Psycho-educational assessments of students who are bilingual with visual impairments: An exploratory study

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2013-08

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Abstract

A review of the current and historical literature on the psycho-educational assessment of students who are bilingual and who are also visually impaired exposed an area that is in need of study. The purpose of this research study is to establish what knowledge educational diagnosticians in one southwestern state possess in terms of psycho-educational assessment of students who are bilingual with visual impairments. The study is further aimed at understanding what assessment practices and procedures educational diagnosticians are using when assessing students who are bilingual with visual impairments. This study will seek to answer the following questions:

  1. What knowledge do educational diagnosticians in one southwestern state possess regarding psycho-educational assessment of students who are bilingual with visual impairment?
  2. What psycho-educational assessment practices and procedures are used by educational diagnosticians in one southwestern state when assessing students who are bilingual with visual impairments? Statistical indicators released by All Blind Children, a nonprofit organization supporting blind and visually impaired children, their families, and their teachers, reveal that there are 8,000 students with visual impairments in one southwestern state. This number suggests the need for an investigation into assessment practices with this particular population of students. Among those 8,000 students, an extrapolation of percentages from previous studies leads to an estimate of approximately 6,400 bilingual students with visual impairments; while bilingual educational diagnosticians number only 457 out of the entire 3,981 diagnosticians in one southwestern state. Given these current statistics many students who are bilingual and have a visual impairment are currently being served by non-bilingual educational diagnosticians.
    This study reflects a need to measure the effectiveness of current assessment practice for students in this population. Information on current practices can be applied to develop best practice assessment guidelines. The development of such guidelines will assist both bilingual and non-bilingual educational diagnosticians in the collection of student assessment data through student-appropriate evaluative measures. The aggregated data can then inform educational decisions about programming and placement.

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Keywords

Psychoeducational assessments, Psycho-educational assessments, Bilingual students, Non-bilingual educational diagnosticians, Students who are bilingual with visual impairments, Visual impairments, Educational diagnosticians, Bilingual educational diagnosticians, Southwestern state

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