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Test Equity for Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Video Discussions of Test Equity Issues Test Equity Summit Participants Test Equity Publications

The 2008 Test Equity Summit convened by the Postsecondary Education Programs Network (PEPNet) identified the problems, challenges, and issues that academic and psychoeducational tests pose for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.  The Test Equity Summit Report summarizes the concerns outlined by twelve experts attending the Summit and examines the impact of growing up with different English experiences.  It also addresses the lack of standards for administering tests that that do not always reflect the knowledge of individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.  Specific guidelines for policy makers, parents, educators, and psychologists are provided.

Participants in the summit included specialists on deafness and educational testing; individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing; test and test accommodation developers; language and communication researchers; academicians; K-12 educators and administrators; health professionals; and clinicians with extensive experience in psychoeducational evaluation.

Fundamental Test Equity Issues Identitied by Participants

  • The need for a solid first-language base
  • Lack of professionals' experience in providing accommodations
  • The increasing importance of testing
  • The design and wording of tests
  • Testing accommodations
  • Lack of standards for giving tests and using the results
  • Transition to postsecondary and employment
  • Psycho educational testing, assessment and evaluation