Legal & Policy

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) are three pivotal laws that ensure equitable access to education, employment, and the community. These federal mandates guide accommodation decisions through key concepts such as “effective communication”, the “interactive process” in accommodation decision-making, and the “subjective experience” of an individual with a disability.

Sound policies and procedures can also support deaf individuals with an equal opportunity to access a wide-range of opportunities. Through proactive planning, an organization can reduce barriers for deaf individuals accessing postsecondary environments.

Useful For: Families, Students
This document provides an overview of English language proficiency (ELP), how it is measured when it comes to eligibility for English learner (EL) services, and what this may mean for deaf students.
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Type(s): Overviews
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) work together to protect children and adults with disabilities from exclusion, discrimination, and unequal treatment in education, employment, and the community.
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Type(s): Overviews
Effective communication affords deaf people the ability to share and/or receive information in a manner that is successful for them. Effective communication increases the opportunity for full and equal participation in any situation. Effective communication is fluid and allows all parties to receive and respond to information equally.
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Topics: Legal/Policy
Type(s): Guides
This resource is for professionals who want a better understanding of the legal foundations in serving deaf students. Disability law attorneys and experienced practitioners explain institutional responsibilities and provide tips for implementing policies and procedures.
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Topics: Legal/Policy
The interactive process engages deaf people and disability services professionals in a collaborative discussion regarding the impact of deafness and any necessary accommodations to mitigate barriers in the environment. This process follows the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines set forth by the Department of Justice. The tools presented here are designed to guide discussions and encourage deaf people to express their experiences with accessing communication in a variety of scenarios.
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Type(s): Templates
This collection of handbook templates is designed for a disability support service provider to download and personalize for his or her institution’s needs.
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Topics: Legal/Policy
Type(s): Overviews
Deaf students have the same rights as their hearing peers, including the right to be absent. However, when they are absent from class, disability service professionals become concerned that the funds being expended for interpreters or speech-to-text services are not being used prudently.
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Improved access and advancements in technology have allowed deaf people who might not have previously considered a career in the healthcare field to now pursue this option.
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The 2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing significantly elevated the importance of fairness in testing. The standards emphasize that fairness is an essential part of the validity of score interpretations. Thus, alongside validity and reliability, fairness gained status as one of three primary tenets of best practices in test design, development, implementation, and score interpretation. Furthermore, the standards emphasize the importance of considering the characteristics of all possible test takers throughout the entire testing process.
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Type(s): Videos
This two-part video explains the Americans With Disabilities Act and how it applies to postsecondary education for students who are deaf.
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In recent years there has been an increase in the number of veterans returning home with combat-related hearing loss and tinnitus. Deaf veterans may need accommodations and support to be successful in college and the work environment.
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This guide gives disability service offices tools to increase readiness to serve deaf students for online courses through proactive planning and being prepared to respond to requests from students and faculty members.
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