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ASL Diagnostic and Evaluation Services

Merrill Learning Center, Room 2200
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ASL Diagnostic and Evaluation Services (ASL-DES) provides training, consultation and comprehensive measures of American Sign Language (ASL) proficiency and communicative competence. The data and information generated by ASL Diagnostic and Evaluation Services benefits not only individual language learning, but is also essential to Gallaudet University, institutions and governing bodies nationwide. Information pertaining to ASL proficiency is provided to ensure individuals have requisite language skills for (but not limited to):

  • Admission into academic programs
  • Core curriculum, practicum, internship and graduation
  • Professional opportunities and advancements

Diagnostic Assessment

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Diagnostic Assessment

Diagnostic Assessment services offer individuals feedback on the use of ASL, language discourse and communication aspects appropriate for various settings and purposes. Diagnostic Assessments identify strengths and areas needing improvement in an array of formats.

Format Descriptions:

Classroom Discourse Observations (CDO) capture not only aspects of ASL, but also discourse techniques/pragmatics, heuristic functions, and whether the environment is visually optimized. A classroom-based assessment would also note students' comprehension of the faculty, and the faculty's comprehension of the students. ASL Diagnostic and Evaluation Services (ASL-DES) video records the faculty in the classroom and then analyzes the video recording to identify strengths and areas needing improvement in the areas of visually optimized environments, discourse, and pragmatics. The faculty is then provided a personalized feedback session which includes the opportunity to review and discuss the video recording.

Focused Topic Preparation (FTP) is for individuals with more advanced ASL skills. Feedback and support is provided to "polish" a presentation, performance, vlog or pre-recorded video segment prepared for a specific purpose. Feedback is provided on specific language aspects as well as pragmatics.

If you have questions, please send an email to

American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI)

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The American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) at Gallaudet University is housed in ASL Diagnostic and Evaluation Services (ASL-DES).

The American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) is a holistic language evaluation used to determine global ASL proficiency at a given point in time. The ASLPI is a 20-30 minute video recorded interactive dialogue between the examinee and the interviewer. The interview is rated by a team of evaluators and examinees are awarded an overall proficiency level on a 0-5 rating scale. Except for LEVEL 5, the scoring process sometimes results in the assignment of a plus value (+). This does not represent a midway point between two levels, but may be inferred to indicate that the examinee exceeds the requirements for a particular level but does not satisfy in all respects the requirements of the next higher level. This language proficiency evaluation is not tied to any one course or curriculum nor does it measure a single skill in the language.

Due to rising costs, fees for the ASLPI will be assessed effective August 1, 2013. The new fee structure is as follows:

  • Applicants for undergraduate and graduate programs, and employment positions requiring the ASLPI prior to admission/hire: $165 per ASLPI evaluation
  • Matriculated full-time undergraduate, graduate students, and non-degree-seeking students: $35 per ASLPI evaluation
  • Gallaudet University faculty:  $110 per ASLPI evaluation. The Division of Academic Affairs will cover the cost for one ASLPI evaluation per academic year for faculty members who must take the ASLPI for reappointment, promotion, or tenure. If a second ASLPI evaluation is scheduled within the academic year, the faculty member must cover the cost.
  • Gallaudet University staff: $110 per ASLPI evaluation
  • Clerc Center administrators, teachers, and staff:  $110 per ASLPI evaluation
  • Other people: $165 per ASLPI evaluation

The process for paying fees will be outlined on the ASL-DES website: This web site also has a description of the evaluation, and information about the scheduling process, preparation for taking the evaluation, and post-interview processing and interpretation of results.

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