Avant Assessment and Bridges Oregon Collaborate on ASL Proficiency Test

Eugene, OR- Avant Assessment, who delivered the world’s first online, computer-adaptive language proficiency test, and Bridges Oregon, a nonprofit organization serving Oregonians who are Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing or face other communication barriers, are collaborating on the development of a STAMP online language proficiency assessment for American Sign Language (ASL). The assessment will evaluate the receptive and productive skills of second language learners of ASL. The receptive skills section of the assessment is expected to be available early Summer of 2022 and the productive skills section added in the Fall of 2022.

A Shared Purpose to Support Access Through Language Learning

Avant Assessment is dedicated to improving equity, access and understanding through the improved teaching and learning of languages. When Avant sought an expert partner in the ASL language and culture, they were pleased to find an organization just 50 miles away from their Eugene, Oregon headquarters. Located in Salem, Oregon, Bridges Oregon is one of only two organizations that delivers the National Sign Language Assessment (NSLA) which uses the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) to assess ASL interpreters. Bridges Oregon is the only dedicated Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing nonprofit organization that provides advocacy and accompaniment services in Oregon. For every test purchased and delivered, a portion of the proceeds will be contributed to Bridges Oregon in support of their mission. Bridges Oregon has veteran non-hearing ASL K-12 teachers on their team who will be instrumental in providing guidance to the Avant test development team in building the assessment. In addition, Bridges Oregon will introduce ASL experts to be part of the team of Avant raters who review and rate individual test taker responses.

“As a visual language, ASL presents new test design and technology challenges for online assessment,” says David Bong, CEO of Avant Assessment, “and we are thrilled to now have Bridges Oregon’s expert support as we develop the test. ASL is a quickly growing language in schools and universities across the country. STAMP for ASL will meet the needs of ASL education programs and ASL learners by providing a way to obtain data that will support analysis and professional learning. This will support improvements in learning outcomes and enable learners to qualify for Seals of Biliteracy.” Avant’s ASL assessment will follow the same rigorous standards as all of the STAMP tests and be based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.

“Bridges Oregon looks forward to participating in this new opportunity with Avant and being able to witness a new technology milestone that allows an ASL assessment to be available through Avant’s innovative computer-adaptive technology with support from our heritage language scoring assessment team,” says Chad A. Ludwig, Executive Director of Bridges Oregon, “and this partnership is significant as it increases resources to schools and universities.”

About Avant Assessment
Avant Assessment is dedicated to developing and delivering language proficiency solutions that improve the teaching and learning of languages. Education programs from elementary to Schools, universities, businesses, government organizations, and individuals around the world use Avant’s Assessments to award competency-based credits and credentials, analyze testing data to improve instructional outcomes, and identify areas for professional development to improve proficiency outcomes. Avant’s MORE Learning training and professional learning practice complements their assessments by providing training that supports programs that are striving to improve proficiency outcomes. For more than 20 years, Avant has delivered STAMP (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency), the world’s first online adaptive four-skill (Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking) language proficiency assessment, originally developed at the University of Oregon. Avant’s solutions are about real-world proficiency development, pairing innovative technologies with human expertise. For more information visit https://avantassessment.com.

About Bridges Oregon
Bridges Oregon is a nonprofit for Oregonians who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing or face other communication barriers. It is in our mission to facilitate equity and inclusiveness and to provide a bridge to opportunities through advocacy, education, and communication. For more information visit https://bridgesoregon.org. ###

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