Information and Resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
Get more information on resources available to you at NECC such as assistive listening devices, captioned media, CART, interpreting, note taking, community resources, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Information for Students
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Know Your Rights Under the Law
Assistive Listening Devices
The Role of Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) In the Classroom
What are Assistive Listening Devices?
Many students who use hearing aids effectively in quiet environments have a difficult time following information presented in large college classrooms. In the classroom, the instructor’s voice is competing with background noise, room echo, and distance. Therefore, the intelligibility of the instructor’s voice is degraded by the poor room acoustics as well as the hearing loss.
Most ALDs use a transmitter/microphone positioned close to the instructor’s mouth to send the instructor’s voice to the receiver worn by the student. By placing the microphone close to the instructor’s mouth, ALDs can provide clear sound over distances, eliminate echoes, and reduce surrounding noises.
What are the benefits of using Assistive Listening Devices?
A distinct acoustic advantage of ALDs compared to personal hearing aids is the position of the microphone at a location close to the instructor’s mouth. The microphone location allows the level of the instructor’s voice to stay constant to the student regardless of the distance between the instructor and the student. The instructor’s voice is also heard clearly over room noises such as chairs moving, fan motors running, and students talking. Providing a good listening environment can have a major impact on an individual’s academic performance.
There are a variety of Assistive Listening Devices which can be utilized effectively in the classroom. No single technology is without limitations or can be expected to fulfill all the essential auditory needs of all users. Consult with an audiologist to determine the most appropriate assistive listening device.
Captioning–a visual representation of the audio portion of videotape material–enables deaf and hard of hearing learners to have full access to materials used in the classroom. With an ever-expanding pool of captioning agencies providing a wider array of options, including modem technology, and because of the greater availability of other low-cost captioning alternatives, access to classroom materials and lectures has become much easier.
If you need materials captioned, you can communicate with your instructor(s). If you need further assistance, please email DHHS at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 978-241-7045 (VP).
Communications Access Realtime Translation
CART (Speech-to-Text Services)
Many deaf individuals may prefer to use Speech-to-Text Services (STTS) alone or in addition to another accommodation to have full communication access. STTS are provided in real-time by a Speech-to-Text Professional (STTP) that converts spoken and auditory information into text. Speech-to-Text services come in two broad formats: verbatim and meaning-for-meaning.
What is CART?
Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) – is the instant translation of the spoken word into English text performed by a CART reporter using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and Realtime software. The text is then displayed on a computer monitor or other display device for the student who is deaf or hard of hearing to read. This technology is primarily used by people with hearing loss, but it also has been used by people with learning disabilities or those who are learning English as a second language.
Working with an Interpreter
An interpreter’s role is to facilitate communication and convey all auditory and signed information so that both hearing and deaf individuals may fully interact.
Regardless of what type of interpreting is used at your educational institution, interpreters associated with the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) are bound by a Code of Professional Conduct (CPC).
REMEMBER: The interpreter’s job is to faithfully transmit the spirit and content of the communicator, allowing the student and instructor full access in the communication interaction. The interpreter’s primary responsibility is to facilitate communication.
General Guidelines for the Meeting, Training or Online Class
Please be mindful when DHH person is on Zoom. Their eye gaze may not be on eye level toward you since they are reading captions, when provided. They may look like they are not paying attention to you.
When using shared screen, please give DHH person a bit of time to look at the slides/information and at the interpreters. Please present in a slow, steady pace and check in with them to be sure they are finished with the current page and ready to move on.
There is typically a lag time between a speaker and the interpretation. As a result, responses and questions from the person who is deaf or hard of hearing might be slightly delayed. Interpreters might need to ask for clarification. Participants should pause until the interpreter and DHH person finishes speaking/signing.
Speak one at a time in group situations. The interpreter is often slightly behind the conversation and it can be difficult for the DHH person to give input without seeming to interrupt the flow of natural turn taking. Be sensitive to the situation. Choose someone to facilitate the group discussion and monitor that people are speaking one at a time. Participants should raise their hand for turn-taking so the DHH person knows who is talking.
The interpreter needs processing time from English to ASL/ASL to English. Time is needed for a person who is deaf or hard of hearing to see who is talking before the comments are interpreted. The speaker and other participants need to check and pause when the interpreter and the DHH person stops signing or voicing. Please note: The interpreter won’t voice right away when the DHH person signs.
Note Taking Support Services
Why Provide Note Taking?
In one form or another, note taking is the support service most widely used by students who are deaf or hard of hearing, surpassing even interpreting in frequency of use. Students request note taking because it provides them access to course content in a way no other service can duplicate. However, note taking is not a substitute for interpreting. In many cases, both services are necessary because of the physical impossibility of watching an interpreter or speech-reading while simultaneously taking notes. In addition, for non-signing students, notes may be their only means of access.
Note Taking Services
Based on a student’s documented disability the Note Taker accommodation may be approved for a student.
The Center for Accessibility Resources & Services maintains a confidential master schedule of all note-taking assignments for potential note takers to review. Peer note takers may or may not be enrolled in the same course they are assigned to take notes for. The Center for Accessibility Resources & Services will send the student an email when a note taker is hired.
- The Center for Accessibility Resources & Services provides materials and training to note takers.
- A student will not receive notes for days/times they are not in class.
- Coaching or extra help is not part of the note taker’s job.
- Audio recording a class lecture may be an option if a note taker is not found right away.
- The student is to notify the Center for Accessibility Resources & Services if Note Taking services are not needed in a particular course.
- DEAF INC.
- Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)
- Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
- New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation (NHVR)