Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services

Accommodations and services are provided to deaf and hard of hearing students registered with ADS that include sign language interpreting, transcription services, captioning and assistive listening devices. All of these services are arranged by ADS.

Registering

Amber Murphy is the designated disability specialist who serves as the Coordinator for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, she can be reached via email, , or by phone at 410-704-2638.

To register for accommodations and services with ADS, visit Getting Started with ADS and follow the procedures. Please feel free to contact ADS directly for assistance.

Available Services

Sign Language Interpreting

Professional sign language interpreters are contracted by ADS to interpret class instruction for the student either as an on-site or video remote service. Sign language interpreters may be provided for classroom lectures, fieldwork, meetings with professors and activities directly related to the student’s academic program. An ADS student can request these services for courses and course-related events as needed by completing the Interpreter, Transcriber and Captioning Services Request Form.

Transcription

Professional transcribers provide live translation of the spoken word into text by using a stenotype machine and computer with real-time software. Transcribers are contracted by ADS to provide a live transcript of all class instruction for the student as either an on-site or video remote service. This service can be provided for classroom lectures, fieldwork, meetings with professors and activities directly related to the student’s academic program.

A student can request these services for courses and course-related events as needed by completing the Interpreter, Transcriber and Captioning Services Request Form.

Captioning of Media

Captioning is the text display of audio portions of videos. At the beginning of the semester, the student should review the syllabus in each of their courses to determine if any videos will be shown during class or required for an assignment. The student should check with the professor to see if the video is captioned, and if so, ask the professor to turn the captions on. If the video is not captioned, the student should contact the ADS Coordinator of deaf and hard of hearing services as soon as possible so ADS can provide a captioned video or create an audio transcript.

Assistive Listening Device

The most common Assistive Listening Device (ALD) is a frequency modulated system, often referred to as an FM system. The professor wears a small microphone close to the mouth that sends their voice to the receiver worn by the student. A student who is approved for an FM system as an accommodation can provide their own equipment to their professors, or a student can arrange for an FM system to be loaned on a semester-to-semester basis by contacting the ADS Coordinator. 

Notetaking

Notetaking accommodations are available to students through the ADS office. When approved for this accommodation, the student is responsible for requesting notetaking assistance directly from their professor. Since the notetaker will be another student in the class, the professor will ask the class if there is a student who is interested in taking notes. When a notetaker is identified, the professor will direct them to Peer Notetakers for more information. The notetaker will need to complete the online application and submit required documentation to be paid a stipend at the end of the semester for providing you with copies of their class notes. Notes are provided to supplement, not replace, your participation during each class.

Procedures for Requesting and Using a Service Provider

If you have an immediate need or urgent matter, please contact the ADS office and we will do our best to assist you. Contact information is provided above.

To receive accommodations and services, you must be registered with ADS. After you have enrolled in classes, request services from the ADS Coordinator for deaf and hard-of-hearing services by completing the Interpreter, Transcriber and Captioning Services Request Form for each class. This should be done as soon as possible, but no later than 2 weeks in advance, to allow time for ADS to coordinate the necessary arrangements.

Please do not request interpreting or transcription services directly from a provider. Interpreters or transcribers will not be paid for services that have not been scheduled by ADS. Only services for Towson University activities, meetings and class-related events will be covered by ADS. If you have questions, please contact the ADS Coordinator.

At the beginning of each semester, you are responsible for obtaining copies of your ADS Accommodation Memo listing your approved accommodations and giving them to your professors. The ADS Coordinator will also send an email to your professors to explain the role of the service provider in the classroom.

You should connect with your interpreter or transcriber before the start of classes each semester to discuss how to contact them in case of last minute changes and to exchange other important information regarding services.

Remember to meet with each of your professors to discuss your accommodations and any activities outside the classroom where a service provider may be needed. For one-time requests such as a class project, activity, meeting or field trip, you should request services at least 5 business days in advance by completing the Interpreter, Transcriber and Captioning Services Request Form.

Your interpreter or transcriber will work with you and your professor to determine the best place to sit or stand during class. Please note that transcribers may need to sit near an electrical outlet.  If you need to talk with your service provider or professor before or after class, but your service provider is unable to stay, contact the ADS Coordinator to arrange for additional time with the service provider.

You must notify the ADS Coordinator of deaf and hard of hearing services as soon as possible if you make a change to your class schedule or decide to withdraw from a class. If you drop or stop attending a class or classes without notifying ADS, your services may be suspended until you meet with the ADS Coordinator.

It is your responsibility to immediately notify the ADS Coordinator and your service provider if you will be late to class. The interpreter or transcriber will not begin signing or typing until you arrive. You and your service provider should wait 20 minutes for each other at the beginning of class. You should check with ADS for messages regarding a substitute or absent service provider, and notify the ADS Coordinator if a service provider is notably late or absent so we can work with the agency to resolve the issue.

You must notify the ADS Coordinator and your service provider as soon as possible if you will not be attending class or if class is canceled. This should be done at least 48 hours in advance. If you have 3 absences without contacting ADS, your services may be suspended until you meet with the Coordinator. Please note that ADS is charged if we do not notify the interpreter’s or transcriber’s agency of cancellations in a timely way.

If you are having a problem with your interpreter or transcriber that you can’t resolve, or you are concerned they may not be a good match for your needs, contact the ADS Coordinator as soon as possible for assistance. We want to ensure you are provided with effective communication.