Whether you are working through a complex communication access issue or new to working with students who are Deaf, hard of hearing or DeafBlind, we have some helpful resources to support you. Click on the icons below, or use the search feature. As no one student is the same, a one-size-fits-all approach is not possible when planning for equitable access. We invite you to schedule 1:1 consultations with our staff to support you with applying these resources and strategies.

Click the icons below to search by categories, or find a resource through the search function.

Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind 101

Deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind individuals are incredibly diverse. There are a wide range in communication preferences, educational needs, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and sometimes, additional disabilities. If there is such a wide range of diversity, then what do deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind individuals have in common? Everyone will, to some degree or another, experience communication barriers.

As an educator/instructor, service provider, or administrator, the best thing that you can do is simply ask: What do you need from me to help make your education accessible? It is important to know that communication preferences, access
and accommodation needs can change across setting and context—and even
change over time.

As a learner, you need to be prepared to be able to answer the above question. The Transitions Course, offered by ACE-BC, will help you learn how to effectively answer that question in a way that best serves your specific educational needs.

Duty to Accomodate

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, The Accessible Canada Act (Bill C-81) and the British Columbia Humen Rights Code set forth the legal requirements for equitable access to all individuals regardless of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age. This creates the term Duty to Accommodate.

Remote Services

Post-secondary institutions work to ensure that all students have access to their campus, services, classroom content and related events such as convocation. Remote Interpreting and transcribing or captioning services are tools for facilitating institutional capacity to equitably include a wider range of students, including Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and Deaf-Blind students. With the recent pivot to online learning, services such as transcribing and captioning serves are beneficial for removing barriers for many more participants other than just students who are Deaf or hard of hearing.


“Speech-to-text” is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of services that translate spoken communication and other auditory information into a text-based format, in real time. The two main services used in B.C.’s post-secondary system are TypeWell transcribing, a meaning based system, and Communication Access Realtime Translation ( CART) which is a verbatim translation. Service providers type what is spoken on their devices, which appear on the student’s screen; either a laptop or tablet.

Assistive Listening Devices

Assistive listening systems include a broad range of technologies and software. They can include hearing aids, cochlear implants, FM Systems, loop systems, headphones, and speech recognition applications on laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Individuals who wish to use assistive listening systems that are compatible with their hearing aids or cochlear implants are advised to seek help from their audiological provider.


Individuals who used a signed language to communicate with an individual who uses a spoken language to communicate will often use the services of a professional, qualified Sign Language Interpreter.  Sign Language Interpreters in British Columbia are educated professionals who fall under the provincially registered profession of one of three titles: Registered ASL/English Interpreter; Registered Sign Language Interpreter; or Registered Visual Language Interpreter. These titles are restricted for use by members in good standing of the West-coast Association of Visual Language Interpreters.

Interpreters working in B.C.’s post-secondary system may also be credentialed through the Post-Secondary Interpreting Screen (PSIS) administered through ACE-BC.

Universal Design for Learning

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach based on the work of Ronald L. Mace which proposes that products and environments should be designed to be used to the greatest extent possible for all. This means that instead of focusing on making the course and the classroom accessible just for deaf, hard of hearing, or DeafBlind learners, they should be made accessible to the greatest extent for ALL learners.  For example, captioning has been proven to benefit learners who use English as a second language, learners with dyslexia, and other learners by reinforcing the acquisition of information by combining text with audio input.

COVID Resources

Other Resources

Online Learning Accessibility

Online Learning Accessibility

Interpreting Guidelines

Interpreting Guidelines

Deaf-Blind Accessibility

Research Project: Accessibility of Online Teaching for ACE-BC

BC Interpreting Guidelines Document

BC Interpreting Guidelines Document

Partner Organizations

Partner Organizations