Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

International experts answer your questions about the choices, controversies, and decisions faced by the parents and educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

Question from A.L., Midwest, USA

I have a 15 year-old who has unilateral hearing loss and finally has an interpreter in her classes. I’d like to address ASL communication/language goals in her IEP. What test or tests do you recommend to identify the skill level for high school students? Her goal is to be fluent in ASL. Her college goals include attending RIT or Gallaudet. Because we are in a rural area and have limited access to qualified educators, I am figuring out a lot of these things on my own, including getting my daughter ASL instruction and figuring out the way to get her an interpreter in the classroom. My next question, is where can I get ideas on secondary language goals?

Question from A.L., Midwest, USA. Posted October 24, 2017.
Response from Stacey Tucci - Georgia Pathway to Language and Literacy

Gallaudet University has just came out with an ASL Assessment. You can find more information about that from the Gallaudet VL2 website. Without knowing the rationale for fluency in ASL, it is difficult to answer your question fully. Is this because she is not able to communicate effectively with spoken language or is the goal to become bilingual? Depending on the goal, the school’s responsibility to provide supports for ASL would be very different. Typically, it would not be the school’s responsibility to provide SPED supports to ensure fluency in a second language if she is progressing academically/socially using spoken language. If she has a progressive loss or cannot access instruction through spoken language, then they would have a greater amount of responsibility in providing SPED services for ASL development.