TAILIEUCHUNG - Testing the Hearing Impaired Candidate

The issue with testing Deaf candidates is a matter of administering the test in a written format. On average, Deaf people do not have the same reading skills as people who can hear. The average reading level of the Deaf is at the third grade level | November 9 1999 FILE MEMORANDUM Subject Testing the Hearing Impaired Candidate Our selection process affords people with disabilities the opportunity to request and obtain reasonable accommodations in testing procedures. When asked we should consider accommodating Deaf and hearing impaired candidates. The issue with testing Deaf candidates is a matter of administering the test in a written format. On average Deaf people do not have the same reading skills as people who can hear. The average reading level of the Deaf is at the third grade level. This is not necessarily a result of poor education rather it is due to an outage in knowing the best way to teach people who cannot hear about a written language they do not share with those around them. For perspective imagine trying to learn to read and write Japanese characters if you are not already familiar with Japanese from inside a sound-proof cell. There is no audible equivalent to what you are trying to learn and we rely very strongly on the audible equivalent when we learn to read and write. The Deaf may have sign language but there is not a word-for-word translation with English or another spoken language. This is not to say that Deaf people don t learn to read and write well. They simply have a harder time and may not be as proficient in the end. Also note some Deaf people are fluent speakers however this does not mean they have any better reading and writing skills than those Deaf people sho do not speak. The guiding principle in accommodating disabled candidates is to ensure we are assessing the skills we intend to assess. In terms of the PST we are assessing problem solving skills. It is clear that the written equivalent of any spoken language would at best be a second language to a Deaf candidate. Administering our tests in a written format confounds the resulting score with an assessment of reading skills of a second language no less . The only way to administer the tests in a fair and unbiased way is to .

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