Information for Deaf people, Participants and Parents

Our tests are designed to be used by qualified professionals and researchers. If you wish to be tested, or to have your child assessed, please seek advice from a qualified professional who will be able to approach us to obtain permission and/or training to use the tests.


Examples of the professionals who may be able to use the assessments:

  • Teachers
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Educational Psychologists
  • Clinical Psychologists
  • Occupational Therapists

DCAL Assessment Clinic

Assessments by clinically qualified experts in deafness and sign language are available at DCAL.

We can provide communication, cognitive and psychology assessments of:

  • Deaf sign language users
  • Deaf children who do not appear to be making progress with either spoken or sign language
  • Deaf children and adults with additional disabilities, e.g. people with Usher Syndrome, cerebral palsy, learning difficulties
  • Deaf people who have had a stroke or head injury,
  • Deaf people who have been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease or another brain condition
  • Older Deaf people who are concerned about changes in their memory or thinking skills
  • Deaf children and adults who have recently arrived in the UK and who have limited communication abilities
  • Deaf people with persistent reading difficulties
  • Learning disability
  • Deaf people with difficulty understanding faces or recognising people
  • Other difficulties - please contact us to discuss your requirements

British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test

Information about the test

The British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test was originally developed by Ros Herman, Sallie Holmes & Bencie Woll in 1999. The test measures children's understanding of sign language grammar in sentences. Teachers and researchers use the test to assess a child's sign language development and check progress. If a child is not making good progress, the test can pinpoint areas of sign language for teachers to target. The test is for deaf children between the ages of 3 and 12 years who use sign language. It can also be used with older children whose sign language skills are delayed.

The original Receptive Skills Test was presented on DVD. We have updated the test so that children can carry it out on a computer or tablet via the test website. The project team is currently up-dating the test scores. This means that children who take the test can be compared with more recent test norms.

What does the test involve?

To do the test, children first name some simple pictures. Next, children watch sentences in BSL on the computer. For each sentence, the child chooses the picture that matches the meaning of the test sentence. When children start to find the test difficult, the test will automatically stop. The test takes about 20 minutes. At the end of the test, the teacher will receive a report with the child's test score which they can share with parents.

Before taking the test: Giving consent

Children normally take the test individually in school. Before starting the test, the teacher/researcher will explain to parents what is involved. Parents need to sign a consent form agreeing to their child taking the test. Parents can also consent to their child's information being used in research, like the age, gender and how long they have been signing, etc., including test results. Participation in research is optional.

Before starting the test: Information about children

Once parents have given their consent, the teacher/researcher will enter some background information about the child into the test website, e.g. age, language(s) spoken/signed, etc. Each child is given a project number to ensure that information about them is kept confidential. If you give your consent, the information will only be accessed by the project team - Ros Herman, Bencie Woll and Kate Rowley, and will be stored securely on the website database for at least 10 years.

To use the test: information for testers

To register to use this test, please click on the link labelled Researchers & Practitioners.

Any questions?

Please contact Ros Herman if you have any questions about the test: R.C.Herman@city.ac.uk

Any problems?

This project has been approved by City University London School of Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee (LCS). If you would like to complain about any aspect of the project, you can contact Anna Ramberg and inform her that that the name of the project is ‘Development of a web-based version of the British Sign Language Receptive Skills Test.’


Anna Ramberg

Secretary to Senate Research Ethics Committee

Research Office E214

City University London

Northampton Square

London

EC1V 0HB

Email: Anna.Ramberg.1@city.ac.uk

Tel: 020 7040 3040

About the TAS

The Test of Adult Speechreading (TAS) is an assessment of silent speechreading in adults.

Respondents watch video clips of silent speech produced by a male or female speaker, and select the matching picture from an array. All video clips were recorded using natural speech but are played without sound.

The test measures speechreading ability at three levels: words, sentences and short stories.

Who is the TAS suitable for?

Deaf or hearing adults.

Normative data is available for:

  • Deaf adults aged 21 - 60 years
  • Hearing adults aged 16 - 76 years

Who can administer the TAS?

The TAS has been designed to be administered by researchers or professionals who have experience of working with deaf adults.

Administration includes entering participant details, delivering the instructions and guiding participants through the correct sections.

Any Questions?

Please contact Mairead Macsweeney: m.macsweeney@ucl.ac.uk.

What is the TOCS?

The Test of Child Speechreading (TOCS) is an assessment of silent speechreading in children. It is a child-friendly, speech-to-picture matching task. The child sees a video clip of silent speech and has to select the correct picture from an array. TOCS is easy to administer and provides a snapshot of speechreading ability in approximately 20 minutes.

There are three subtests that measure speechreading skills at three different levels: words, sentences and short stories.

All videos were recorded using natural speech but played without sound to measure silent speechreading.

Who suitable for?

Deaf and hearing children

TOCS has been standardised on deaf and hearing children aged between 5 and 14 years old. Normative data is available for this age range.

The single word subtest can also be used with children as young as 3 years old.

Who can administer?

TOCS is designed to be administered by researchers or professionals who have experience of working with children. The administrator enters participant details, delivers instructions and guides through the correct sections.

With younger children it is advisable that the experimenter controls the play button to start the video clips.

Any questions?

Please email Fiona Kyle: Fiona.Kyle.1@city.ac.uk.

What is the Nonsense Sign Repetition Test (NSRT)?

The NSRT is a computer-based assessment of nonsense sign repetition in children. It is a child-friendly, video repetition task where the child sees a video clip of a nonsense sign and has to copy exactly the sign that s/he saw. The NSRT is easy to administer and provides a snapshot of the child’s ability to process new signs in approximately 20 minutes. It has been specifically designed to be suitable for use with deaf children.

Who is the NSRT suitable for?

The test is for children between the ages of 3 and 11 years.

Who can administer the NSRT?

It has been designed to be administered by researchers or clinicians who have experience of working with children. The experimenter needs to enter the participants’ details and evaluate children’s responses. With younger children it is advisable that the experimenter controls the play button to start the video clips.

What is the CDI?

The BSL Communicative Development Inventory (CDI) is a developmental checklist of signs used and understood by babies and infants aged 8-36 months. It is easy to complete online and provides a snapshot of a child’s sign vocabulary in BSL.

Who suitable for?

The CDI is intended for use with deaf or hard of hearing babies and infants aged 8-36 months.

It is not designed to measure sign language development in older children or adults with learning disabilities or those who use Makaton.

Who can administer?

The CDI is completed by parents – following the instructions of a researcher or professional who has experience of working with young deaf children.

Any Questions?

Please email Bencie Woll: b.woll@ucl.ac.uk.

What is the BSL Vocabulary Test (VT)?

The BSL Vocabulary Test is a computer-based assessment of sign language understanding and production in children. It consists of a series of child-friendly tasks that include pictures and video-recorded signs. The BSL-VT is easy to administer and provides a snapshot of a child’s BSL vocabulary knowledge. It has been specifically designed to be suitable for use with deaf children.

Who is the VT suitable for?

The BSL-VT has been developed for deaf and hearing children aged between 4 and 15 years old.

Who can administer the BSL-VT?

It has been designed to be administered by researchers or clinicians who have experience of working with children. The experimenter needs to enter the participants’ details, guide them through the correct sections, and evaluate children’s responses. With younger children it is advisable that the experimenter controls the play button to start the video clips.

What is the CST?

The BSL Cognitive Screening Test is an assessment of cognition designed to detect dementia and acquired cognitive impairment in older deaf adults who use British sign language. It is designed to screen all areas of cognition, with items relating to memory, language, executive function, visuospatial ability, orientation and attention.

It is a clinician-operated test, with standardised items and video instructions presented to the respondent in BSL. The clinician operates the test and enters response data. The CST takes approximately 30–45 minutes to complete.

Who suitable for?

The CST is designed for assessment of older deaf adults where there is concern about a change in cognition. It can also be used as a clinical baseline for future comparison.

The CST has been standardised on 226 deaf adults aged between 50 and 89 years old. Normative data is available for four age-bands: 50-59,60-69, 70-79, 80-89.

The CST is not suitable for measuring cognition in deaf adults with developmental disorders or learning disabilities.

Who can administer?

The CST must be administered only by clinical psychologists or psychiatrists who are fluent in BSL and have received training in test delivery and interpretation.

Any Questions?

Please email Jo Atkinson: joanna.atkinson@ucl.ac.uk.

What is the SRT

The BSL Sentence Reproduction Test (SRT) measures the ability of adults to repeat BSL sentences shown in video clips. The respondent has to exactly copy sign sentences of increasing length and grammatical complexity. Their responses are recorded. A webcam is required.

This test measures both sign language ability and working memory.

Who is the SRT suitable for?

Deaf or hearing adults who use, or are learning, British Sign Language.

The BSL Sentence Reproduction Test (SRT) is for research, educational assessment or exploratory clinical purposes only. It has not yet been normed so cannot be used diagnostically.

  • It can be used to collect baseline and improvement data for people learning sign language.
  • It is a useful measure of British sign language fluency
  • A tool for exploring acquired sign language or memory impairments in clinical settings

Who can administer?

This test should be administered by researchers or professionals who are fluent users of British Sign Language.

The administrator enters respondent details and checks they have understood the online BSL instructions. The participant then completes the test independently. The administrator scores the webcam recordings of the respondent's signed sentences which are stored online in the DCAL Portal.

Any Questions?

Please email Kearsy Cormier: k.cormier@ucl.ac.uk

What is the AAB?

The BSL Aphasia Assessment Battery (AAB) is a clinical battery measuring British Sign Language and gesture ability in adults.

The tests are video-based task with BSL instructions. Responses can be entered either by the participant or the clinician by selecting the correct picture from an array.

Who suitable for?

The AAB intended for use with adult British sign language users with suspected acquired or developmental language impairment.

The tasks in the AAB are easy and healthy deaf adult signers will make few errors. It is designed to screen for aphasia and language difficulties in deaf adults. The pattern of errors they make on the tests provide detailed diagnostic information.

The AAB provides a profile of British Sign Language and gesture ability in deaf adults who have:

  • A stroke, a neurological condition such as dementia or a brain injury
  • Developmental language impairment
  • Specific Language Impairment

Other uses may include:

  • Assessment of knowledge of BSL by home-signers or those arriving from other countries
  • Educational assessment and BSL teaching purposes

Who can administer?

The AAB has been designed to be administered by clinicians or researchers who have experience of working with adults with brain injuries or language impairments. Sign language teachers or educators may use the tests for specific purposes with permission.

The administrator must enter the participants’ details, deliver the instructions and guide them through the correct sections.

Any Questions?

Please email Jo Atkinson: joanna.atkinson@ucl.ac.uk.