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California State University, Long Beach
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Faculty Handbook: Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Many Deaf and Hard of Hearing students will choose to use either sign language interpreters or captioners (a person who has been trained in court reporting skills and has transferred those skills to the classroom). Some students require only a notetaker. Each student has their own unique way of communicating. Whatever the service, the service provider(s) are there to facilitate communication between the student and the professor.

Strategies for working with deaf and hard of hearing students:

  • Contact the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Support Services Coordinator to ask any questions you  may have.
  • When providing a course outline and syllabus to your students, be sure to hand one to the service provider.
  • Allow the service provider to sit or stand on either side of you. If the student uses a captioner, the captioner will sit next to the student.
  • When speaking to the deaf student, the professor should look directly at the student (not at the service provider) and address all questions and comments to the student.
  • Speak naturally and clearly. Do not exaggerate lip movements or volume.
  • Don't block the area around your mouth with your hands or other objects.
  • Don’t over enunciate; talk loudly or with exaggerated mouth movements.
  • Try to avoid standing in front of windows or other sources of light. The glare from behind you makes it difficult to read lips and other facial expressions.
  • For many Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals, English is a second language and its subtleties can be confusing when there is a hearing loss.
  • Some Deaf and Hard of Hearing students will request to take their test with extended time through our Support Services.
  • Hearing-impaired students require that all videos used in the course to be captioned. Many DVDs and other licensed videos already have the captions that can be displayed, but for any uncaptioned video segments, the University provides assistance through the Office of Academic Technology. Please email to have your video segments captioned. Please be aware that this process may take 1-2 weeks to complete.

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