Testing Accommodations

Testing accommodations for deaf individuals has been a topic of focus over the past several years as experts in the field of deaf education, standardized assessments and psychological evaluations have recognized that many deaf people are uniquely at a disadvantage for English-based testing. The use of accommodations for testing is not an uncommon request in postsecondary settings for placement and course assessments. There has been much discussion over test equity for deaf students in a number of contexts. To determine any appropriate accommodations, one would want to understand what the test construct (what the test measures) and purpose (why the test is given) are. A key aspect when determining testing accommodations for deaf students is understanding the goal or outcome of the exam and what constitutes a reasonable accommodation to equally measure that outcome. Below are several resources that discuss the fundamental issues related to deaf individuals and testing.

Special Topics: Testing Accommodations

Accommodations are central to issues of access to education for deaf students. However, there are often concerns that accommodations might change the difficulty of a test, particularly when those changes involve different language modalities (e.g., ASL or a signed version of a standardized measure). This paper reviewed current literature, focusing on the factors that are important to keep in mind when considering the use of accommodations for assessments.
Deaf youth, like you, have many different hopes, dreams, and goals. Many programs and services are available to help you succeed.
Topics: Testing
Type(s): Guides
This step-by-step guide explains how to request and use accommodations on tests to help meet career goals. There are a variety of tests you may need to take to get a job or advance in your career
Type(s): Guides
Deaf youth, like you, have many different hopes, dreams, and goals. Many programs and services are available to help you succeed. One important program is vocational rehabilitation (VR), which helps you plan to reach your educational and career goals.
Useful For: Families, Students
This document provides an overview of English language proficiency (ELP), how it is measured when it comes to eligibility for English learner (EL) services, and what this may mean for deaf students.
This document provides background information and considerations for placement decisions for deaf students into developmental and college-level coursework.
This step-by-step guide explains how to request and use accommodations on standardized exams to help students meet their goals after high school.
The 2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing significantly elevated the importance of fairness in testing. The standards emphasize that fairness is an essential part of the validity of score interpretations. Thus, alongside validity and reliability, fairness gained status as one of three primary tenets of best practices in test design, development, implementation, and score interpretation. Furthermore, the standards emphasize the importance of considering the characteristics of all possible test takers throughout the entire testing process.
Topics: Testing
Type(s): Overviews
Many different test-taking issues affect deaf students, but linked to all of these issues are the differing experiences with English, professionals who do not have a full understanding of the learning experiences or backgrounds of deaf people, and the lack of testing standards. This summary for professionals will look at ways test accessibility for deaf people can be addressed.
Type(s): Research
This study explores frameworks surrounding assessment policy and practice for deaf and deafdisabled students, current research related to standardized assessment, and potential implications.
Topics: Testing
Type(s): Videos
Click on the below videos to meet the 2008 Test Equity Summit participants. These videos were developed during past cycles of Department of Education funding.

Need Help?

Fill out this form to get help from the NDC team.  Can’t see the form below? Click here to contact the NDC team.