myASL Quizmaker is a unique software that helps establish equity testing of deaf, hard of hearing, and other special needs children, youth, and adults who rely on American Sign Language (ASL) for communication. Public policy-making relies on accurate information, but standardized and other mandated tests may not accurately evaluate the abilities and knowledge of deaf individuals because tests are typically administered in English.
ASL is a visual/gestural language that is distinct from English, having its own grammar, syntax, vocabulary, etc. and has no text representation. Many deaf people who rely on sign language for communication do not have good facility with English, which is both spoken (an avenue to which they have no access) and written. Because English is an auditory mediated language that depends upon phonological code, reading achievement scores of deaf children usually fall far short of those found among hearing children of comparable abilities.
A particularly interesting aspect of the low reading skill levels displayed by deaf students is that while they may not understand a sentence in print, they may understand it perfectly if it is presented in ASL. Study after study has shown that a bilingual approach (i.e., combining ASL and English) can improve literacy and ensure comprehension.
This software enables a user (e.g., teacher, psychologist) to: (1) create customized tests, exams, and quizzes with automatic ASL graphic and video translations, (2) have their students take these, (3) obtain automatic scoring and statistical analyses, (4) generate reports, and (5) give grades and corrected quizzes to the individual students. The English-to-ASL translation capabilities of this assistive technology are includes a lexicon of over 30,000 English words, phrases, idioms, numbers, and symbols.