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Assessment Considerations for Students with Hearing Loss: Part Two

post is a continuation from last week’s, in which I explained variables to
consider when assessing skills in speech, language, and self-advocacy. 

For the
areas of assessment covered in this post—audition, academic/ reading/ writing,
and psychological/ cognitive assessments—I have again listed some tests that
your team may want to consider when assessing deaf or hard of hearing students.
Because each student faces unique challenges and possesses different strengths,
you will have to work with your team to determine the best options.  My suggestions are meant to serve as examples.

Audition: As part of a comprehensive
assessment, we need to know what our students are accessing. AFunctionalListening Evaluationis sometimes a good
option to get a sense of the student’s access in the classroom. Other less
formal measures such as those on Karen Anderson’s site take less time to administer and provide similar information.

of audition tests:

Functional Auditory Performance Indicators

Contrasts for Auditory and Speech Training

COMPASS Test of Auditory Discrimination

Academic/Reading/Writing: Many schools
use a version of the Woodcock-Johnson to assess academic skills. While this is
generally considered to be the standard test, savvy students can appear more
skilled than they actually are by guessing correctly on the multiple-choice
items. More challenging tests—such as the Weschler Individual Achievement Test
(WIAT)—which require students to read passages and respond to open-ended
questions may provide a better picture of the student’s skills. Formal reading
(including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, decoding, vocabulary, accuracy
and self-correction, and comprehension) and a writing assessment should also be
included with test results compared with student work samples.

of academic/reading/writing tests:

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy
Skills (DIBELS)

Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS)

Gray Oral Reading Test 5 (GORT 5) 

Psychological/Cognitive: Testing in
this area is most often done by the school psychologist and analyzes verbal and
non-verbal abilities as well as auditory memory. A critical component of this
testing is to look at the difference between verbal and non-verbal scores.
Often our students with hearing loss will score lower in the verbal portions of
the test as a direct result of their hearing loss, which indicates the need for

of psychological/cognitive tests:

Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)

WPPSI for younger children, WAIS for students
age 17 and older

How are you involved with student assessment?

Hear Me Out

The Hear Me Out blog provides unique resources for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. It's a forum for itinerant teachers of the deaf to share their experiences as they grow as professionals! It is produced by Clarke's Mainstream Services team as part of our mission to support children with hearing loss and the professionals who serve them.

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About the Hear Me Out Blog

Itinerant teachers of the deaf (TOD) provide direct services to children with hearing loss in mainstream schools, consultation to their teachers, and professional development to school staff. Itinerant TODs travel to a child’s neighborhood school to provide one-on-one educational support, foster listening and spoken language development, and help children build social and self-advocacy skills. They also act as a liaison between the family and their mainstream school. Hear Me Out provides a unique forum for these special teachers to share their experiences as they grow as professionals.

Hear Me Out is produced by Mainstream Services at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech as part of our mission to support children with hearing loss and the professionals who serve them.

Hear Me Out Blog

About the Author

Heather Stinson (CAGS, MED, S/LP-A) received her master’s degree in Education of the Deaf from Smith College in 2006 and a graduate certificate in Children, Families, and Schools (with a concentration in research methodology) from the University of Massachusetts in 2012. In addition to her many years of experience working with children with hearing loss who communicate using listening and spoken language, Heather has also worked as a preschool classroom teacher.

Heather has presented both locally and nationally on issues related to mainstreaming students with hearing loss and is a contributing author to Odyssey magazine. Heather currently works as an itinerant teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing at Clarke Mainstream Services, a program of Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech.

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