Sign Language Interpreters: Using Interpreters as a Reasonable Accommodation for Testing
Regardless of one's role in administering an assessment – as a professor in a college course or a psychological examiner conducting an evaluation – test providers recognize the importance of obtaining an accurate measurement of student learning, knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and skills.
It is well known that the language and structure of tests can present barriers to those who do not have a strong language base in English. In fact, extensive psychometric protocols are always employed when high stakes tests (e.g., personality tests, college entrance exams, etc.) are developed because it is known that test outcomes are influenced by the test taker’s language proficiency and cultural experiences. While academic course exams usually do not undergo such psychometric scrutiny, the goals are the same – to accurately assess the student’s learning rather than their language and test-taking abilities.