Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services

You may have Deaf or Hard of Hearing students in your class.

Many Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing (HOH) students require communication accommodations to have equal accessibility to your course. Communication accommodations may include:

  • Speech-to-text services – TypeWell Transcription (TW) or Computer Access Real-Time Translation (CART)
    • Speech-to-text services are a method of converting spoken language into visual text onto a laptop computer screen. Specialized software and/or stenography equipment is used in this conversion process
  • Sign Language Interpreting services
    • Interpreters listen to the verbal information and translate the English into American Sign Language, which is often the Deaf/HOH student’s first language.
  • Captioning on all media shown in class
    • Captioned media are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The role of service providers:

  • The service provider’s role is to allow in-class real-time access to communication between the Deaf/HOH student and the hearing faculty/staff/students in your classroom.
  • Service providers are highly trained professionals bound by a strict code of ethics and are not students in the class.  They are not notetakers and do not give the student any help or extra information.
  • Service providers keep all information confidential.

Communicating with a Deaf or Hard of Hearing student:

The service provider is there for the student who is Deaf/HOH AND for you. To communicate with a Deaf/HOH student, maintain eye contact and address the student directly. If you say "tell him he should...," the service provider will give those words exactly to the student. However, the phrase "you should..." directed towards the student will establish a direct line of communication between you and the student.

Remember, if the student is using a service provider, then the service provider is making communication accessible. You should still address the student directly, as you would any other student in the class.

The importance of accurate captioning:

Captioned media are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Several video hosting sites, such as YouTube, provide automatic captions. However, these captions are often inaccurate. Please review caption capabilities before screening a video in class or requiring students to view the video for an assignment. If you have questions about captioning a video, please contact Kim Thiessen (see below).

If you have questions or concerns about Deaf/Hard of Hearing services for a student in your class, please contact Kim Thiessen, Coordinator for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services.

Page Updated 11.22.2017