Handbook for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing


Dear Student,

Thank you for choosing the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Disability Resource Center (DRC) is here to work collaboratively with you so you will have equal access to all UA Little Rock services, classes, and events. The DRC will assist you in determining how UA Little Rock can best help you meet your accommodation needs in these areas. DRC is the primary office on campus with staff who have specialized knowledge and experience in disability issues. DRC also is the central location for maintaining documentation about your hearing loss through written records and staff contact.

This handbook will introduce you to services offered for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. An outline of services available and strategies for accessing those services are provided. The DRC staff are available to answer any questions you might have or to clarify topics in this handbook for you.

Thank you again for choosing UA Little Rock!


Reed Claiborne

Back to Contents

Connecting with the DRC

The application interview is the first step in receiving support services at UA Little Rock. You do not have to identify your disability in the admission process. However, if you think you will need support services in your classes or other UA Little Rock related activities, DRC will help you determine what services are appropriate and explain how these services will be provided.

Before receiving any DRC services, you must make an appointment and visit with a DRC staff member. During this meeting, you will complete an application form with the staff member and discuss your needs.

Documentation of a disability is the basis for providing accommodations. For students who are deaf or hard of hearing, the needed documentation is an audiological evaluation from a licensed audiologist that includes a diagnosis and information as to how the disability impacts you in the academic environment. Documentation must be provided before you can receive accommodations. This information is confidential.

In most cases, it is determined whether or not you qualify for services during the application interview. The staff person will then provide information as to how to inform your instructors of any specific adaptations or devices you require for your studies. Later, once classes begin, you may find that you require other specific services or may not need what you already have. Please discuss these changes with a DRC staff person so we can get the information on record and can respond appropriately if a professor calls us.

Since DRC has a separate computerized student information system based on the information you provided during the application interview, it is critical that you let us know when you change your address, phone number, or email address. You also must contact the Admissions and Records office about these changes.

Note: Additional general information about obtaining services, eligibility under the law, the intake process, advising and registration procedures can be found in the DRC Student Handbook Supplement.

Back to Contents


Services provided to students who are deaf or hard of hearing are determined on an individual basis. The following is a list of services most commonly used:

  • Sign Language Interpreters
  • Oral Transliterators
  • Tutors
  • Notetaking Assistance
  • TypeWell Transcription Services
  • Personal Assistive Listening Devices
  • Closed Captioning Televisions in Donaghey Student Center, Student Lounge, and Residence Hall
  • Captions for online and in-class media
  • Extended Testing Administration (as needed)
  • Specialized Courses
  • Orientation to College
  • Advocacy and Support

Additional services may be provided for students with secondary disabilities, such as blindness or a learning disability. A student who is hard of hearing and has a learning disability may tape-record classes and/or use books on tape in addition to using an assistive listening device. A student who is deaf-blind may need books and written materials in Braille or large print in addition to using a tactile or restrictive vision interpreter.

Priority Registration

Students who use interpreters or transcribers (“service providers”) are encouraged to take advantage of priority registration offered through DRC.  Registering for classes as early as possible will allow the Interpreter/Transcriber Coordinator (“Coordinator”) the opportunity to find the best possible service provider for your class. Students who add or drop a class must notify the Coordinator immediately so that services may be arranged.

To ensure that the best quality of services is provided, we must know your schedule as soon as possible. Therefore, we request that all students submit a copy of their schedule to the Coordinator at least 10 working days prior to the start of the semester. Students who do so will be given priority when scheduling services. Greater consideration will be given the earlier your schedule is received.

Communication with Faculty

DRC can provide faculty notification letters to your professors explaining your accommodations. Simply request faculty notification letters online at the beginning of every semester.

When a service provider is schedule to be in a class, a separate letter will be sent to faculty by the Coordinator that outlines that a service provider will be present in class, and the procedures for requesting media to be captioned.

Notetaker Services

During your initial appointment, the need for notetaking services will be determined. You may ask the instructor to announce in class that a notetaker is needed or you may choose to make the announcement yourself. If there are multiple students in one class needing a notetaker, you may choose one person to take notes for everyone.

On occasion, finding a notetaker from your class may not be possible. If this occurs, DRC will attempt to find a notetaker to come in to your class to take notes.  However, it is your responsibility to let us know that you are having difficulty finding a notetaker. You should first talk with your instructor before coming to the DRC office.

If you are having problems with your notetaker, discuss the problem directly with them. Do not discuss the problems with your friends or with other notetakers. If the problem cannot be solved, contact a DRC staff person, who will either speak to the notetaker or schedule a meeting with you both.

The notetaker is not responsible for giving you notes when you are not in class. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to get a copy of the notes from someone else in class. The notetaker will be responsible for letting you know if they will be unable to attend a class. If your notetaker does not come to class, it is your responsibility to ask someone in your class to take notes for that day. You may also ask for assistance from your instructor.

Copies of notes can be handled in several ways. DRC provides carbonless paper to notetakers so that notes can be given to you at the conclusion of class. If the class has multiple students using a notetaker, our copy machine may be used to copy notes. You and the notetaker are responsible for making an agreement about how notes will be copied.

Assistive Listening Devices

A limited number of personal assistive listening devices (ALDs) are available for loan to students for use in the classroom or other UA Little Rock related activities. ALDs may be loaned out for the entire semester or on a daily basis (depending on the demand).

ALDs may be checked out for academic advisement meetings, professor-student meetings, etc. If you think you would like to use an ALD for your classes, contact the Director in the DRC office for an appointment. Referral may be made to the Assistive Listening Device Center located at the Speech and Hearing Clinic on campus for students wanting a hands-on demonstration of various ALD systems.

An amplification system designed for small meetings is also available on campus. Room amplification systems are available in the Stella Boyle Smith Auditorium, the Theatre, and the Donaghey Student Center Rooms A, B, and C. If you would like to access these systems at any time during the semester, contact the DRC office at least two weeks prior to the time you will need the system (or as soon as you are aware of the need).

Interpreting/Transcribing Services

All policies relating to interpreting services also apply to TypeWell services.

During the initial meeting with DRC, the need of sign or oral interpreting services will be discussed. If needed, a service provider be assigned to each of your classes. On occasion, DRC may be unable to find a qualified service provider for a specific class at a specific time. If this occurs, you will be notified immediately and given the opportunity to change the class to another time or choose a different class when a service provider is available.

If the professor cancels a class and either puts this information in the syllabus or makes an announcement in class, you must notify the Coordinator as soon as possible. If you know you will miss a class, give the Coordinator and your classroom service provider at least 24 hours advance notice. In some situations, such as an emergency, you may not be able to provide 24 hours notice; however any advance notice is considered sufficient. Failure to provide any advance notice is considered a no show. To give advance notice you may:

  • Call the DRC office and either speak with or leave a message for the Coordinator by voice, relay, or videophone,
  • Contact any DRC staff member and speak in person by voice, relay, or videophone or
  • Send an email message to the Coordinator.
  • Send a text message to the Coordinator and/or the service provider assigned to your class.

Failure to provide notice will result in the following actions:

  1. First no show:
    An email will be sent to remind you of the policy and appropriate procedures.
  2. Second no show:
    An email will be sent informing you that you have two “No-Shows.” In addition, the letter will remind you of the policy and appropriate procedures.
  3. Third no show:
    Services will automatically be temporarily suspended and an email will be sent informing you of the policy and the appropriate procedure. Services will remain suspended until you make an appointment and meet with the Coordinator to discuss reinstatement of services.
  4. For each subsequent no show:
    Services will automatically be suspended and a letter or email will be sent to you informing you of the policy and the appropriate procedures. The services will remain suspended until you make an appointment and meet with the Coordinator in DRC to discuss reinstatement of services.

Repeated cancellations with less than 24 hours notice may also result in suspension of services. In such instances, the Coordinator will suspend services until you make an appointment to discuss reinstatement of services.

These policies will be followed even if you have not received notification. For example, if you have 3 or more no shows in a week, interpreting services will be suspended, even if you have not received a letter from DRC. Two classes missed on one day is considered two no shows.

If you are late for class, the service provider will wait outside of the classroom for 20 minutes before leaving. If you arrive in class before the service provider leaves, do not ask the service provider what you missed. It is your responsibility to ask your instructor or other students what you missed, either after class or during break.

If you need to talk to the instructor or other students after class, ask the service provider if they are available. If they are not, you will need to schedule an appointment and request a service provider from the Coordinator.

You are responsible for all course content, tests, and other course requirements. The service provider is not responsible for the grades you receive. Ask the instructor questions, not the service provider. Do not ask the service provider for help in class or for tutoring. Remember, the service provider is only there to assist with communication.

If communication problems occur or you are having other problems with your service provider, discuss those issues directly with your service provider Do not discuss these problems with your friends or with other service providers. If the problem cannot be resolved, contact the Coordinator, who will either speak to the service provider or schedule a meeting with you both.

You will be given the opportunity to fill out an evaluation of your service provider(s) at mid-semester and at the end of the semester.

If services are needed for any college-related events other than the regularly scheduled classes, contact the DRC office and fill out an Service Provider Request Form at least two weeks before the event (or as soon as you are aware of the need).

Service Providers will not be placed in assignments that could threaten to compromise their commitment to the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct. Examples of this include but are not limited to providing services for family members and romantic interests. In such situations, the deaf person’s right to privacy and confidentiality could easily be compromised. Any questions about the ethics of a relational situation with you and a service provider should be directed to the Coordinator.

DRC supports students in the Interpreter Education Program by allowing them to observe classroom interpreters as part of their intern experience. You have no responsibility to an intern who may be observing the service provider in your class. Interns are required to follow all aspects of the UA Little Rock Service Provider Policy Handbook and the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct.

TypeWell Transcription Services

What TypeWell Is:  TypeWell is a transcription system that allows transcribers to provide communication access for students and others who need such support. It is an effective learning tool for deaf and hard of hearing students and staff, as well as those with visual, physical or learning difficulties.

How It Works:  With the TypeWell system, a hearing transcriber uses a notebook computer with abbreviation software to transcribe meaning-for-meaning communication that occurs, in both lectures and discussions. The students read the transcription in real-time from a second computer. Students can also type questions and comments to the transcriber during class. These questions and comments are then read aloud by the transcriber to the speaker. If you prefer to use sign language to express yourself, let the Coordinator know and she will try to schedule a transcriber who is also an interpreter for your class.

Communication access in class:  A trained TypeWell transcriber provides students with information about both class content and social interaction among their peers. The transcriber captures the meaning of what is said, as well as how it is expressed.

Meaning-for-Meaning vs. Word-for-Word:  The TypeWell transcription system is a meaning-for-meaning system. This means the transcriber may not type every word that is said, but rather may condense and summarize while maintaining the full meaning intended by the speaker. Many TypeWell transcribers do get close to verbatim transcription, but they are trained to omit false starts, repetitions and other non-meaningful speech. All spoken content is retained in class communication access, including jokes, off-the-point comments, behavioral control, etc.

Using the Educational Transcription Service – Student Guidelines

  • Do not provide other students with copies of the transcript. Providing transcripts to other students may result in a loss of service. If other students or the professor request copies of the notes, inform DRC or the transcriber.
  • Tell the transcriber how you prefer to communicate with the teacher and other students in class.
  • Don’t handle equipment unless the transcriber asks you to help.
  • Copy diagrams included in the lecture. The transcriber cannot get this kind of information into the transcript. It is your responsibility.
  • In class, don’t watch the computer constantly. Look around at the teacher, the other students, the board, etc. This will help you know the emotional tone in the class. It will also prevent eyestrain, and it will make class more interesting.
  • Check the spelling of all new vocabulary words. The correct spelling is your responsibility.
  • The text from the transcriber is not word-for-word; it is meaning-for-meaning.
  • If you don’t understand something in class, ask the professor to clarify, not the transcriber. The transcriber is not a tutor or teaching assistant.
  • Give the transcriber your jump drive every class so that they can make a copy of the transcript for you.
  • Talk to the Coordinator about any problems with the communication access in class, or with the transcript. Don’t let problems continue.

Tutoring and Other Academic Supports

If you know you will need a tutor for any of your classes, contact the DRC Director or someone in the DRC office. Do not wait until you are having a test or are failing a class to ask for a tutor. The earlier you request services, the better your chances for doing well in your classes. You will probably be referred to Student Support Services for tutoring and/or other academic support services, although DRC staff may be able to identify a tutor for you in some cases.

If during tutoring sessions you will require a service provider, you will need to request this service in advance from the Coordinator using a request form.

Student Support Services is a separate program at UA Little Rock that provides a range of academic support services to eligible students such as tutoring, study skills, counseling, a math lab, a pre-algebra prep math class, a reading lab, and test preparation counseling.

Back to Contents


UA Little Rock is committed to academic achievement for its diverse student population. DRC, the student, faculty, notetaker and service provider work together as an educational team for the purpose of creating a successful learning environment. Each member of the team has a vital and specific role. In order to create an equitable learning experience, all team members must actively fulfill their respective roles.

Student Responsibilities:

  • Meet with the DRC Director or another staff person to discuss accommodations
  • For service provider requests outside of regularly scheduled class times, complete the request form two weeks prior to the event (or as soon as you are aware of the need)
  • On the first day of class or in any new situation, please identify yourself to the service provider
  • Be on time for all classes, labs, and meetings
  • If you have questions relating to the class materials, ask the professor, not the service provider
  • Personal conversations with the service provider should not occur during the class, but before or after the class
  • Request tutors as soon as you are aware of the need
  • When using assistive listening devices or other equipment checked out from the DRC office, return them on time and keep them in good condition
  • Complete academic advising and registration for classes as soon as possible, especially if you are using interpreter or transcriber services
  • Notify the Coordinator of your schedule at least 10 business days prior to the first day of class (students who do so will be given priority when scheduling services)
  • Send Faculty Notification Letters prior to first day of class
  • Work out an agreement with your notetaker about how you will receive copies of notes
  • Discuss any problems with your service provider directly with them before coming to talk to a DRC staff person
  • Notify the Coordinator if your service provider does not come to class
  • Let your service provider know if you plan to be absent, if your class is canceled, if there will be a video shown in class, or if you will be making a presentation
  • Know and abide by all UA Little Rock and DRC policies, rules and regulations.

Each student must take the initiative to become familiar with these policies, rules and regulations (Failure to do so will not exclude you from consequences of violating any UA Little Rock or DRC policy, rule or regulation.)

DRC Responsibilities:

  • Assist students in gaining equal access to all UA Little Rock services, classes, and events
  • Continue to enhance services and access to programs
  • Provide counseling and academic advising for students
  • Provide qualified service providers to students
  • Provide assistive listening systems to students
  • Assist students in completing the DRC application interview and accessing appropriate support services
  • Help students determine which support services are appropriate and explain how these services will be provided
  • Assist faculty and staff members in working with students
  • Provide advocacy and support to students when working with professors
  • Provide faculty with notification letters upon request
  • Refer students to other services on campus when necessary (e.g., Student Support Services, Counseling Services, and Career Planning Services)
  • Follow all laws that apply to serving students on a college campus

Service Provider Responsibilities:

  • Follow the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct
  • Interpret lectures, discussions, media and communications in the classroom setting
  • Provide interpreting services to the best of their ability
  • Keep all information regarding interpreting assignments confidential
  • Facilitate communication between persons who are hearing and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing as accurately as possible
  • Arrive on time for assignments
  • Be professional in all aspects of the interpreting assignment
  • Dress appropriately wearing clothes that contrast with skin color and are not distracting to the students or faculty
  • Prepare for class by reviewing textbooks, handouts and media ahead of time
  • If student is absent or late, stay 20 minutes before leaving
  • Contact the Coordinator with comments or concerns

Transcriber Responsibilities:

  • Follow the TypeWell¨ Transcriber Code of Ethics
  • Transcribe lectures, discussions, media and communication in the classroom setting
  • Provide transcribing services to the best of their ability
  • Keep all information regarding transcribing assignments confidential
  • Facilitate communication between persons who are hearing and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing as accurately as possible
  • Set up equipment prior to assignment and dismantle equipment at the end
  • Be professional in all aspects of the transcription assignment
  • Dress appropriately
  • Prepare for class by reviewing textbooks, handouts and media ahead of time
  • If student is absent or late, stay 20 minutes before leaving
  • Make transcript available to student
  • Contact the Coordinator with any questions or concerns

Notetaker Responsibilities:

  • Take notes for each class as accurately and clearly as possible
  • Write down all important dates, assignments, and other course-related information
  • Meet with a DRC staff person at the beginning of each semester to discuss notetaking strategies and specific notetaking assignments
  • Discuss any problems directly with the student before speaking with DRC staff
  • Check with the instructor to make sure notes are clear and all information is correct and complete (if necessary)
  • Provide copies of notes in a timely manner to students (based on the notetaker and students agreement on making copies available)

Back to Contents