We would like first to congratulate you on an excellent job of editing the Annals. We are delighted to see the high level of scholarship and quality of the articles that has been maintained since you assumed the leadership.
Second, we would like to address readers of the excellent empirically based article in the Summer 2013 issue of the Annals on assessment by Cawthon and Leppo (2013); it is comprehensive and will create a basis for future work not only in the empirical arena but also in the world of practice. Readers may want to also be aware that we published a book with Gallaudet University Press a few years ago, titled Assessing Deaf Adults (2005), which was designed to provide a platform for the many sensitive issues in testing adults who are deaf or hard of hearing; many of the same principles in that book would easily apply to the domain of the present article whose focus would seem to be more on the range of students in grades K–12 and perhaps beyond. In our book, we very explicitly address the diversity as well as the commonalities of language and educational experiences and challenges in the deaf and hard of hearing population. In fact, our original title used the term, “deaf and hard of hearing,” and we were disappointed when the publisher determined that the title would include the word “deaf ” only. However, most of the chapter titles include the phrase, deaf and hard of hearing.
On a historical note, readers may be interested to know that systematic inquiry into this important equity issue for deaf and hard of hearing test-takers began formally with the initiation in 1987 of a task force in response to the difficulty that deaf and hard of hearing teachers were having with certification tests. The task force expanded to include test equity and access issues for many purposes and came to be called the National Task force on Testing Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals. For many years, it met quarterly at Gallaudet University; our book was a logical outgrowth of the deliberations and recommendations of the task force for needed changes in testing practice with deaf and hard of hearing persons. We believe that the book can supplement the current article by articulating universal principles that can easily apply to deaf and hard of hearing test-takers of all ages and everywhere.
We all must continue to bend every effort to ensure true equity in this critical domain—an equity that has still not been achieved in many quarters.