ASL Diagnostic and Evaluation Services

Merrill Learning Center, Room 2200
Web:  ASL-DES   Email:

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

Information about the ASL-DES core services is outlined below.

Classroom Discourse Observation (CDO)

Web:  ASL-CDO            Email:

Classroom Discourse Observation (CDO) is an assessment which captures not only aspects of ASL, but also discourse techniques/pragmatics, heuristic functions, and whether the environment is visually optimized. A classroom-based assessment also notes 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 utilizing a visually optimized environment, discourse, and pragmatics. The faculty is then provided a personalized feedback session which includes the opportunity to review and discuss the video recording.

Following the feedback session, each faculty is encouraged to participate in the CDO Mentoring Program which is tailored support to improve the specific areas that were identified in the CDO and discussed in the feedback session. A CDO Action Plan is implemented addressing the areas needing improvement in an interactive portal which includes independent activities and those guided by a mentor. This is a great opportunity for new and seasoned faculty to better understand classroom discourse and to enhance teaching strategies. 

Focused Topic Preparation (FTP)

Web:  ASL-FTP  Email:

This service 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.

American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI)

Web:  ASLPI    Email: 

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 20-25 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 proficiency level 5, the rating 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.

For more information about the ASLPI including but not limited to the scheduling process, fees, preparation, and post-interview details, please visit the website.