Please note that during the COVID-19 pandemic we continue to provide services – just in a modified format. Our service providers will need to be included in all online course delivery, course communication and course resources. Thank you!

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services partners with college faculty to deliver courses with the required accommodations for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. We look forward to working with you! Our staff can assist you in making your course accessible with Interpreters, Notetakers, and Intervenors; see more details about these services below.

Questions?

Do you have any concerns or questions about the services we provide? Please see our Contact Page for the appropriate staff contact and send us an email. We will be glad to hear from you. Thank you.

Student Accommodations Explained

Accommodations are supports that reduce or eliminate disability-related barriers so that students can achieve their academic goals. For more information, you can visit the Accommodations section of Accessible Learning Services.

Learn more about Accommodations

How can you support your students?

Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

In Class

Sign Language Interpreters, Computerized Notetakers or Deafblind Intervenors are assigned to courses to provide accommodations and give equal access to the information, whether it be lectures, group work and even fieldwork. Note that our service providers maintain complete confidentiality and professionalism. They are not tutors, teacher assistants or personal support workers.

Videos & Captions

The college policy is that all video content shown in class or required for a course must have captions. This benefits everyone who has English as a second language and makes fast-talking video content more accessible. George Brown has a Captioned Media office that can be reached to add captions to your video material as needed. Contact Anne Villahermosa at avillahe@georgebrown.ca

Group Work

One of the situations that frequently arise in class is group work between students. Deaf and Hard of Hearing students can participate fully and equally with the assistance of their Interpreter, Notetaker or Intervenor. Normally the group will need to adjust their speed to allow for smooth communication.

Test Accommodations

As part of their accommodation plan, some students may have permission to take quizzes, tests and exams in an alternate format. Some of the more frequently seen accommodations are extended time and moving to the test centre for a less distracting environment. The Test Centre requires the student to make an appointment beforehand, and the teacher to supply the test.

One-on-One Meetings

Deaf and Hard of Hearing students will occasionally need to meet with the instructor. To allow for smooth communication please respect the student’s preference for an Interpreter, Notetaker or Intervenor at these times. It is not advisable to compromise communication with inferior methods. Please see the Request Page for information about booking a service provider.

Confidentiality

All of our Interpreters, Computerized Notetakers and Intervenors are required to complete all classroom information confidential. The notes, for example, are only shared with the Deaf or Hard of Hearing student. Likewise, the service providers are not privy to student information such as grades or medical data.

Interpreters & Computerized Notetakers

  • The Interpreter Role: Sign Language Interpreters are professionals who have graduated from an accredited institution and studied American Sign Language. They are members of the Canadian Association of Sign Language Interpreters (CASLI) and follow a strict code of ethics when working. They do not pick and choose what is interpreted. All classroom communication is interpreted and so they may request clarification or turn-taking if it is not possible to keep up with the dialogue.
  • The Computerized Notetaker Role: Computerized Notetakers are highly qualified individuals who follow the college's employment standards while working. They do not pick and choose what is put in the notes. Most classroom communication is documented, and they may request clarification or turn-taking if it is not possible to keep up with the dialogue.

Requests

To request a Sign Language Interpreter or Computerized Notetaker, please see our Request Page. They can be booked for all courses and course-related activities. It is always wise to make the request well in advance so we can secure someone in a timely manner. Note that interpreters and notetakers will vary depending on time and date.

Cancellation & Changes

Our office requests and books interpreters and computerized notetakers based on availability and complex scheduling issues. Any sudden changes to course times, dates or locations will affect our ability to provide accommodations. Please consider this before making changes and allow us time to make alternate arrangements.

Access to Blackboard/Online Materials

As instructors make more and more classroom resources available online please be aware that our service providers also need access to the information. Sharing the links or permissions with interpreters and notetakers will allow them to read and prepare the information beforehand, resulting in more accurate work. This also applies to online courses delivered by video link.

Classroom Documentation

Courses will frequently make use of textbooks, hand-outs, PowerPoint presentations or online materials. Our service providers will request copies of this material in advance so that they can fully prepare for lectures and labs. Thank you for being willing to share your material confidentially with them.

The Notetaker Role 

Notetakers create a written record of the main points and supporting details of a class, including lectures, class discussions, demonstrations (labs) and/or videos or films shown in class. Notes will include all learning points and other important information, such as assignments, class announcements, and test dates.

Requests

Deaf and Hard of Hearing students who request an ASL Interpreter for their classes will automatically receive some type of notetaking as an additional accommodation. This is because students who are visually focused on watching the interpreter cannot also write notes during the class.

Types of Service

Students who request an ASL Interpreter for their class also receive summary notes to review class material. This can be done in two ways:

Note Taking Express (NTE)

A digital service that transcribes class recordings into typed notes. Students who receive notes from Note Taking Express (NTE) record the class lecture digitally and then upload the class audio to the NTE web platform. The audio is transcribed by NTE and summary notes are available to the student within 48 hours.

Student Class Notetakers

Students who receive notes from Class Notetakers receive a copy of the notes from a classmate within 24 hours after the class ends. Student Class Notetakers are recruited by our department and we may request faculty to post an announcement in Blackboard for candidates. Student Class Notetakers will receive a reference letter and an honorarium for services provided.

Cancellations & Changes

Our office requests and arranges notetaking services based on availability and complex scheduling issues. Any sudden changes to course times, dates or locations will affect our ability to provide accommodations. Please consider this before making changes and allow us time to make alternate arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions