Exploring alternative assessments for signing deaf candidates

Rachel O'Neill*, Audrey Cameron, Eileen Burns, Gary Quinn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Attitudes to sign languages, or language policies, are often not overtly discussed or recorded but they influence deaf young people’s educational opportunities and outcomes. Two qualitative studies from Scotland investigate the provision of British Sign Language (BSL) as an accommodation in public examinations. The first explores the views of deaf pupils and staff about the official system for face-to-face interpretation of exam papers. The second investigates a centrally translated digital paper with embedded video questions. Discussion focuses on contrasts between the USA and UK approaches to accommodations, raising issues of standardised technical terms in signed languages, the right to respond in sign, and candidate choice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Early online date15 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2019


  • assessment
  • BSL
  • ASL
  • examinations
  • language policy
  • deaf


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