Listening Support FAQ


Accessible Announcements / Notifications

Announcements and notifications given verbally may be very difficult for some students to process and remember. It is helpful for all students to provide important announcements, such as due dates and directions, in both written and verbal form -- and to back these up with an email or notification via an announcement / notification on the learning platform.

Assistive Listening Devices

Some students with hearing impairments do not need interpreters, but use assistive listening devices (ALD) which consist of a (FM) transmitter and receiver. The faculty member is asked to use the transmitter (hooked on belt or pocket) and lavaliere microphone, while the student uses the receiver which has earphones or a “loop” (a coiled wire worn around the neck which activates the telephone switch in their hearing aids). The system allows direct communication to the student in cases when a faculty member is talking while writing on the chalk board or walking around the classroom. Please be aware that the system has a range of about 200 feet, so private conversations should not be conducted when wearing the unit while it is “on.” In some of the larger classrooms on campus, a transmitter is built directly into the public address system and the student will be able to tune into the selected channel for that room. For group discussions a 'conference' microphone can be used. Faculty staff can assist by liaising with the student to ensure this technology is working and configured appropriately.


An interpreter provides access to the spoken word by translating what is said into sign language, mouth movements, silent repetition, hand shapes, hand placements, etc., for a person who is deaf. There are several types of interpreters such as ASL interpreters, Cued Speech Transliterators, Sign Language transliterators, and Oral Transliterators. ARS will contact the student and instructor as needed with specific information about the interpreter.

ARS provides and schedules interpreters for:

  • Classroom instruction
  • Meetings with campus advisors
  • Lab work or field trips required for class
  • Meetings with instructors about coursework

ARS does not provide or schedule interpreters for university events such as:

  • Extra curricular activities
  • Sporting events or practice
  • Theater unless required for classes
  • Sorority/Fraternity meetings
  • Worship
  • Campus Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services sessions
  • Residence Hall meetings
  • New student orientation
  • Commencement
  • Registration
  • Optional Study Groups

Contact the hosting department, office, or group if you need an interpreter for their event. Students, departments, programs, etc., who are interested in hiring interpreters can see the list  published by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing.

Instructors should:

  • Allow interpreter to attend the course meetings
  • Provide all needed course information and materials.
  • Confirm required events outside the usual classroom schedule i.e. field trips, etc.

Working in a classroom / lecture theater with a sign language interpreter can be a challenge initially but most interpreters will be more than willing to let you know how you can best assist them and the student. ARS will organize the interpreter and to make sure the interpreter is in class, and at other class related activities for example, student conferences with faculty staff. Where there will be a lot of technical and subject specific language used in class it will be helpful to provide the interpreter with a glossary of terms in advance to ensure that the interpreter knows the appropriate signs and has shared these with the student.

The student should:

  • Provide ARS with the class schedule and syllabus well in advance of the semester.
  • Contact ARS immediately if and when:
    • A course is dropped / added. Make sure instructors are informed as well.
    • There is any change in course meeting times, places, or other essential information.
    • You will not be attending class. It is not sufficient for you to inform your interpreter when this occurs.  If you are late, the interpreter will wait 15 minutes and then leave. Repeated failure to report your absences to the ARS could result in loss of services.
    • Your interpreter does not report to class. Make sure that you carry a back-up method such as note taking paper, recorder, etc.
    • You experience other problems. Report problems immediately to the instructor and ARS.
    • You need the interpreter to report for an additional course meeting i.e. field trips, etc.
  • Contact the interpreter immediately if and when the course meeting times, locations, or other essential information has changed. Make sure your interpreter has a copy of the course syllabus.

ARS will:

Schedule and fund interpreter services for regular class meeting times and any course required events or activities that the instructor or student has notified the ARS about in a timely manner.