Deafness/Hard of Hearing
Disability description and career possibilities:
This student is deaf or severely hard of hearing. He may be able to communicate effectively
in a one-on-one situation, but he is not able to hear sufficiently to succeed in a
classroom without accommodation.
Basic access needs for classrooms and lab:
This student will need a Sign Language Interpreter to enable him to succeed in the
classroom. He will rely on the interpreter to sign the class lectures and discussions
as well as to voice any comments he has. If the student has an in class presentation
he will sign his presentation and the interpreter will voice for him.
Since it is not possible for a deaf student to effectively take notes while watching
an interpreter, this student will need a notetaker for classroom lectures. The Learning
Assistance Program generally hires student workers to take notes for deaf students.
When a student worker is not available, the LAP will supply the student with two-ply
NCR paper. The instructor may need to assist the student in locating a classmate
who can share notes with the student.
It is possible that this student will need extended time to take tests. Since deaf
students do not use English as their primary language, it may take them longer to
organize their thoughts into correct English structure as well as take more time for
them to completely comprehend what they are reading. This student may need to see
the signs for some of the vocabulary in the test to ensure he understands the question
correctly. In rare situations, the student may need to have a test (or parts of a
test) interpreted for him. The extra time it takes to have the test interpreted or
have parts of it clarified is another reason the student may need extended time to
take his tests.
This student will likely use the internet as his primary mode of communication. Having
an e-mail address for the instructor rather than a phone number will help to facilitate
out-of-class communication. When making phone calls, this student will utilize a
Text Telephone (tty) and may use an operator assisted relay service to make calls
to non-tty users. The instructor will need to understand that phone calls through
the relay service will take considerably more time than is normally expected for making
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My journey as an ESL student was not easy because of the language barrier, but I never gave up my dream of one day attending a four-year university to pursue a biology degree and attend medical school.
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