Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Academic accommodations for students who are deaf or hard of hearing and registered with SDS may include:

  • Sign language interpreters

A sign language interpreter provides communication access in sign language. Interpreting requests for events outside of the classroom will need to be made by the sponsoring department or organization. SDS can be utilized as a resource for referral information.

  • Captioning of videos or transcripts of podcasts

SDS works with classroom instructors to ensure captioned videos or transcribed podcasts are used during class. Refer to Media Accessibility Policy below.

  • On-Site Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART)

CART is a speech-to-text communication access service. A CART provider sits on the side of the classroom and produces text of spoken information using a specific software application. The text is displayed simultaneously to one or more students via laptops or tablets.

  • Remote Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART)

CART is a speech-to-text communication access service. A CART provider is physically located in a remote location who is able to hear the audio through a microphone system set up in the classroom. The CART provider produces text of spoken information using a specific software application. The text is displayed simultaneously to one or more students via laptops or tablets via internet.

  • Assistive Listening Device (ALD)s

ALD is a personal amplified listening system primarily for individual use. It consists of two devices: a transmitter/microphone for the speaker and a receiver for the listener.The receiver with earphones, a neckloop, or an ear bud will allow direct audio from the microphone to the student without extraneous noise. FM systems are available located at SDS and can be loaned out to qualified students at no charge on a semester-by-semester basis. 

Media Accessibility Policy

Instructors who have students who are deaf or hard of hearing in their classes need to consider the accessibility of the media they plan to use. These instructors will be notified in advance before the semester begins by Student Disability Services. Instructors who intend to use DVD, VHS, or web-based videos and/or podcasts in their course should be aware that they are responsible for offering captioned versions of course materials. Videos are accessible when they are captioned and podcasts are accessible when a written transcript accompanies the audio file. If a video is not captioned or a podcast does not have a transcript, instructors will need to arrange for an accessible version to be produced. Instructors should plan ahead by allowing anywhere from 3 days to two weeks for transcription and captioning services.  In some cases, transcripts or captions for last minute video clips requests may be granted if the instructor contacts the Deaf/HOH Services Coordinator within 24 hours of showing the video in class.  Inaccessible media must not be shown in class until accessible media is available for all students. 

Student Disability Services is available to assist instructors with locating captioned videos, adding captions to videos, and showing videos with captions in classrooms and online courses for classroom materials. Requests are encouraged to be sent as soon as possible to the Deaf/HOH Services Coordinator at SDS.

The University of Iowa's Web Accessibility Policy requires that all web content conform to accessibility standards described in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, version 2.0, level AA, as set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

For questions regarding Deaf/HOH Services, please contact sds-deafhoh@uiowa.edu.

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