Deaf Students

Deaf students as with all disabled students, direct conversation with the student is likely to yield the most specific and accurate information about what s/he needs to succeed. Make sure this happens early in the term. In addition, please consider the following:

  • Visual Written Form: Whenever possible, please ensure that important information conveyed in class (changes to the syllabus or course schedule, verbal instructions for completing homework) is also presented simultaneously in a visual written form.
  • Captioning: Current day film and video almost always comes with captioning; enable it or otherwise make it accessible for deaf students.
  • Written Materials: Take a moment while lesson planning to ask yourself whether there are any written materials you could provide your deaf students in advance of the lesson. Having materials in advance can increase comprehension for students with hearing challenges.
  • Seat Location: Consider seating your student close to the action. Deaf students often benefit from closer proximity or from acquiring a direct sight line to the instructor or speaker in class.
  • Direction and Facial Expressions: Face deaf students when communicating so that your mouth and facial expressions are fully visible at all times.
  • Repetition: When other students speak in class, remember to repeat their questions/comments while facing deaf students. This technique often not only helps deaf students, but also hearing students through the benefit of repetition.


Always verify that a student has registered her/his disability with Student Development before putting accommodations in place. If you have not received an official accommodations letter, contact the Dean of Students Office at 269.337.7209.