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Office of Disability Services

Accommodations  for Students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing


Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)

Students or patrons with impaired hearing may use an ALD in the classroom to enhance the voice of a speaker. The most common ALD is a personal FM system; the speaker wears a microphone/transmitter, and the student wears a receiving unit.  Units may be borrowed from the Office of Disability Services on an as-needed basis, or from Conference Services. ODS can train the instructor in how to use the device.  Several auditoriums and lecture halls are equipped with FM transmitters that are integral to the room's public address system. In these cases, all that is needed is the receiver. Units are switchable so that they can be used in several different campus locations without fear of radio interference.


Captioned Videos (CCTV)

An increasing number of educational videotapes, as well as television broadcasts, are being "closed captioned" for deaf and hard of hearing viewers. Captions appear at the bottom of the screen so the viewer may follow narration and dialogue. A closed captioning decoder is needed to display the usually hidden captions. Most campus buildings now have CC-equipped monitors. Decoders can be borrowed from Media Services with advance notice.


Instructors can determine whether or not videos are captioned by asking Media Services staff or by looking at the video container, which usually contains a short statements about captioning or carries the initials "CC" or a Q-like symbol.


Sign Language

In some situations, a sign language interpreter may be able to interpret the video, as is done during lectures or recitations. To prepare, the interpreter might request from the instructor the opportunity to view the video in advance.

Instructor Tips

  • Always use open captions when showing videos.  Research indicates that many students benefit from seeing the text because it serves as an aid to memory. This is especially helpful for students who rely most heavily on their vision for learning, and students who have learning disabilities.
  • Always face the class when talking, keeping in mind that a student may be lipreading.