Effects of Accommodations on Test Scores for Deaf Students

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Accommodations are central to issues of access to education for deaf students. However, there are often concerns that accommodations might change the difficulty of a test, particularly when those changes involve different language modalities (e.g., ASL or a signed version of a standardized measure). This paper reviewed current literature, focusing on the factors that are important to keep in mind when considering the use of accommodations for assessments. Using a qualitative meta-analytic approach, we searched for articles that provided information about the potential impact of the use of accommodations on test scores for deaf students and found a total of 16 articles. There were mixed results across these studies, often related to the different types of accommodations used, the content areas of the tests, and policy implications for the study's results. This paper outlines issues that need further investigation in the future, including those used for the new Common Core State Standards.