Join Together: A Nationwide On-Line
Community of Practice and Professional
Development School Dedicated to Instructional
Effectiveness and Academic Excellence within
Deaf/Hard of Hearing Education
Objective 2.4 – Assessment
Topical Team Leaders – John Luckner, Ed.D. and Sandy Bowen, Ph.D.
Currently, assessment plays a critical role in our schools and society. It has been defined as “…a
process of collecting data for the purpose of making decisions about individuals and groups”
(Salvia & Ysseldyke, 2004, p. 4). This process is often used for a variety of important reasons,
1. Determine if a student is in need of special assistance or enrichment.
2. Plan instruction (what to teach, how to teach, where to teach, and what expectations are
3. Evaluate student progress.
4. Evaluate instructional programs.
5. Document the achievement of students (accountability).
6. Evaluate school improvement.
Given the essential role that assessment plays for individuals, educational programs, and
communities, gathering accurate data is imperative. However, this is a challenging undertaking
for professionals who work with students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The purpose of this document is to summarize “best practices” in the area of assessment of
students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Whenever possible, we have tried to adhere to a format
that includes: (a) subtopic title; (b) rationale; (c) general guidelines – hearing students; (d) formal
assessment best practices – hearing students; (e) informal assessment best practices – hearing
students; (f) general guidelines – students who are deaf or hard of hearing; (g) formal assessment
best practices – students who are deaf or hard of hearing; (h) informal assessment best practices
– students who are deaf or hard of hearing; (i) references; and (j) appendices.
This document is being made available with an understanding that assessment practices and
materials change quickly. We also acknowledge the fact that there are multiple opinions about
what are the best approaches and/or tools to use for assessing students who are deaf or hard of
hearing. As such, we expect that over time this material will be modified due to feedback from
professionals in the field and the dynamic nature of assessment in our current society.
Topics and Contributing Authors
Literacy – Students who are Hearing - Jennifer Johnson Howell, Ed.D.
Literacy - Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing – Ann Velaski, M.A.
Language - Alfred H.White, Ph.D.
Math and Science - Sam Slike, Ph.D.
Test Adaptations - Jennifer Wolf, M.Ed.
Outcome Assessment Studies – Diane Heller Klein, Ph.D.
Assessment of the Instructional Environment –John Luckner, Ed.D.
Multicultural Aspects of Assessment – Sandy Bowen, Ph.D.
High-Stakes Accountability Assessment - Sheryl Muir, Ed.D.