Canadian Hearing Society
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Reasonable testing or examination accommodation

Often, some deaf and hard of hearing students experience difficulty accessing instructions from professors during exam situations. This can be in the form of the ability to hear the professor or receive print or visual verbal instructions. It is important to discuss examination accommodation at the onset of the new classes with your professors so that there are no surprises and accommodation plans are implemented.

Students with hearing loss can ask for accommodations during the examinations that include:

  • modification to evaluation methodologies, such as extended time when taking tests
  • academic materials in alternative formats, if there are oral exams (i.e.  assisted listening devices or substitute written for oral exams)
  • in-class supports (i.e. interpreters, notetakers, personal readers)

Professors are encouraged to consider giving exam instructions near the student, providing them in writing, or for an interpreter or captionist (notetaker) to communicate instructions to the student. At part of the ongoing classroom activities, professors are encouraged to discuss with students with hearing loss whether alternative ways of assessing class participation should be considered as it is challenging, for an example, for a hard of hearing person to hear discussions in large classrooms.

An accommodation will be considered appropriate if it will result in equal opportunity to attain the same level of performance, or to enjoy the same level of benefits and privileges enjoyed by others, or if it is proposed or adopted for the purpose of achieving equal opportunity, and meets the student’s disability-related needs.

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