Deaf / Impaired Hearing

DEFINITION

More individuals in the United States have a hearing impairment than any other type of physical disability. A hearing impairment is any type or degree of auditory impairment while deafness is an inability to use hearing as a means of communication. Hearing loss may be sensorineural, involving an impairment of the auditory nerve; conductive, a defect in the auditory system that interferes with sound reaching the cochlea; or a mixed impairment, involving both sensorineural and conductive. Hearing loss is measured in decibels and may be mild, moderate, or profound. A person with hearing loss may use hearing aides and rely on lip reading. Others may require an interpreter.

Accommodations may include:

  • Seating in the front of the classroom
  • Written supplement to oral instructions, assignments, and directions
  • Visual aids as often as possible
  • Speaker facing the class during lectures (overhead vs. whiteboard)
  • Speaker repeating the questions that other students in the class ask
  • Note-taker for lecture classes
  • Test accommodations: extended time, separate location, proofreading of essay tests, access to word processor, interpreted directions
  • Unfamiliar vocabulary written on the board or a handout
  • Small amplification system
  • Interpreter seated where the student can see the interpreter and lecturer
  • Excess noise reduced as much as possible to facilitate communication
  • Instructor facing the student who is lip reading, speaking slowly, using shorter sentences and appropriate facial expression and gestures
  • Alternative oral presentations
  • The use of overhead projectors and other types of visual aides to enhance communication
  • Copies of Power Point slides in advance of lecture

ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION

Eligibility for Disability Services at the College of Saint Elizabeth is dependent upon the nature of the disability and its impact on learning. A person might meet eligibility requirements of vocational rehabilitation, disabled veterans or any other rehabilitation agency; however, she/he may not meet eligibility at the College of Saint Elizabeth.

One of the reasons that the College has developed these guidelines is to ensure consistency throughout the institution. These guidelines are fairly consistent with those used by agencies administering standardized assessments.

The ultimate decision for eligibility on campus is a judgment that must be made by the Coordinator of Disability Services based upon the guidelines developed for each type of disability. Once a student has been verified as disabled by the College of Saint Elizabeth Office of Disability Services, a disability eligibility form should be completed and placed in a confidential file with the determining documentation.