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Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Access

an interpreter signs at the front of a classroom

Sign language interpreting and C-Print™ captioning accommodations are available for required academic activities.  Interpreters and C-Print™ captionists facilitate communication in real time. Interpreters usually work in a team of two to provide optimal service. Other accommodations or technology may be appropriate for classes where interpreting or captioning are not supportive.

Students should complete course registration request and finalize their schedules early. This will allow adequate time to recruit, hire, and schedule interpreters and captionists. Course schedule changes should go to the coordinator for captioning and interpreting ( as soon as possible. Students may also request service for class-related activities (e.g., meeting with professor, class group meeting, university event, etc.). These requests should be made early and coordinated between SSD and the event sponsor.

Colleges and Departments looking for sign language interpreting or assistive listening devices should contact ADA and Accessibility Services at 540-231-2010 or Live captioning may be requested by submitting a service ticket. You may also obtain clarification and further information by contacting James Bell at 540-231-3788 or


Accommodations for American Sign Language (ASL)/English interpreting help facilitate communication for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and use sign language. During class, interpreters usually stand near the speaker. In virtual meetings, interpreters can be pinned for the signing individual. Interpreters can translate speech into sign language or interpret the student's signs into spoken English. Early access to course materials will assist with maintaining high quality interpretation.


Some deaf and hard of hearing individuals do not use Sign Language or prefer to communicate in English. In many cases, transcribing (also called captioning) can be an appropriate accommodation.

C-Print™ Captioning is one method used to meet this need. C-Print™ accommodations are provided directly by SSD staff captionists.

In classrooms with the technology available, remote transcribers/captioners are sometimes employed to provide transcribing accommodations. Instructors with questions about setting up the room mics to provide this accommodation can contact SSD or TLOS at

Transcribing/captioning accommodations are usually scheduled for the full semester as soon as the student’s course schedule is available.

Assistive Listening Devices

Students who are hard of hearing may also make use of an assistive listening device (ALD). This gives the student direct, amplified access to a speaker's voice while blocking out audio interference. Contact well in advance to discuss ALD equipment needs. Many of the university's auditoriums are already set up for ALD use. Meeting with the audio-visual technician in each auditorium will determine what frequency a personal ALD should be set. These auditoriums also have a limited number of ALDs to check out for that specific class, meeting, or event. Arrangements can also be made to checkout an ALD from SSD for the entire semester.

University Captioning Resources

In addition, media used by university colleges and departments should contain captions or subtitles  to make it accessible to students and other viewers. Please review the information on university captioning resources to determine if post-production closed captioning or real-time live captioning is right for your needs.