As Fall semester approaches, the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) is here to help! Whether returning to physical classes, staying virtual, or using a hybrid model, effective coordination and management of accommodations across different settings is complex and multifaceted.

To ensure that your campus is prepared to support accommodation requests, take a system-wide approach that includes key players outside your department — faculty, information technology staff, and campus staff, for example.

We have put together resources for disability services offices and your campus community as you prepare for the new semester.

  • Create, review and communicate policies in advance through multiple formats. Policies and practices for managing access services vary among institutions, including how services are requested. Make your school’s policies specific, clear, and available in multiple formats, such as posting English and ASL versions though email, your website, or other frequently used communication platforms. Our DSS toolkit can offer guidelines for appropriate policies and procedures for your institution.

  • Provide an orientation with expectations about accommodation requests. Create a welcoming environment where deaf students and service providers can learn more about each other, from communication preferences to who to make requests to for accommodations outside of class. Include the office's procedure for handling accommodation requests, issues with instructors, and other useful information. Check out NDC’s Student Orientation Guide for more information.

  • Monitor accommodations and establish systems for obtaining feedback from students about services. Achieving effective accommodations for deaf students begins with a continuous interactive process. This process helps determine which accommodations are appropriate across different settings. This may depend on many factors, including the student’s communication style and preference, experience and availability of service providers. Take a look at our Interactive Process Tools: Checklist and Sample Questions for Deaf Students for more suggestions.

  • Encourage access across campus. Access doesn't just end in the classroom! Ensure all aspects of campus life, from unique academic opportunities such as study abroad to campus events, are accessible. To help you support deaf students campus-wide, NDC offers many guides for creating access.

  • Conduct periodic evaluations of your services — in the office and around campus. To ensure you provide equal opportunities and experiences for deaf students, it is vital to conduct periodic assessments of the level of access to programs and services at your institution. Feedback and information collected from these assessments will assist in ensuring that your campus is inclusive and supportive. NDC has two resources to help:

  • Evaluation Tool for Serving Deaf Students — This tool helps disability services offices evaluate their protocols, policies, and procedures to create accessible systems and improve outcomes for deaf students.

  • Campus Accessibility Guide — This guide contains a checklist to assist you with assessing your campus departments’ ability to serve deaf students.

After you have done an assessment and identified areas with gaps or objectives for improvement, use our other resources to support your action plan to create accessible environments for deaf students.

Tools for Your Office and Campus

NDC has created these guides, templates, and tools to support you in management of services for deaf students at your institution and promote #DeafSuccess.

Can’t find a specific resource or answer that you need? No problem! View the complete online toolkit, our resource page, or our free online professional development courses. If you still need help, contact the NDC | help team for support.