Students usually have a mild to severe hearing loss and use speech as their primary mode of communication.

Types of Diagnosis

Mild Student may miss up to 50% of class discussions especially if voices are soft or the environment is noisy. Students may require the use of a hearing aid or personal FM system and other accommodations that match their individual needs. Loss is between 26 to 40 decibels.

Moderate Classroom conversation from 3 to 5 feet away can be understood if the structure and vocabulary is controlled. Hearing aides and/ or FM systems are essential. Loss is between 41 to 55 decibels.

Moderate to Severe Without amplification students with this degree of loss can miss up to 100% of speech information. Full time use of amplification is essential as may be other accommodations. They will probably require additional help in all language based academic subjects. Moderate loss is between 56 to 70 decibels.

Qualifying Professional



In addition to the General Disability Documentation guidelines, documentation for students requesting accommodations on the basis of being deaf need to include:

  1. An audiological evaluation and/or audiogram.
  2. An interpretation of the functional implications of the diagnostic data and hearing aid evaluation.
  3. Suggestions as to how the functionally limiting manifestations of the disabling condition(s) may be accommodated.

The audiogram indicates the degree of hearing loss measured in decibel loss according to internationally agreed upon standards. Decibel losses do not always correlate with educational implications and therefore should not be a sole criterion for determination of support services

Assessment to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the student in the area of language development and communication skills, as well as to determine the method of communication to be used in the educational setting may be required.


Accommodations will depend on the functional impact, age of onset, prognosis and diagnosis of the hearing loss.

  • Oral, Contact Sign, (ASL) Interpreting
  • Real Time Captioning 
  • Assistive technology (FM Loops, conference microphones)
  • note taking
  • electronic note taking
  • captioned videos
  • soft/hard copies of overheads
  • access to shared drives re lecture notes
  • TTYs
  • visual warning signals
  • alternate coursework & assignments/ exams
  • preferred seating
  • exam instructions/ announcements in writing
  • tutoring 
  • extended program completion timeline
  • extended time on exams