Disability Resources for Students

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Accommodations for Students

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing handbook for students is DHOH Handbook pdf.


Welcome to the University of Washington (UW)!  The UW is committed to ensuring equal access and reasonable accommodation in its classes, services, programs, and activities, for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Disability Resources for Students (DRS) staff members and the Coordinator of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services are excited to work with you.  We have created this handbook to inform you about our policies and procedures for requesting accommodations such as sign  language interpreting, Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) services, assistive  listening devices, captioned videos, and providing housing accommodations. Accommodations are approved on a case-by-case basis, and new accommodations can be requested at any time. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the policies and procedures outlined in this handbook.

Contact your DRS Coordinator if you have any questions.

Next Steps 

Now that you have gone through the initial meeting with your assigned Coordinator, you will receive a Student Eligibility Letter that states your approved accommodations and the next steps to take.

  • Each quarter, request approved accommodations in a timely manner. Accommodations should be requested through myDRS no later than the first week of the quarter. Some approved accommodations, such as ASL interpreting require significant advance notice. This will generate an email to your faculty members about your accommodations.
    • Each quarter you will need to arrange a time to meet with each professor and discuss the specific details of implementing your accommodations in each course.

Service Request Timeline 

Type of Service Time Required
Communication Access: CART, Sign Language Interpreter, Assistive Listening Devices, Video Captioning
  • Requests for communication access services are made through myDRS. Recurring classroom and multi-day event requests are due at least 5 weeks in advance.
  • Requests for one-time events and meetings are due at least 10 days in advance.
Clinicals, Clerkships, Practicums, Externships, Internships, etc.
  • Accommodations relevant for non-classroom activities should be discussed as soon as possible with your DRS Coordinator. The process to evaluate, design and implement accommodations in these settings need to be done well in advance of the start of the fieldwork and preferably before locations are assigned, since accommodations at these sites can involve a multi-department effort.
Field Trips/Study Abroad
  • Requests for accommodations on field trips/study abroad trips are due in writing at least 8 weeks prior to the departure date.

Late Requests: 

Untimely requests may result in delay, substitutions, or the inability to fulfill the request(s).

Canceling and Modifying Interpreter / CART Requests: 

When missing class, modifying or cancelling a request, please provide notification more than 72 hours in advance whenever possible.

Absences and Late Arrivals: 

If you are going to be absent or arriving more than 15 minutes late to class, please notify the Coordinator of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services as soon as possible. In the event of frequent absences, DRS will request a meeting to discuss effective use of accommodations.

Also contact the Coordinator of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services if your interpreter / CART provider is late, or does not show up. If a substitute provider cannot be found, the Coordinator of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services will arrange for audio recording the class and provide a transcript in a timely manner.

Interpreter / CART Services 

A.    Services Provided 

The University contracts with certified interpreters and CART providers. Sign language interpreters serve as communication facilitators between the student and professors or teaching assistants and other participants in classes and meetings. CART provides an instant  translation of spoken English into written English text that is displayed on a laptop monitor. This allows the student to read what is being said during a class session. This YouTube video demonstrates how CART works.

The UW is responsible for providing interpreter / CART services for:

  • Registered classes through UW
  • Required class field trips
  • Group meetings or projects required for a course
    • University approved tutoring such as C.L.U.E.
    • Meeting with faculty during office hours
    • Meetings with staff members such as academic advisor’s or financial aid counselors
      • University-sponsored activities like performances and speaking events

The University does NOT provide interpreters or CART for a student’s personal activities that are not sponsored by the University. These activities might include:

  • Working with a private tutor
  • Registered Student Organization (RSO) events (The D-Center has funding to help with this.)

B.      Process for Requesting Interpreter / CART Services 

  1. Interpreter / CART for class 

You will be given priority registration so that you can register for classes as early as possible and submit interpreter / CART requests through myDRS. Service providers are scheduled for the 10 weeks of a quarter. Please submit an additional request for any services needed during finals week. To request an interpreter / CART provider for classes:

  1. Login to myDRS with your NetID, by clicking on the yellow box at http://disability.uw.edu.
  2. Click on the box for courses you will be taking and select “Submit.”
  3. Click on the box of each accommodation(s) you want to use for a given class. Select “Submit.”
  4. Email dhhreq@uw.edu with the names of any preferred service providers.

2.   Interpreter / CART for University-sponsored activities outside of class 

Students requesting interpreter / CART services for University-sponsored activities outside of the classroom (such as meetings with professors, meetings with the Financial Aid Office, or academic advising appointments), should complete the myDRS Custom Requests at least ten (10) school days in advance. To request interpreter / CART provider for University-sponsored activities outside of class:

  1. Login to myDRS with your NetID, by clicking on the yellow box at http://disability.uw.edu.
  2. On the left hand column, under “My Accommodations” click on “Deaf and Hard of Hearing”.
  3. Next, click on “Custom Requests” toward the top right corner.
    1. You’ll be asked to enter the date, time, location and duration of the event.
    2. Last, click “Submit Custom Request”.
    3. Email dhhreq@uw.edu with the names of any preferred service providers.

C.    Scheduling 

The Coordinator of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services is responsible for scheduling the interpreter / CART after receiving DRS-approved student request accommodation services and the myDRS Custom Requests. Interpreter / CART will not be able to make changes to their work assignment(s) directly from a student at his/her request. DRS will not pay for interpreting or CART services that have not been authorized by the assigned DRS Coordinator prior to the service provision. Talk to your DRS Coordinator for further work assignments you request.

Factors the Coordinator of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services will be attentive to when scheduling interpreter / CART are:

  • student language preference
  • interpreter / CART availability
  • subject matter
  • class schedules
  • timeliness of the request

While student preferences for interpreter / CART will be given every consideration, we cannot guarantee that a student’s preference will be granted. Students will be able to view assigned service providers by logging into myDRS and clicking on “Deaf and Hard of Hearing”

D.     Faculty Notification Letter 

Approximately one week before each quarter begins, faculty members will receive a Faculty Notification Letter listing the approved accommodations a student has selected for a given course, as well as helpful information on working with an interpreter / CART provider in the classroom.

Students should introduce themselves to their faculty members, and talk about any logistics for the course (i.e. are there field trips, meetings other than class time, exams with auditory components, captioned videos, etc).

E.      Establishing a Working Relationship with Interpreter / CART provider 

On the first day of class, introduce yourself to the service provider and talk about service delivery options and your communication preferences. For a successful working relationship, give the service provider constructive instructions and feedback, when needed. Examples might include providing input to interpreters if their fingerspelling is unclear, suggesting signs that would be clearer, or asking the interpreter to sit or stand in your preferred placement within the room.

F.       How to Resolve Problems With Interpreter / CART Services: 

Have problems or concerns about the interpreter / CART services? Here are some steps that should be taken to resolve the problem: Communicate directly with the provider to try to resolve any problems. Often, communication with the interpreter / CART will result in a satisfactory resolution. If the problem is not resolved following recent step, contact your DRS Coordinator to discuss and work out problems with your interpreter / CART services.

Assistive Listening Devices 

Assistive listening devices, also known as FM systems, include a microphone with a transmitter unit (worn by the speaker) and a receiver unit with headset, boots on hearing aid users, or loop (worn by the student). The speaker’s speech is transmitted (via radio signal) to the student’s receiver unit. The student has the ability to control volume and other settings.

To request an assistive listening device, contact your DRS Coordinator. DRS owns various models that are compatible for general use, as well as for hearing aid or cochlear implant users. Assistive listening devices can be loaned out for the school year.

Captioning Films, Video Clips or DVD’s 

Your DRS Coordinator will contact faculty for each course in which you have requested video captioning services, in order to find out any videos being shown in class to assist with captioning. Faculty may not always know how to caption videos or know to contact DRS for help. To request captioned media including any films, video clips or DVD’s please complete the following steps:

  1. Login to myDRS with your NetID, by clicking on the yellow box at http://disability.uw.edu.
  2. On the left hand column, under “My Accommodations” click on “Deaf and Hard of Hearing”.
  3. Next, select the appropriate course from the drop down menu toward the top right corner.
  4. Select “Video Captioning.” Indicate the date, time and type of video to be shown.
  5. Last, click “Submit Custom Request”.

Housing Accommodations 

Students interested in living in accessible spaces in UW Housing must complete a myDRS Application with the DRS office and submit the Housing Accommodations Questionnaire. Requests need to be made in accordance with the Deadlines for Housing Accommodations. Accommodation requests submitted after the deadline will be processed on a space available basis and may include a wait list.

The types of accommodations provided are dependent on the nature of the disability, impact in the on campus living environment, and provided on a case by case basis. DRS works in collaboration  with the UW Housing & Food Services office to provide accommodations that meet individual student needs.

Types of accommodation(s) that may be provided include, but are not limited to:

  • Room equipped with a visual fire alert
  • Visual doorbell signal
  • Shake awake alarm clocks and doorbells

A.   Steps to Receive Housing Accommodations 


A.   On-Campus 

The D Center strives to create an inclusive, accessible space affirming of all bodies, minds and identities by fostering a culture of social justice and pride.

The international DO-IT Center promotes the success of individuals with disabilities in post secondary education and careers, using technology as an empowering tool.

The UW Speech & Hearing Clinic is an outpatient center providing valued service to the community while serving as a clinical education and research facility. The clinic is a living laboratory in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences with graduate students training to become audiologists and speech-language pathologists.

B.    Off-Campus 

DVR is a state organization that can assist Deaf or hard of hearing students in paying for college, buying equipment, finding jobs and helps colleges pay for interpreters or caption providers.

HSDC works with clients to achieve their maximum potential through effective communication connections with family and community.

The Hearing Loss Association of Washington opens the world of communication to people with hearing loss by providing information, education, support and advocacy to improve living conditions and assure access.

The Association of Late-Deafened Adults is about communication and acceptance of every deafened individual.

ODHH is here to serve the needs of deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, speech disabled and hearing people throughout the State of Washington.