UPDATED: August 9, 2023

Eugene, OR— Avant Assessment, who delivered the world’s first online, computer-adaptive language proficiency test, and Bridges Oregon, a nonprofit organization serving Oregonians who are Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing or face other communication barriers, collaborated on the development of the Avant STAMP online language proficiency assessment for American Sign Language (ASL).The assessment evaluates the Receptive and Expressive skills of second language learners of ASL age 13 and above. This test is primarily designed for middle and high school programs.

A Shared Purpose to Support Access Through Language Learning

Avant Assessment is dedicated to improving equity, access, and understanding through the improved teaching and learning of languages. When Avant sought an expert partner in the ASL language and culture, they were pleased to find an organization just 50 miles away from their Eugene, Oregon headquarters. Located in Salem, Oregon, Bridges Oregon is one of only two organizations that deliver the National Sign Language Assessment (NSLA) which uses the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) to assess ASL interpreters. Bridges Oregon is the only dedicated Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing nonprofit organization that provides advocacy and accompaniment services in Oregon. For every test purchased and delivered, a portion of the proceeds will be contributed to Bridges Oregon in support of their mission. Bridges Oregon has veteran non-hearing ASL K-12 teachers who were instrumental in guiding the Avant test development team in building the assessment. In addition, Bridges Oregon introduced ASL experts to be part of the team of Avant Certified Raters who review and rate individual test taker responses.

“As a visual language, ASL presents new test design and technology challenges for online assessment,” says David Bong, CEO of Avant, “and we are thrilled to have Bridges Oregon’s expert support in developing and administering the test. ASL is a quickly growing language in schools across the country. STAMP for ASL will meet the needs of ASL education programs and ASL learners by providing a way to obtain data that will support analysis and professional learning.  This will support improvements in learning outcomes and enable learners to qualify for Seals of Biliteracy.” Avant’s ASL assessment follows the same rigorous standards as all of the STAMP tests and is based on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.

“Bridges Oregon looked forward to participating in this new opportunity with Avant and being able to witness a new technology milestone that allows an ASL assessment to be available through Avant’s innovative computer adaptive technology with support from our heritage language scoring assessment team,” says Chad A. Ludwig, Executive Director of Bridges Oregon, “and this partnership is significant as it increases resources to schools.”

About Avant Assessment

Avant Assessment is dedicated to developing and delivering language proficiency solutions that improve the teaching and learning of languages. Education programs from elementary to Schools, universities, businesses, government organizations, and individuals around the world use Avant’s Assessments to award competency-based credits and credentials, analyze testing data to improve instructional outcomes, and identify areas for professional development to improve proficiency outcomes. Avant’s MORE Learning training and professional learning practice complements their assessments by providing training that supports programs that are striving to improve proficiency outcomes. For more than 20 years, Avant has delivered STAMP (STAndards-based Measurement of Proficiency), the world’s first online adaptive four-skill (Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking) language proficiency assessment, originally developed at the University of Oregon. Avant’s solutions are about real-world proficiency development, pairing innovative technologies with human expertise. For more information,.

About Bridges Oregon

Bridges Oregon is a nonprofit for Oregonians who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing or face other communication barriers. It is in our mission to facilitate equity and inclusiveness and to provide a bridge to opportunities through advocacy, education, and communication. For more information visit https://bridgesoregon.org