By, Stephanie Cawthon and Rachel Leppo
Accommodations are central to issues of access to education for students who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing (SDHH). 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 the current literature, focusing on the factors that are important to keep in mind when considering the use of accommodations for assessment. Using a qualitative meta-analytic approach, we searched for articles that provided information about the potential impact of the use of accommodations on test scores for SDHH, and found a total of 16 articles. There were mixed results across these studies, often related to the different types of accommodations used, the content areas of the tests, and policy implications for the study results. This paper outlined issues that will need further investigation in the future, including those used for the new Common Core State Standards.
Cawthon, S. & Leppo, R. (in press, 2013). Assessment accommodations on tests of academic achievement for students who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing: A qualitative meta-analysis of the research literature. American Annals of the Deaf.