Planning College Events for People Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Deaf and hard of hearing persons use varied modes of communication. Please be sure to make the most appropriate accommodation.

  • Have you arranged for an interpreter to be present at your event?
  • Have you publicized that interpreters will be provided at your event by placing the interpreting logo shown below at the bottom right hand corner of your advertisement?

To request a sign language interpreter or real time captionist for your on-campus event ( at least 7 days in advance) contact the Disability Services Office for information about local providers.

Is your event visually accessible for Deaf and hard of hearing attendees?

  • Have you reserved a section at the front of the audience for Deaf and hard of hearing people?
  • If slides or overheads are used, will there be an alternate light source (i.e. spotlight) so that the interpreter will remain visible?
  • Is there an appropriate backdrop? Visually distracting patterns and backlighting must be avoided. For the background, a blue curtain would work well.
  • Have you provided space for the interpreter(s) on the stage next to the speaker, as well as extra seating, if necessary, as near to the presenter as possible?

Are you familiar with the interpreting process?

  • At any event or meeting with multiple participants, it is important to regulate turn-taking behavior so that only one participant is speaking at a time. It is impossible to accurately interpret more than one remark at a time.
  • Be sure to give the Deaf participants any printed materials before the start of the presentation. It is not possible to watch the interpreter and read through distributed documents at the same time.