Happy 2022! Reimagining accessibility; learning, serving and collaborating with you. “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”—Albert Einstein

Types of Accommodations and Communication Access Services

Communication Access Options

An important element to understand is that accommodations and service providers you received in high school are not always 100% guaranteed at a post-secondary institution, even if you have provided documentation. The sooner you register with the Accessibility Services office, the better chance you have to secure a service provider. Reasons for this include:

  1. Not suitable for the class content (e.g., Latin) or structure (e.g., labs).
  2. Insufficient evidence to support the requested accommodation.
  3. Limited resources – service providers are in high demand and they may not always be available.

The information below will help you work through the many options for accommodations. It is important to consider how various accommodations may assist you in different learning environments and in different aspects of your studies.

Types of Accommodations

Accessible Classrooms

Some institutions provide a picture of the classroom for the specific class, including info on class size. Aside from choosing your instructor for the course, you can also factor in the classroom set-up.

Priority Registration

Depending on the type of accommodations you request, mostly involving service providers (e.g., interpreters or transcribers), you may be given priority to get the timetable you want due to the amount of time required to secure services. If a smaller class size has better acoustics to allow a hard of hearing student to have better access to their peer’s speech, or a newer classroom for better acoustics, then ensuring registration in these classes would provide greater accessibility. When building your timetable, keep in mind the locations of classes to ensure there is enough time for service providers to move between classes.

Extended Exam Time

This requires strong evidence that extended exam time is part of your accessibility needs; allowing for more time to process the information presented on the test. Your audiologist may make this recommendation, typically 1.5 – 2 hours X the allotted time. This will need to be discussed and arranged with your accessibility advisor.

Alternate exam location

As an alternative to extended exam time, requesting a quieter and smaller exam setting for communication access will yield a higher likelihood of success. This allows you to remove auditory distractions as hearing aids are less forgiving in the presence of background noise, even at low levels. Hearing aids are not able to be turned off , in order to hear questions from students or instructions.

Modifications to Program

This needs to be discussed with both your academic and accessibility advisor. You may have received exemptions in high school, which could possibly be carried into post-secondary. It is important to have these exemptions documented on the student’s IEP. For example, if you were exempt from taking a second language such as French in high-school, you could be exempt from taking language credits towards their degree, if It’s required.


Types of Communication Access Services

Accessible Classrooms

Some institutions provide a picture of the classroom for the specific class, including info on class size. Aside from choosing your instructor for the course, you can also factor in the classroom set-up.

Priority Registration

Depending on the type of accommodations you request, mostly involving service providers (e.g., interpreters or transcribers), you may be given priority to get the timetable you want due to the amount of time required to secure services. If a smaller class size has better acoustics to allow a hard of hearing student to have better access to their peer’s speech, or a newer classroom for better acoustics, then ensuring registration in these classes would provide greater accessibility. When building your timetable, keep in mind the locations of classes to ensure there is enough time for service providers to move between classes.

Extended Exam Time

This requires strong evidence that extended exam time is part of your accessibility needs; allowing for more time to process the information presented on the test. Your audiologist may make this recommendation, typically 1.5 – 2 hours X the allotted time. This will need to be discussed and arranged with your accessibility advisor.

Alternate exam location

As an alternative to extended exam time, requesting a quieter and smaller exam setting for communication access will yield a higher likelihood of success. This allows you to remove auditory distractions as hearing aids are less forgiving in the presence of background noise, even at low levels. Hearing aids are not able to be turned off , in order to hear questions from students or instructions.

Modifications to Program

This needs to be discussed with both your academic and accessibility advisor. You may have received exemptions in high school, which could possibly be carried into post-secondary. It is important to have these exemptions documented on the student’s IEP. For example, if you were exempt from taking a second language such as French in high-school, you could be exempt from taking language credits towards their degree, if It’s required.


Communication Access Real-Time captioning (CART), TypeWell transcribing or Registered Sign Language Interpreting (RSLI) services can be provided onsite or remotely. Discuss with your Accessibility Advisor which option: CART or Typewell, on-site or remote, is available and best suits your needs.

Here is a video with some information that was discussed a little bit, in the Rights and Responsibilities Module 2 and the section on communicating with your service provider. This video explains in more detail, working with a Registered Sign Language Interpreter at college or university.

On-site: the service provider will be attending the class, sitting/standing in a designated area as arranged between the both of you. 

Remote: the service provider will be elsewhere (possibly halfway across the country) listening in to the instructor (who wears a microphone). A solid internet connection is needed to relay the text or sign language interpretation to your computer screen.


To better understand the different text-based services of TypeWell and CART for your communication access, see the two videos below:
TypeWell
CART

CART and TypeWell are two distinct speech-to-text communication access services. CART provides a verbatim transcript of what a speaker is saying, whereas TypeWell provides a more condensed, meaning-based set of notes. You will receive the transcript 24 hours after the class.CART will have a much longer transcript:

  • Up to 10 pages for a 1-hour class

Typewell has a shorter transcript:

  • Typically averages 3 to 4 pages for a 1-hour class.

Here is a video lecture sample (3:37-8:07) “Introduction to Psychology”

This lecture was used to provide a transcript sample for both CART and TypeWell. Take a look at the transcripts below and think about how they would support your communication access.Lecture transcripts:
18JA31PCAS Prof Bloom Transc CART.docx
18JA31PCAS Prof Bloom Transc TypeWell.docx