What kind of accommodations can I consider for classes held in-person when face masks are required?

Have an interactive dialogue with the deaf student to identify effective communication accommodations that would support them in the classroom when face masks are required. Consider a trial-and-error process to help the student identify what works best.

Accommodation options may include and not limited to:

Speech-to-Text Services: can be provided in-person or remotely and offers student access to the content in a text format.

Interpreters: can be provided in-person or remotely. In-person may require clear face masks or shields whereas reliable remote services would allow unobstructed visual access to interpreters’ faces to access the full language. Oral interpreters can also be used remotely for students who rely on lip-reading or may not know sign language.

Assistive Listening Systems (ALS): can be used to help alleviate issues when face masks muffle/dampen speech and the distance between speakers makes audible speech difficult to understand. ALS microphones and equipment can be disinfected for multiple users.

For additional tips and strategies see our latest article on face masks, ask colleagues on the NDC listserv, or contact the NDC Help Team.

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Updated on July 29, 2022

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