Helping deaf and hard-of-hearing students access lectures

Students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing can struggle even in rooms with the best acoustics. Institutions receiving federal funding, including all public colleges and universities, are required by law to provide hearing-impaired students equal access to all on-campus activities.

Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, home of the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, helps deaf and hard of hearing students access lectures and class discussions in the following ways:

Interpreting: Professional sign language interpreters provide services in classrooms and for nonacademic activities.

LINK TO MAIN ARTICLE: 4 ways colleges are upgrading classroom acoustics

Note taking: Trained student note takers record information during class and upload it to the web.

Real-time captioning services: These services provide a text display of classroom lectures and discussions that students can read during class and print out.

Personal FM systems: Frequency-modulated (FM) systems use radio waves to deliver speech signals directly from a speaker to a student’s hearing aids or cochlear implant.

Source: RIT Access & Support Services office

Sherrie Negrea is an Ithaca, New York-based writer and a frequent contributor to UB.

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