Lynn Shafer Willner

Researcher, ELD Standards and EL Accessibility | WIDA

Lynn Shafer Willner is a researcher on ELD Standards and EL Accessibility at the WIDA Consortium. In this interview, she discusses the ways that assessment accommodations are changing with technology. She also offers guidance on how to effectively implement accommodations for ELLs, adjust instruction for ELLs with disabilities, and focus instruction on students' strengths rather than the areas where they struggle.


Lynn Shafer Willner conducts research and development on areas related to ELD Standards and Accessibility for the WIDA Consortium. She supports WIDA’s development of ELD standards-related materials and with research, materials, and guidance for educators who work with ELLs with disabilities. She is a member of the WIDA Standards Team and works closely with the WIDA Assessment and Professional Learning departments.

Previously, Lynn worked at WestEd, supporting the development and implementation of state and national English Language Development standards and conducting Common Core State Standards alignment studies. In addition, she supported the development of the PARCC K–2 Model Content Framework for English language arts and mathematics. She also worked at George Washington University, where she helped SEAs refine their ELL accommodation policies and guideline and created online trainings to support their implementation. Lynn has a Ph.D. from George Mason University in education, a master’s from the University at Buffalo in elementary education, and a bachelor’s in history and political science from the University of Rochester.


This video interview was made possible by a generous grant from the National Education Association.