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Reasonable Adjustments: Deaf and Hard of Hearing

As per the Disability Standards for Education 2005 reasonable adjustments refer to a "measure or action taken to assist a student with disability to participate in education and training on the same basis as other students”. They are designed to place students with disability on a more equal footing, and not to give them any kind of advantage.

Reasonable adjustments made for a student with disability must maintain the academic integrity of the qualification and not cause a health or safety risk for other student(s) or negatively impact upon the learning experience of another student(s).

Adjustments are negotiated to meet the needs of the individual student; this is predominantly done through a Disability Practitioner within the institution the student attends. They commonly include the following.

To accommodate individual students

Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing may benefit from a range of inclusive teaching and assessment strategies.  Some adjustments that are frequently specifically for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing include:

  • access to peer lecture notes
  • provision of Auslan interpreters for lectures, tutorials, practicals, practicums and meetings with staff as required
  • provision of a combination of Auslan interpreters and/or note-taking services for classes
  • arrangement of appropriate seating in lectures, tutorials, practicals and examinations
  • provision of a real-time laptop typist note-taker for lectures, tutorials and practicals
  • access to real-time captioning in lectures
  • transcription of required audio resources into accessible formats including narrated PowerPoints, multi-media clips and so on
  • negotiation of assessment methodologies and appropriate technology and equipment
  • provision of assistive technology or equipment in examinations as required
  • arrangement for student to meet with faculty prior to starting to identify strategies for accommodating the implications of the disability in relation to the inherent requirements of any required practicums
  • provision of appropriate seating to facilitate engagement including front of class, eye line to lecturer, space for Auslan interpreter(s)
  • lecturers wearing microphones to accommodate students using hearing aids and induction loops
  • use of venues with minimal background noise such as moving rooms away from busy corridor areas such as adjacent to elevators
  • lecturers’ notes, PowerPoint presentations and other materials provided as a handout or download
  • provision of written confirmation of any changes or announcements, particularly related to a change in routine
  • provision of subject-specific jargon and definitions at the beginning of the course so that Auslan interpreters can work with students on how to spell and sign the new language
  • provision of captioned videos
  • alternative arrangements made for presentation of tutorial materials for students with associated speech loss
  • emailing of transcripts of live-captioned sessions.