Assessment Deafblind Children

Validation of Evidence-based Assessment Strategies to Promote Achievement in Children who are Deafblind

Funded by: U. S. Department of Education
Grant # H324D030001

Dr. Charity Rowland, Oregon Health & Science University
Dr. Deborah Chen, California State University-Northridge
Dr. Robert Stillman, University of Texas at Dallas
Dr. Harvey Mar, Columbia University National Family Association for Deaf-Blind

Dates: January 1, 2004 - December 31, 2009


Quality assessment establishes a foundation for an appropriate education. Children who are deafblind are often labeled "difficult to test", implying that the fault lies with the children, as opposed to the instruments used to test them. Assessments developed for children without disabilities are unlikely to be useful for children who experience dual sensory impairments, although they are often used to assess them. Assessments developed for children with vision or hearing impairments or for children with developmental disabilities may have some applicability, but are unlikely to be completely appropriate without adaptations. Some assessments have been developed specifically for children who are deafblind: these, however, are not likely to be supported by extensive reliability or validity studies, nor are they typically accompanied by "normative" data. If we question the quality of the assessments conducted on children who are deafblind, then we must also question the quality of the educational decisions and the instructional programs that are based upon those assessment efforts. The goals of this project were: to identify the instruments used to assess children ages 2-8 who are deafblind and the purposes for which they are used; to conduct validation studies on instruments that are used to generate instructional goals and to monitor student progress; to produce final products that summarize the data generated by these studies, translating the data into recommendations for the assessment of young children who are deafblind. The assessment instruments to be validated were ones that address communicative/social development or cognitive development. Project results are expected to promote high quality assessment of children who are deafblind, the generation of appropriate educational goals related to communication, social and cognitive development, the identification of appropriate instructional strategies, and a strong connection between assessment and the achievement of specific educational outcomes.

Additional Information Related to this Project:

Instructional Materials for Purchase/Download:

Rowland, C. (Ed.). Assessing Communication and Learning in Young Children Who are Deafblind or Who Have Multiple Disabilities. Portland, OR: Oregon Health & Science University. (pdf for download)

Assessment forms for guide, above: