Communication Disorders (Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Speech)

To obtain disability accommodations and services, students must register with DRS by providing current and appropriate medical or professional documentation and by meeting with a DRS Coordinator for an Initial Appointment. Based on the individual student's documentation, the Coordinator will assess the student's functional limitations and academic needs, and from those, will determine the necessary accommodations and services for which the student is eligible. After registering for classes each semester, students are responsible for scheduling an appointment with their Coordinator to arrange reasonable accommodations and services for that semester.

In addition to the general services available to all students registered with DRS, the following accommodations may be available to students who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have speech impairments:

  • Interpreting/transliteration service for class lectures, advising, counseling and other University activities and events
  • Notetaker
  • Classroom Captioning Services
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Caption decoder for classroom use
  • Curriculum adjustment for oral communication requirement
  • Alternative to oral recitation requirement in classroom unless it is essential to the course
  • Test accommodations
  • Hearing and speech evaluations and speech therapy through the University of Memphis Speech and Hearing Center
  • Tutor Referral

DRS encourages students with classroom interpreting and classroom captioning services to request these accommodations at least one month before classes begin or earlier.  If a student does not meet the request deadline for these services, DRS will attempt to fill the request, but cannot guarantee the services can be arranged before classes start. Students who are eligible for interpreting and classroom captioning services may have one or the other, but not both services in the same classroom simultaneously. An interpreter and a notetaker may be provided simultaneously for those who are eligible.

Requests for interpreting service for University sponsored events outside the classroom should be made separately on an as-needed basis and should be done as far in advance as possible, preferably a week or more. Every effort will be made to fill interpreting requests, given the availability of qualified interpreters in the area.

When students are going to be absent from class, it is their responsibility to cancel an interpreter or classroom captioning service in advance. Repeated failure to do so, except in an unexpected emergency, can result in termination of the student's interpreting service. Interpreters and captionists have permission to leave class after fifteen minutes when the student is late or does not show up for class, although they must be paid for the full class period for which they are under contract. Interpreting and classroom captioning services are expensive and students are expected to act responsibly by making timely cancellations when necessary.