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Development of an Accessible Receptive Language Assessment

  • Andrea Kirton
  • Zoe Robertson
  • Marcus Friday
  • Simon Judge

Speech and language therapists use a variety of published assessments in order to determine a child's receptive language level. These assessments traditionally use hand pointing as the method of access. Speech therapists often adapt these assessments for children with physical disability by separating out the pictures and using the child's alternative and often idiosyncratic communication method. This may be subjective and accuracy would be dependent on the therapist's familiarity with the child's system and their ability to interpret meaning correctly. The adaptations mean the assessment standardisation is no longer valid.

This project sets out to develop a receptive language assessment that is accessible to children with physical disability. This is a newly developed computer-based assessment. The assessment design was influenced by views expressed in an audit of current assessments. The assessment can be accessed via switches, headmouse or eye-gaze. This means the child's choice will not be open to interpretation by the assessor and the child can use their familiar and most accurate access method.

This project aims to design and evaluate the feasibility of such an assessment. The next step would be to create a standardised computer-based assessment which could benefit a range of client groups and therapists. 

Level of Session 
Age Group 
Topic of interest to people who use AAC
Primary school