American Educational Research Association 2019 Annual Meeting

English to Sign Language Translations of Assessments: Three Case Studies and Implications for Construct Validity, Stephanie Cawthon, Carrie Lou Garberoglio & Jeffrey Palmer; April 5-9, 2019

Presentation Summary: In designing accessible assessments of deaf students’ knowledge, the goal is to remove obstacles which lead to invalid interpretations of resultant test scores. One approach is to provide sign language translations of existing assessment items. In this paper we review the literature on approaches to sign language translation and describe protocols used for three different measurement translation projects.

Understanding deaf individuals who are not in the labor force: A cluster analysis. , Carrie Lou Garberoglio, Stephanie Cawthon, Jeffrey Palmer & Adam Sales; April 5-9, 2019

Presentation Summary: Deaf people are increasingly gaining access to continuing education and training opportunities after high school, yet almost half of deaf people opt out of the labor force. To better understand the characteristics of deaf people who do not participate in the labor force, a cluster analysis was conducted using data from the 2016 American Community Survey. This presentation will share the results of this cluster analysis. Findings can help researchers, policy-makers, and educators identify risk factors and design programming that takes those individual differences into account.

Educational Attainment by Deaf Students and Student Veterans with Hearing Loss, Jeffrey Palmer; April 5-9, 2019

Presentation Summary: Postsecondary education has become an increasingly important prerequisite for successful transition from military to civilian life. Since nonmilitary students with varying degrees of hearing loss attain lower levels of education than their hearing peers, this study investigates the relationship between veteran status, hearing loss, and educational attainment. This poster will share attainment data for Veterans with hearing loss and suggested barriers within the postsecondary setting.


Stephanie Cawthon, PhD

Caucasian woman with brown shoulder length hair and white shirt

Dr. Stephanie Cawthon’s mission is to translate research into practices that helps millions of deaf Americans succeed after high school—at work, in training programs, or at a college or university. 

Her 28-year career in teaching and research has been dedicated to studying the different ways deaf people achieve educational success, how it leads to life satisfaction, and what schools, governments, and parents can do to help make sure #DeafSuccess happens. 

A national expert who presents regularly at international conferences, Dr. Cawthon’s research examines the multiple factors that affect how deaf people succeed after high school, investigates issues of equity and access in education, explores accommodations and accessible learning environments, and challenges systemic standards that may be holding some students back. Her research has been funded by nearly $25 million in federal and other grants. 

She literally wrote the book on the topic. Dr. Cawthon co-authored Shifting the Dialog, Shifting the Culture: Pathways to Successful Postsecondary Outcomes for Deaf Individuals with Associate Director Carrie Lou Garberoglio, Ph.D., a publication that a leading journal called “an important contribution to the field.” They also co-authored Research in Deaf Education: Contexts, Challenges and Considerations in 2017. 

Her first book, Accountability-Based Reforms: The Impact of Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students, won the Exceptional Book of the Year Award in 2012 from Exceptionality Education International. 

Dr. Cawthon grew up hard of hearing herself, and her own transition to college was not seamless. Raised oral in mainstream schools, she attempted the accommodations strategies she used in high school, then quickly realized they were inadequate in a large university setting. She went on to earn her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Psychology from Stanford University, where her initial line of research in the language development in deaf children launched her career. Dr. Cawthon received her doctorate in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2002, where she became a systems thinker focused on educational access, equity, and attainment. 

Current Affiliations and Appointments 

  • Professor, Department of Educational Psychology | University of Texas at Austin
  • Board of Directors and Director of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Institute | Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at the University of Texas at Austin 
  • Provost’s Teaching Fellow Emeritus | University of Texas at Austin 
  • Director of Research and Evaluation | Drama for Schools 
  • Associate Editor | Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education
  • Book Review Editor | American Annals of the Deaf
  • Principal Reviewer | Journal of Educational Psychology
  • Editorial Board Member | Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability; American Annals of the Deaf; Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities
  • Member | Advisory Board of School Psychology Forum; Student with Disabilities Assessment Advisory Task Force for the Council of Chief State School Officers; Technical Advisory Committee for the National Center on Educational Outcomes; Technical Advisory Committee for ELPA21 Assessment Consortium at UCLA; Advisory Committee of Assessment of English Language Learners for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

Carrie Lou Garberoglio, PhD

Photo of Carrie Lou

Dr. Carrie Lou Garberoglio is an educational researcher and evaluator. Her research examines deaf individuals’ psychological processes in a variety of contexts: teaching, language learning, computer-mediated communication, and transition from secondary to postsecondary settings. Carrie Lou has authored over 17 scholarly publications, two books, and numerous technical and evaluation reports. As a part of her goal to increase research rigor in work that involves deaf communities, Carrie Lou is the co-editor of Research in Deaf Education: Contexts, Challenges, Considerations, published by Oxford University Press in 2017. She also teaches research methods and statistics coursework at the University of Northern Colorado. As a deaf person who was raised in the deaf community, Carrie Lou is committed to increasing the accessibility of research for deaf audiences, using ASL in video formats to translate and disseminate complex academic content. Carrie Lou holds two master’s degrees, the first in Deaf Education and Deaf Studies from Lamar University, and the second in Program Evaluation from the University of Texas at Austin. She obtained her PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Jeffrey Palmer, PhD

Photograph of Jeffrey Palmer

Dr. Jeffrey Levi Palmer is a researcher. He is interested in not only the formative factors that result in the best language, literacy, and academic outcomes, but also which educational and social practices continue to elevate young deaf adults. His research examines understudied bilinguals, such as heritage bimodal bilinguals and visual-gestural unimodal bilinguals. He has taught linguistics and language acquisition to deaf postsecondary students both face-to-face and online. For more than a decade he has worked as a professional sign language interpreter (NIC, Ed:K–12) in a variety of specialized and technical settings. He is on the Test Development Committee for the Center for Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation and is vice chair of Deaf-Parented Interpreters with the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. He holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in Chinese language and culture from the Friends World College at Long Island University and obtained master’s and doctoral degrees in linguistics at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.