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Accommodations for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing:

By Claire Holland


Accommodations for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing:  We're going to College!



       Accommodations for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: We're going to College! is to inform everyone that we can go to college, and how we will need help along the way.  The Deaf and Hard of Hearing (D/HH) may use anything from technology to just simply moving where they sit in the lecture hall.  As a HH student who will be going to college in the fall of 2015, this paper will explain my plans for accommodations that I hope to put into action when I start college.



Accommodations for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing: We're going to College!

            As a HH student in high school who has struggled to get accommodations met by hearing teachers, I one day hope and pray that when I'm in college, everything will be easier for me.  I have teachers who do not give me notes, and if they do it is well after the lecture and two days before the exam.  I also have teachers who will "forget" to put closed captioning (CC) on videos or the videos are so old they don't even have CC! Even if a video did have CC, the teacher will always tells me to remind them before the video starts so they can enable the captions.  Who wants to be that kid to point out their disability for the millionth time in front of the class because the teacher can't remember CC? Not me.  Then there is the teacher that talks softly when the whole class is rowdy and that is the one time she says that we have a test next Friday.  You go to class next Friday and yes, there are a few knuckleheads that were not prepared because they were talking to their friends, but then you're not prepared because you didn't hear the teacher say anything about the test and she never wrote it down for you to see visually.  Of course she's going to say "I guess you should've paid attention and listened." 

            I have been granted a great opportunity to take a dual credit class for which I will receive credit on my high school transcript and college transcript.  Since it is a college class, I was able to get accommodations from the Student Disability Service (SDS) office at Western Kentucky University, WKU.  A notetaker sits by me and types everything that the professor says and what is on the PowerPoint.  Everything that the notetaker types comes up on the computer screen I can easily see it from my seat. She revises and edits the notes -- because she types fast and makes typos-- and e-mails me the revised notes. My notetaker has helped me so much, because I can really focus on what the professor is saying, instead of writing notes.  I always look back on my notes and see when I have missed important information, such as a test next Friday.  If I could get this accommodation for every class in college, my life will be easier.  I will not have to listen as hard and receive the most accurate notes.

            When I was younger, I always struggled with the TV.  I couldn't understand cartoons, and I didn't quite understand how to read lips yet.  When I first started reading, I loved it.  Picture books had all the details in the pictures, but not with the words, and I wanted more.  So I started reading higher level books.  These higher level books gave more details that I have missed a lot throughout my childhood when watching TV. and I wanted that back.  My parents found a way to put CC on the TV and I absolutely loved it.  It was difficult at first, reading then looking at the screen, but I did get use to it.  Even both of my hearing parents love it for themselves!  But the problem can be when teachers don't turn captions on during educational videos or movies.  They say they don't know how or that it has a curse word in it.  Pardon me, but if you don't want me seeing the curse word, should the others be hearing the curse word?  I always have problems with CC because most teachers give worksheets to do during a video, or a pop quiz after the video.  I always have mine blank if there are no CC.  Teachers need to understand that you can make it as loud as you want, but I'm still not going to understand the video unless there is CC. 

            One of my biggest problems throughout high school has been missing/late assignments.  I think about 85% of that issue is because teachers do not write down assignments, test dates, and other important information.  A teacher does not know how much easier life is for me when they give me a schedule for the week.  I can easily follow up with homework and not have to listen for homework numbers in Math, which chapters to read in English, what day the lab is in Science, and when we get to work on our project in class in History.  It might seem silly, but being HH and listening all day wears a person out!  A syllabus would be easy to keep up with and there are no questions about it.  Plus it can benefit the whole class as well!

            In conclusion, these are some of my favorite accommodations that I have always used and felt comfortable with.  I plan on using these in college plus others, like a hearing dog to help me be aware of my surroundings on campus and maybe an FM system.  Accommodations are different for everyone (even if they have the same disabilities) and the accommodations may change over time if you find something new that you like.



Guide: Federal Communication Commision . (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2014, from FCC:

Hearing Dogs: Dogs for the Deaf
. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2014, from Dogs for the Deaf:

WKU: Student Disability Services
. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2014, from WKU:



Also see: Public Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students


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