Process for requesting accommodations for deaf and hard-of-hearing students with additional disabilities

Step I: Contact RIT Disability Service Office

The RIT Disability Services Office is committed to providing equal access to programs, services and physical facilities to students with disabilities. We strive to foster an environment where all students are welcomed, valued and respected.


Students requesting accommodations are encouraged to contact:


Susan Ackerman


RIT Disability Services Office (DSO)

Office: SAU 1155




If students are approved for accommodations, their instructors will receive a Disability Services Agreement (DSA), prior to the start of each term. Students should also discuss their accommodations with their instructors.


For deaf-blind students, after the inital contact is made with RIT Disability Services Office, classroom assessments are available to students to determine the best accommodations for student learning success. It is a collaborative effort among the student, the RIT Disability Services Office and the assessment team.

Step II: Request a classroom assessment

Assessment activities include:

  • Interviewing the student about his/her vision history
  • Determining best distance and lighting for successful learning
  • Experimenting with various printed and projected materials


Possible recommendations in the assesssment include:

  • Provide adequate sign reception by using all lights in the room.
  • Provide hard copy of all projected content.
  • Use Verdana font (no smaller than 12 point).
  • Use dark colors such as black or blue (do not use red) if information is written on a white board.
  • Provide additional time to study each image even if supplemented with hard copy.
  • Student is advised to make an appointment with the NTID Eye Clinic.
  • Special interpreting support may be needed.
  • Continue to request notetaking services as needed.
  • Use a separate individual monitor, if available, to view materials displayed by the projector using Verdana font and at a size above 12 points.
  • In a discussion, the teacher should control communication so there is sufficient time to read all of the participant’s signs. If a participant does not sign, the teacher should sign what was said.
  • Use pastel background colors with black or blue text of projected media (PowerPoint, Word, etc), when available. Avoid using a white background.
  • Student should contact VR and ask if the purchase of ZoomText software would be covered for his/her personal computer.


Step III: Share the assessment
  • A report is developed and shared with the student. The student is encouraged to share this report with DSO when requesting and discussing appropriate accommodations.
  • For a student with academic accommodations, DSO will mail a PDF of the DSA to his/her instructors using the RIT email system.
  • The student is encouraged to discuss accommodations with instructors. If the student is not sure how to do this, the student should contact DSO staff or see his/her NTID counselor/advisor.




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Phone: 585-475-6400 Last updated on Feb 25, 2015