Assessment Validity & Reliability: Adapting Early Grade Reading Assessments for Children with Disabilities and Ensuring Valid & Reliable Instruments [CIES 2023 Presentation]

USAID’s All Children Reading–Cambodia (ACR) project seeks to improve the EGR abilities of children in preschool to Grade 2 ACR proposes to achieve its goals by developing, testing, and implementing a rigorous, practical, and scalable intervention in Khmer language for this student population in at least two provinces. These provinces currently include Kampong Thom and Kampot. In 2018, RTI received additional funding from USAID under the All Children Learning award to expand the integration of inclusive education principles into the existing EGR programming. Using this additional funding, ACR worked on the development and piloting of an adapted Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) for students using braille and sign language. This presentation will discuss the lessons learned from the ACR adapted EGRA pilot and other EGRA adaptations in developing nations for learners using braille or sign language. It will do so from the lens of data collection methods, data analysis, instrument pilot analysis, and analysis of instrument reliability and validity. Adapting an EGRA to suit these needs is drastically different to adapting an EGRA for a new spoken and written language, as language acquisition for these populations don’t follow the same underlying assumptions included in the foundation of early EGRA development. This presentation will discuss the challenges faced in adapting EGRAs for these learners, current thinking on best practices for measuring language acquisition and literacy rates, and strategies for avoiding common pitfalls other programs have fallen prey to.