Hearing Impairments


Receiving effective communication of all class-related information and material is imperative for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.  It’s likely that student with this impairment may request an interpreter or a note-taker as accommodations.

Under Section 504, a student cannot be denied participation in an education “because of the absence of educational auxiliary aids for students with impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills.”  The Americans with Disabilities Act also states that: “A public entity shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids” unless the institution can prove that doing so will result in an undue burden.

Possible accommodations

Decisions as to appropriate accommodations should be made on a case-by-case basis.  No particular accommodations are appropriate for all students, but below are some common ones offered students with hearing impairments.

For tests:

  • Extended time.
  • Interpreters.
  • Note-takers.
  • Real-time captioning (C-Print, CART etc.).
  • Overheads.
  • Listening devices.
  • Word processors.

All of the above plus:

  • Alternative text formats.
  • Adaptive technology.
  • Qualified readers
  • Scribes
  • Audio Induction Loop, Infrared Systems, Assistive Listening Devices or FM Systems:  These transmit the sounds in a classroom to a student’s amplifier device or hearing air.
  • Preferred seating at the front of the class and away from loud noises.


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