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.