Image banner

Deaf/Hard Of Hearing Services
Instructor FAQs

What is the role of SDS in providing Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services?

SDS works with hard-of-hearing and deaf students on a case-by-case basis to ensure they receive all reasonable accommodations necessary. Certain accommodations may include notetaking services, sign language interpreters, speech-to-text services, or amplification systems.  Each student will have their own abilities, strategies and skills.

What should I take into consideration when teaching a deaf student, or someone who is Hard of Hearing?

Each student is different and there is a wide variety of accommodations that may need to be arranged, including sign language interpreting and note-taking services.

Is there anything special I need to do for deaf or hard of hearing students if I am showing a video or online video clip in class?

All videos and online video clips have to be captioned or have English subtitles. If your video is at the library, you may contact the library to see if the video is closed captioned. If you have the video on hand, check the cover to see if there is a “cc” or tv symbol or a note stating it is closed captioned. If the video is not captioned, please fill out the Captioning Request Form.

How do sign language interpreters work in class with a deaf student?

Many deaf and hard of hearing students will utilize sign language interpreting or captioning services in the classroom. Depending on the course content, you may be asked for materials in advance so that the service providers may prepare for upcoming classes. For example, in a class where there is a large amount of new terminology and vocabulary and readings, such as a literature class, it would be beneficial to provide as much of this information to the interpreters in advance. Additionally, interpreters will need to be given access to ICON.

Should I speak to the interpreter or directly to the student?

When needing to speak to the student, address the student rather than the interpreter and keep in mind that the student will need to be able to see the interpreter and the interpreter will need to be able to hear what you are saying.

Is there technology available to assist deaf and hard of hearing students?

A captionist known as a CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) provider can be utilized in the classroom on-site or remotely to provide realtime speech-to-text services. The captionist will bring her own equipment and will sit near the student in the class. The student will have a laptop/tablet in front of him or her which will disaply the texts provided by the captionist. Please speak clearly in a normal tone of voice and avoid rapid or muttered speech.  Since the captionist is usually a few words behind the speaker, it would be helpful to pause periodically so that the student can ask questions or join the discussion. It's helpful to only allow one person to speak at a time during class discussions and question-answer times.  It is difficult for the captionist to follow multiple speakers.  It would be preferable to repeat questions as they are asked. After class, the student will receive the lecture via email.  The student is instructed that this information is for his or her use only and not to be shared or distributed.

Should I make arrangements for Deaf/HOH Services if I have to meet with a deaf student during office hours?

Check with the student to see what s/he needs. While some students utilize services in the classroom, they may or may not need the same services one-on-one. Instructors who need to request sign language interpreters or speech-to-text services are encouraged to have the student contact SDS promptly to ensure timely arrangement of services. Although we strive to respond to all service requests, we may be unable to meet requests made less than 48 hours in advance. The request can be sent to