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Assessing language skills in adult key word signers with intellectual disabilities: Insights from sign linguistics

Grove, N; Woll, B; (2017) Assessing language skills in adult key word signers with intellectual disabilities: Insights from sign linguistics. Research in Developmental Disabilities , 62 pp. 174-183. 10.1016/j.ridd.2017.01.017. Green open access

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Abstract

Manual signing is one of the most widely used approaches to support the communication and language skills of children and adults who have intellectual or developmental disabilities, and problems with communication in spoken language. A recent series of papers reporting findings from this population raises critical issues for professionals in the assessment of multimodal language skills of key word signers. Approaches to assessment will differ depending on whether key word signing (KWS) is viewed as discrete from, or related to, natural sign languages. Two available assessments from these different perspectives are compared. Procedures appropriate to the assessment of sign language production are recommended as a valuable addition to the clinician’s toolkit. Sign and speech need to be viewed as multimodal, complementary communicative endeavours, rather than as polarities. Whilst narrative has been shown to be a fruitful context for eliciting language samples, assessments for adult users should be designed to suit the strengths, needs and values of adult signers with intellectual disabilities, using materials that are compatible with their life course stage rather than those designed for young children.

Type: Article
Title: Assessing language skills in adult key word signers with intellectual disabilities: Insights from sign linguistics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.ridd.2017.01.017
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2017.01.017
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Intellectual disability, Augmentative and alternative communication, Manual signing, Sign language, Key word signing, Narrative task, Language assessment
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10042578
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