Measure What Matters, and Create Accountability for Equity


Assessment Equity for Deaf Students: The Nexus between Disability and English Language Learners, Stephanie Cawthon and Jennifer Higgins

Presentation Summary: Designing accessible assessments for deaf students involves considerations of both accessibility of tests and language-learning experiences of deaf students. This presentation will address decisions on accommodations and language translations of assessments. The presenters will share perspectives on test accessibility for deaf students and sample cases of complex intersections of accessible assessment and accountability.


Jen Higgins

Headshot of woman with chin-length straight dark hair and purple shirt

Jen Higgins has 15 years of experience managing research and development programs that focus on accessibility. Over this time, she has led the coordination of three Enhanced Assessment Grant (EAG) projects and has directed all activities for a fourth, which focused on research and development of guidelines for American Sign Language (ASL) and audio representation of K-12 assessment content. At NDC, Jen coordinates the process of identifying, studying, and disseminating practices at sites across the country that support positive outcomes for deaf individuals. Jen has published more than one dozen articles and has co-authored one book on high-stakes testing. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia and a Master’s Degree in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation from Boston College.