Student Handbook Chapter 16 - Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Student Handbook Chapter 16 - Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

This chapter provides information specific to d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing students regarding commonly requested accommodations. For general information see the Service Providers Page.

ASL Interpreters

Interpreters will be scheduled for students that are eligible for the accommodation upon request. Students should request services 30 business days before the start of each term or as soon as possible to allow Center for Accessible Resources (CAR) staff time to locate an appropriate interpreter. CAR will make every effort to locate sign language interpreters for qualified students.

Video Remote Interpreting

Video remote interpreting (VRI) services may be provided when appropriate or when on-site providers are not available. In this case, equipment and technical assistance can be arranged through CAR for both the student and the instructor.

It is important to note in most cases the microphone used by the instructor only picks up the voice of the instructor. If the student is in a discussion-based class, the student should contact CAR for proper equipment and strategies.

How to request sign language interpreters

  • Visit CAR's Requesting Accommodations Page for more information.
  • Read the student agreement for using service providers, such as sign language interpreters, on CAR's Student Agreement Page.
  • Students needing interpreters for activities outside of the classroom, such as tutoring and campus events, should request interpreters through their Accommodation Specialist.
  • Questions or concerns? Students should immediately contact their CAR Accommodation Specialist from CAR's Contact page. If needed, visit CAR's Grievances Page for information on informal and formal complaint processes.

Utilizing ASL Interpreters

  • Remember, this is YOUR education. If you have preferences in regards to your interpreter, please communicate them.
    • You are a part of the interpreting team.
    • Let the interpreter know if you prefer that they sit/stand and/or be less/more intrusive (i.e. move around the room, ask for clarification, etc.).
      • They are there to accommodate you and if you don’t tell them, they don’t know.
  • If you already have established signs for specific concepts, let your interpreter know. Interpreters appreciate this information and it helps them do their job better.
  • Sometimes you may feel the need to communicate directly to the interpreter. While they are actively working, your intentions may not be clear to them. Let them know by signing “direct to you” or “inform you” before making your statement.
  • If something seems off, ask a clarifying question or summarize your understanding. Sometimes people mis-speak and don’t realize they’ve done it. It is not the interpreter’s responsibility to recognize and correct the information themselves. Their responsibility is to provide equal access.
  • Talk with the interpreter to discuss expectations—what is working successfully and what is not.
    • Discuss what types of changes/modifications can possibly happen.
    • If changes are still not helpful, contact your Accommodation Specialist.
      • It is encouraged to check in with your Accommodation Specialist regularly regarding your services.
  • Interpreters are not able to answer questions regarding scheduling and availability.
    • Contact your CAR Accommodation Specialist to request/cancel an interpreter for upcoming events or classes.

Questions/Concerns regarding Interpreting Services 

If any questions or concerns arise with interpreting services during the term, students are strongly encouraged to contact their Accommodation Specialist as soon as possible.

CAR Staff Service Providers

At times, students eligible for the accommodation may require assistance with note-taking, writing assignments, or manipulating lab materials. Service providers (such as in-class readers/scribes/aides or computer note-takers) will be scheduled for qualifying students upon request.

Digital Audio Recorders

Students with mild to moderate hearing loss can find it helpful to use audio recorders to help with the note-taking process. These devices can capture lectures as sound files which can be stored in a device and replayed at the student’s leisure. Recording can be especially useful in large seminars or locations not equipped with other assistive listening devices, especially when run through speech-to-text programs to get a typed transcript of the lecture. (Quality of transcription is dependent on audio quality.) Digital audio recording devices are available for qualifying students upon request. For more detailed information regarding Audio Recording, see the CAR Student Handbook Chapter 10- Audio Recording.

CART/Captioning Services

  • “Computer Assisted Reporting Technology,” also known as “captioning,” is a speech-to-text interpreting service that includes post-production transcripts. CART services typically use a stenotype machine, computer, or other software to capture spoken words from a lecture which are then displayed on a screen as text.
  • There are a variety of approaches to captioning. CART services can be utilized on individual laptops, smartphones, or can be displayed on large monitors or through a projector for use by an entire class.
  • CART applies the same technology used by the entertainment industry to provide real-time captioning and involves either a live stenographer on site or a remote feed to the stenographer.
  • Remote captioning requires an audio source for the speaker, often in the form of a wireless microphone. Speech is then captured, transcribed, and transmitted back as text for the student.
  • The student typically does not need any specialized software as the service provides an email link to view the streaming text.
  • This option is more comprehensive than note-takers or interpreters, providing 98.5% accuracy and translation. In addition to live captioning during class, CART services can provide students with an electronic copy of the transcript after class.
  • If other appropriate accommodations are not made, students can request this service as part of their ADA and Section 504 rights.
  • CART/Captioning services are available for qualifying students upon request.

Assistive Listening Devices

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) include a variety of systems that separate sounds from background noise by bringing sound directly to the student’s ear. They typically consist of a microphone, a transmitter, and a receiver. The type of transmission and receiver vary by type of ALD. The Center for Accessible Resources (CAR) has FM Systems and Infrared systems available for qualifying students upon request. 


Prior to your first class, meet with the instructor to discuss: 

  • How to handle questions during lecture
  • The most effective way to watch videos in the classroom
  • How to handle small group discussions

Classroom Tips:

  • At the beginning of each class:
    • Check the batteries to make sure they will last through class
    • Carry a spare set of batteries just in case
    • Perform a “sound check” with the instructor
  • For group discussions:
    • Ask the instructor to establish turn-taking rules
    • Ask that only one person speaks at a time
  • Small groups:
    • Find an area with limited background noise and have students pass the microphone to whomever is speaking
  • Become a strong self-advocate and ask for clarification whenever necessary

Tips for Success in College

In college, you are responsible for your own education:

  • Arrive to class early for preferential seating
  • Refer to your class syllabus often
  • Meet with your Accommodation Specialist frequently to discuss concerns, challenges, and/or barriers you are experiencing
  • Utilize the various campus tutoring centers, they are free and available to all students
  • Ask your instructor for clarification if something seems confusing (i.e. the syllabus says an assignment is due at a different date than what was announced in class, etc.)
    • If you have a question, it’s possible another student has the same question and isn’t comfortable asking
    • Uncomfortable asking in front of everyone? Approach the instructor before/after class OR attend their office hours.
  • Check your LCC student email frequently and respond promptly
  • Log-in to Moodle and become comfortable with the learning management system
  • Discuss expectations and request modifications to services with you Accommodation Specialist
  • Provide feedback periodically to your interpreter

Noteworthy Colleges 

The institutions listed below have developed a reputation for their support of d/Deaf and hard of hearing students through inclusive environments and accessible programs. Nonetheless, we encourage students when researching colleges and universities to contact the disability services office for a better understanding of accommodations that may be available.

  • Gallaudet University
    • The only Deaf Liberal Arts University in the U.S.
    • Offers an ASL-immersive academic environment
  • Howard College
    • Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID)
      • A barrier free campus that has adapted ASL as the primary form of communication
      • All classes are held in ASL
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
    • A model school for providing educational access to deaf and hard of hearing students
    • Home to National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)
    • Has a large population of d/Deaf students
  • University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
    • Offers a strong Accessibility Resource Center for deaf and hard of hearing students
  • California State University, Northridge
    • Home to the National Center on Deafness
    • Has a large population of d/Deaf students
  • Western Oregon University
    • Offers a strong Office of Disability Resources for deaf and hard of hearing students
    • Offers an ASL-only floor in the dorms
    • Large population of people who are fluent in ASL

Deafness-Related Resources

  • Oregon Relay Services:
    • 1-800-735-2900 (TTY)
    • A free service that provides full telephone accessibility to people who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard-of-hearing, or speech-disabled.
    • Provides TTY for users to communicate with standard telephone users via relay operators
    • Loans adaptive telephone equipment at no charge and with no income restrictions to eligible Oregon residents who have a loss in hearing, speech, vision, mobility, or cognition through the Oregon Telecommunication Devices Access Program (TDAP)
  • Video Remote Services (VRS) company information
    • Sorenson VRS
    • Hands On VRS Powered by Purple
    • Sprint Relay Services
    • AT&T Video Relay Service
  • Association of Late-Deafened Adults (ALDA):
    • 815-332-1515
    • Organization for people who became deaf after childhood
    • Provides a support network to its members through newsletters and conferences
  • OHSU Tinnitus Clinic:
  • Oregon’s Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services
    • Resource for all Oregonians to improve quality of life for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people and their families
    • Provides advice, referrals to resources, tools, and information
  • Hearing Loss Association of Lane County:
    • A member-driven organization that provides information, education, support, and advocacy for people with hearing loss, their families, and friends

*Some material adapted from and