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Support and Accommodations for a Deaf, Hard of Hearing or DeafBlind Student

Planning for accommodations that facilitate full participation in a student’s education and campus life experience can be complex and multi-faceted. A Deaf, hard of hearing, or DeafBlind student requesting services for accessibility is required to present documentation such as medical and educational reports. Ideally it will include an audiological report outlining the daily functional limitations in an educational setting and specify accommodations that will address these, such as whether or not an amplification device is recommended for example.

If the student is applying for a Canada Study Grant, this information is required on the Ministry’s Verification of Permanent Disability form.

The audiological report is a medical diagnosis of hearing loss based upon an internationally agreed upon standards. However, decibel losses do not always correlate to a student’s communication needs. It should never be the sole criterion for a determination of support services.

Other factors to be considered would include:

  • Language development
  • Communication skills/preferences
  • Program type (face-to-face/on-line)
  • Class type (lecture vs. lab)
  • How much class discussion in involved
  • Use of assistive listening systems
  • Co-op or practicum component

The Audiologist can be a key resource as part of a multidisciplinary team to assess and to determine the needs of the student.

The Audiologist can:

  • Make recommendations about appropriate amplification for the student based on his/her degree and type of loss, his/her lifestyle, type and size of classes, educational environment; vocational goals, etc.;
  • Assist in the development of communication strategies (e.g. lip-reading, listening strategies), and; conduct FM assessments to ensure compatibility with hearing aids and school environment.

Accommodations are intended to level the playing field so that all students have the opportunity to develop the same skills and abilities expected of all students.(NEADS report)

To conduct your own assessment of the student’s needs, refer to Questions for Potential Providers of Captioning Services