All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) is excited to fund and participate in the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) Adaptation Workshop, facilitated by School-to-School International (STS) in Kigali, Rwanda.
EGRAs are traditionally administered orally – in other words, the assessor reads out loud instructions, and learners respond out loud with what they read on the subtask stimulus in written text. This enables researchers to measure learners’ foundational literacy skills when they have not yet acquired basic reading fluency and comprehension skills. Specifically, as an oral assessment, the EGRA can provide information on what learners know and where they are in acquiring early reading skills.
However, the traditional administration of EGRAs does not allow equal access for learners with disabilities. Additionally, when designing EGRA content, assessment developers generally do not level the assessment based on curricula, proficiency standards, and/or measured reading abilities of learners with disabilities. As a result, traditional EGRAs are generally not appropriate for learners with disabilities.
The existing EGRA developed under USAID’s Soma Umenye project is appropriate for learners without disabilities in primary grades P1-P3, but likely not accessible for learners with disabilities. As a result, it is necessary to adapt these Kinyarwanda-medium EGRA tools. The adaptation process will entail providing assessment accommodations for learners with disabilities and updating assessment protocols to make them equitable for learners with disabilities. These accommodations include, among others, administration in Rwanda Sign Language (RSL) and the creation of stimuli in braille and large print. The adaptation process may also include making modifications to the EGRA content or protocols to better align with the reading levels of learners with disabilities.
The ultimate purpose of the workshop is to design learning assessment tools that better enable learners with disabilities to demonstrate their literacy skills. The specific goals of the adaptation workshop are:
- To develop Kinyarwanda-medium EGRA tools for learners who are deaf or hard of hearing and who are blind or have low vision
- To develop new Rwandan Sign Language (RSL) subtasks that can be used by implementers
- To build the capacity of workshop participants to conduct similar adaptations in future for other related instruments used in Rwanda, such as the Learning Achievement in Rwandan Schools (LARS) and Local Early Grade Reading Assessment (LEGRA)
ACR GCD Senior Program Manager Valerie Siwotso will be co-facilitating a session on intellectual disabilities with STS.