Office of Student Life

Disability Services

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services

Below is a list of questions regarding services for students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing.

Q: A classmate receives Transcription notes. Can I (fellow student) get a copy of the class transcription notes?

Typically, no. The transcription notes are part of a Disability Services approved accommodation for a specific student based on a specific need, and are not freely available to any other students. However, if you (fellow student) are also registered with the Office of Student Life Disability Services, you may talk to your Access Specialist about whether this type of accommodation is appropriate for you.

Q: Is real-time transcription the same as voice recognition software?

No. Quality real-time transcription and/or captioning in a classroom environment can only be accomplished through the use of a specially trained and skilled human being, who uses specialized software to transmit their written text into a readable, real-time transcript for the end viewer. Voice recognition may be satisfactory in a very controlled environment, with one speaker, who has trained the software to recognize that specific voice, and is speaking at a controlled pitch and pace. Voice recognition software cannot create communication access in most environments, including the classroom.

Q: Are auto-captioned Youtube videos accessible?

YouTube auto-captions are not recommended and are often highly inaccurate. You cannot rely on YouTube auto-captions to provide accessibility.

Q: What is an FM system? How does it work?

An FM system utilizes a microphone and transmitter unit (worn by the instructor) and a receiver and headset (worn by the student). The instructor’s speech is transmitted to the student’s receiver unit (via FM radio signal), and the student has the ability to control volume and other settings. Students who use hearing aids may request the use of an FM Hearing System for use in the classroom environment. Contact your Access Specialist for details.

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