Cawthon, S. W., Leppo, R., Ge, J. J., & Bond, M. (2015). Accommodations use patterns in high school and postsecondary settings for students who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing . American Annals of the Deaf , 160 (1), 9–23.

Journal Article

Cawthon, S. W., Leppo, R., Ge, J. J., & Bond, M. (2015). Accommodations use patterns in high school and postsecondary settings for students who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing. American Annals of the Deaf, 160(1), 9–23.


Braille; Calculation device or software (interactive); Dictated response; Dictated response (scribe); Electronic administration; Enlarged print (on paper); Extended time; Hearing impairment (including deafness); Multiple disabilities; Oral delivery; Oral delivery of directions only; Oral delivery, live/in-person; Out-of-level testing; Postsecondary; Signed administration; Signed response; Specialized setting; Teacher survey; Technological aid; U.S. context




This study analyzed secondary data regarding use patterns of instructional and testing accommodations; this summary emphasizes only testing accommodations. The researchers categorized accommodations according to those supporting language/communication, and those not doing so. Language/communication accommodations were test reader for instructions and/or test items (in-person oral delivery), braille and large-print, signed test instructions, assistive devices, alternative response formats, and scribe for students' dictated responses. Non-language/communication accommodations were abbreviated test (fewer items), alternative test form (also called "out-of-level test"), additional time (extended time), alternative setting, and "additional supports" (p. 14).


An extant longitudinal dataset from the second National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS2) was examined; the data from participants who were Deaf and hard-of-hearing (students with hearing impairments) within that dataset numbered approximately 1,000. The data were from NLTS2's waves 1, 3, 4, and 5; wave 1 students were in middle or high school (ages 13-16), and each successive wave of data collection was two years after the previous wave. An inclusion criterion for participation in this study was that participants had been in postsecondary education during waves 3, 4, or 5; with these considerations, the final sample size was 210.

Dependent Variable

Participating students' data, including demographic information, incidence of accommodations use, and persistence in postsecondary education, were collected through phone interviews or paper surveys. Data were provided to NLTS2 by students' parents and school personnel.


The researchers reported accommodations use information pertaining to standardized testing, instruction, and also mental health supports; this summary emphasizes assessment accommodations. Postsecondary language/ communications accommodations use during assessments was about 10 percent, a decrease from 70 percent in high school; non-language/ communications accommodations use was 50 percent, compared with 60 percent in high school. Both of these decreases were statistically significant. Regression analyses of demographic factors and postsecondary accommodations use during testing indicated that students with both hearing impairments and another disability, and students of higher-income families, had higher likelihoods of receiving non-language/communication accommodations (e.g., extended time and abbreviated test). Accommodations use was not significantly related to persistence in or completion of postsecondary education. Limitations of the study were reported.