Determining Appropriate Accommodations

There is no one-size-fits-all accommodation to meet the diverse needs of deaf students. Start with a conversation with each deaf student to ensure effective communication.

Ask how the student communicates everyday (e.g., at home, work, or school) and discuss different kinds of communication that may occur on campus, such as in the financial aid office, tutoring sessions or meetings.

Consider the Student’s Experience

Deaf students’ experiences in requesting accommodations will vary. Some deaf students have experience with different types of accommodations and know what they need; others may not be familiar with the variety of options available to them.

Accommodations that worked in high school may not be effective in higher education environment or may not be available at a new institution. Evaluate the student’s current needs in addition to their prior experience.

Professionals in the DSS office should include the deaf student in conversations about accommodations. In this video, Felicia Williams explains her philosophy and experience working with accommodations. Read the full video description.

The decision-making process should include the deaf person throughout and end with constant follow up to ensure the chosen accommodations continue to meet the deaf person’s needs. Their choice of specific accommodations (e.g., interpreting, CART or live captioning, and notetaking) across a range of situations should be considered and honored.

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