Cawthon, S. W., Winton, S. M., Garberoglio, C. L., & Gobble, M. E. (2011). The effects of American Sign Language as an assessment accommodation for students who are deaf or hard of hearing . Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education , 16 (2), 198–211. https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enq053
Cawthon, S. W., Winton, S. M., Garberoglio, C. L., & Gobble, M. E. (2011). The effects of American Sign Language as an assessment accommodation for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 16(2), 198–211. https://doi.org/10.1093/deafed/enq053
The accommodation examined was sign interpretation. Test items were administered under two conditions, standard and American Sign Language (ASL). In the standard condition, the directions for each item were administered in ASL (which students watched on a DVD), but the items themselves were provided only in written English. In the ASL-accommodated condition, the directions as well as the test items were provided in ASL (on DVD), and in written English in the students' test booklet.
Sixty-four students who were deaf or hard of hearing from throughout the U.S. participated. Participants ranged in ages from 10–15 years old, and in grades 5–8. All participants completed test items in both conditions of the study.
The dependent variables were scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) Reading, parts 1 and 2, and Mathematics, parts 1 and 3. Standardized normed scores were calculated for each student. Students also were surveyed on linguistic background, to determine the effects of exposure to ASL and student proficiency in each subject area on student performance on assessments.
No significant differences were found in overall performance between the standard and ASL-accommodated conditions in either reading or mathematics. Hierarchical linear regression analyses to examine whether exposure to ASL and/or student proficiency in a subject area predicted student performance revealed that subject area proficiency was a strong predictor of student performance. However, ASL exposure was largely not a significant predictor of performance. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.