Disability Resources for Students

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resources for Faculty

Why use captions? They benefit everyone. Students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing utilize the following accommodations:

Closed Captioned Videos

When there is a Deaf or hard-of-hearing student in your class, every video used needs to be captioned. Here’s a short video on why it is so important.

DRS Can Help

Students registered with Disability Resources for Students need to request captioned videos each quarter. This request will generate a Faculty Notification Letter which will be emailed to instructors prior to the start of the quarter. Instructors will need to submit information for all videos shown in class through the myDRS system. Watch the Instructor Portal for Faculty to Manage Disability Accommodation Requests video for more specific instructions (video request submission instructions are towards the end). If electronic videos are used, instructors will need to provide links to those videos as well. DRS will caption the videos using a captioning vendor. Completed captioned videos will be distributed electronically to the instructor(s) and student(s).

Audio Described Videos

When there is a blind student in your class, every video used needs to be audio described. Watch this trailer for Disney’s Frozen for an example of a video with audio description.

Real-Time Captioning (CART)

Real-Time Captioning is also known as Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART). The CART Services for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing People (Audio Described) video explains its importance.

A real-time captioner uses a court stenographer’s device to input all the information that is presented verbally in class. This device is connected to a laptop computer where the verbal information presented is displayed as text for the student to read. There is a slight (a few seconds) delay before the information appears on the computer screen. In order for the student to read the screen, he/she and the real-time captioner will need to sit next to each other in the classroom.

Keep In Mind

  • Remember that the captioner is recording information verbatim. It is very difficult to caption if the speaker is talking too fast, mumbles, or if several people speak at once. Please ask speakers to speak at a normal rate and not to speak at the same time.
  • If the speaker plans to read material in the class, it will be beneficial if the student is given the material prior to the beginning of the class so that he/she can follow along with what is being read.
  • The captioner’s software enables the student with little or no speech to type a question, raise their hand and have the captioner ask the question. This allows the student to fully participate in the class.
  • Please remember, the captioner cannot write on the machine and talk at the same time. Avoid speaking directly to the captioner or asking questions of the captioner during class time.

The information was modified from a handout created by Lundy Associates.

Real-time Captioners Do Not

  • Add or delete information.
  • Explain, define, or repeat information.
  • Take responsibility for the student’s absences or classroom performance.
  • Provide service during tests (unless requested in advance).
  • Participate in class discussions or activities.
  • Advise people on the subject of deafness.
  • Talk about court reporting equipment or profession during class time.

Sign Language Interpreting

Remember that the interpreter is there for the student who is deaf AND for you. The interpreter will relay the information being presented in class and can also interpret communications with you or with other students before or after class. Arrangements may be made with DRS to have an interpreter present for necessary meetings outside of class.

Keep In Mind

  • When using an interpreter to speak with a person who is deaf, remember to speak directly to the deaf person, not to the interpreter. The interpreter is not part of the conversation and is not permitted to voice personal opinions or enter into the conversation.
  • Face the person who is deaf and speak to him/her in a normal manner. Do not make comments to the interpreter that you do not intend to have interpreted to the deaf person, even if the deaf person’s back is turned.
  • Remember that the interpreter is a few words behind the speaker. Please give the interpreter time to finish before you ask questions so that the deaf person may also ask questions or join in the discussion.
  • Whenever possible, please permit only one person to speak at a time during group discussions, as it is very difficult for an interpreter when several people are speaking at once. It may be beneficial to ask the class to allow a brief pause between speakers to permit the interpreter to finish the previous statement before the next speaker begins.
  • In classes in which there is a great deal of classroom participation, it is helpful if the students in the class raise their hands and wait to be called upon before speaking. This allows the interpreter and the deaf student time to identify who is speaking, before proceeding with the interpreted statement.
  • Speak clearly and in a normal tone when using an interpreter. Do not rush through a lecture. If the interpreter does not understand, or did not hear what was said, he or she may ask the speaker to slow down or restate the information given.
  • Allow time to study handouts, charts or overheads. A person who is deaf cannot watch the interpreter and study written information at the same time. If at all possible, please provide the student with these materials in advance so they may be reviewed ahead of time.
  • Be sure that the interpreter has good lighting. If the interpreting situation requires darkening the room to view slides, videotapes, or films, auxiliary lighting may be necessary so that the deaf person can see the interpreter.

This information is the result of a joint effort between the Seattle Community College Regional Education Program for Deaf Students and the University of Washington.