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Guidelines for the Assessment and Educational Evaluation of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Pre-Academic/Academic Skills Evaluation


Assessment of pre-academic skills or a developmental evaluation of readiness skills (e.g., visual discrimination skills, identification of letters and numbers, identification of body parts, matching, predicting, sorting, and basic concepts) is important for developing goals and objectives and for determining whether the student has needed foundational skills on which to build further academic instruction.

Evaluation of academic skills should provide information regarding the student’s present level of functioning. This may include formal, standardized evaluations of student’s skills, as well as a review of academic progress in their current program and documentation of previous assessment data as pertinent to the current referral, including:

  • Ability to engage in simple and complex awareness
  • Matching forms and letters
  • Demonstrating an understanding of one-to-one correspondence
  • Understanding that letters and numbers represent something
  • Completing simple and complex sequences
  • Early literacy skills, such as being interested in books, retelling parts of a story, or scribbling
  • Early math skills, such as number sense and operations, patterns, spatial relations, or measurement

Click here for sample assessments tools

It is important for the teams to understand the differences between planning options, such a 504 plan and IEP, and the effects they can have on the program being developed for the student. The 504 Plan addresses only the accommodations being provided and monitored by personnel assigned by the 504 team. The IEP addresses direct ongoing monitoring of the student’s progress for special education and related services.