Deaf or Hard of Hearing Guidelines

Students who seek accommodations or services for being diagnosed Deaf or Hard of Hearing must submit documentation that meets the guidelines described here, with the following components listed below:

1. A Qualified Evaluator

Professionals conducting assessments rendering the diagnosis of a hearing disability and making recommendations for appropriate accommodations must be qualified to do so. Such professionals can include licensed medical doctors with special training in assessing hearing loss or audiologists. The report must meet these criteria:

  • include evaluator’s name, title, professional credentials, license and/or certification number
  • be presented on the professional's letterhead, typed, dated, signed, and legible,
  • the evaluator may not be a member of the student's immediate family

2. Current Documentation

Reasonable accommodations are based on the current impact of a disability. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that medical documentation addresses an individual's current level of functioning and present need for accommodations. If your medical document is older than five years old, please have a qualified evaluator as listed above, complete the DRC 102 General Medical and/or Mental Health Documentation Form and submit it with your most current evaluation, as stated below.

3. Comprehensive Documentation of a Hearing Diagnosis must include:

  • The results of a current audiogram with a narrative interpretation of it; The narrative could include:
    • a history of presenting symptoms and relevant medical history
    • description of current impairment
    • a summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments/reports used to make the diagnosis
    • duration and severity of the disorder
    • if applicable, documentation of assistive devices and technology used, with estimated effectiveness; this would include a history of any disability-related accommodation(s)
    • status of the individual’s condition - static, improving, or degrading. Expected progression of the condition over time is useful.
  • A clear diagnosis of medical disability must be rendered, preferably in ICD-10 format. A specific diagnosis does not use wording such as "seems to indicate" or "suggests." The diagnosis must clearly state the disorder and the subtype if applicable.
  • The current functional limitations of the individual in an academic environment could be addressed. Functional limitations are the ways that the diagnosed disability would currently substantially limit the student in a major life activity. This should include a thorough description of the degree of impact to the individual and reference to allowable activities.
  • Based on the knowledge of the individual and the diagnosed disorder, the evaluator could make appropriate and specific recommendations for accommodation in an academic environment.
  • Suggestions of reasonable accommodation(s), which might be appropriate at the post-secondary level, are encouraged. These recommendations should be supported by the diagnosis.

4. Supporting Documentation

The qualified evaluator’s report, while necessary, is by no means the only documentation we can use to better understand and accommodate the student that is Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Other helpful documents include: records of previous accommodation, high school 504 plans or IEPs, previous medical evaluations, transcripts, and parent, teacher, tutor, and rehabilitation center reports. Please see the DRC 102 General Medical and/or Mental Health Documentation Form [PDF], should you wish to add this to your supporting documentation.

*Please note that the on-campus DRC office is currently closed. Students must submit documentation as an attachment to [email protected] prior to their scheduled appointment.

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