of the chemistry teacher education program at Illinois State University from 2012-2014. There he taught general chemistry and upper level chemistry teacher education methods courses. His research interests at ISU included the development of laboratory curriculum that was multi-sensory in nature. The results of this work was reported in conference proceedings at American Chemical Society national meetings. He has been an active member of the National Federation of the Blind. He has conducted many hands-on science programs on both the state and national levels in the NFB. His interest in the development of new talking laboratory technologies through his firm Independence Science has served to be a valuable dissemination vehicle for these new innovative technologies for students who are blind or visually impaired.