What are some strategies to create an accessible virtual orientation and/or campus tour for new incoming deaf students?

As schools move orientations and campus tours online, several considerations should be made to ensure deaf students have an equitable experience and opportunities in all related sessions and activities. Incorporating these strategies in the planning stages will save time, money, and promote inclusion for all students!

Plan ahead. NDC’s Deaf Student Orientation Guide offers guidance and tips with planning access for a variety of settings. Identify who will be involved in implementing orientation and campus tour.

Post instructions for students to request accommodations. Provide a direct link to your school’s Accommodations Request Form or designate a point-of-contact person to receive all requests for accommodations. Discuss the format of each session with the student to identify which accommodations will work best. Working with a deaf student for the first time? NDC’s Interactive Process Tools can help!

Work out the logistics. Find out which LMS and/or video platforms will be used. Work with staff to obtain access and links for all sessions/activities and follow-up when accommodations have been arranged. Share these tools with all staff involved with providing orientation and campus tour activities (e.g., Campus Tour Guides, Orientation Leaders, Academic Advisors, Speakers).

Coordinate accommodations requested for all live sessions. It is important to be flexible, there is a chance the student may request interpreters for some sessions, speech-to-text services for others, or dual accommodations. Be sure to provide session links with access to assigned service providers!

Make sure to caption ALL pre-recorded videos. Only time-synced, verbatim captions provide full and equitable access to video content. Replacing captions with other accommodations, such as interpreting, real-time captioning, or a transcript, will not provide complete access.

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Updated on July 29, 2022

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