Access to College

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Access to College

Access to college poses its own set of obstacles to overcome. Students need to navigate a system they don’t fully understand where the responsibility for requesting services shifts from the school to the student. Often students need help to understand the available services may provide just the tools they need to help to make college a positive and productive experience.

In these pages you will find access to information and news about how to do the best you can in college when you have a hearing loss.

See the Young Adults page under the Hearing Help section for more resources.

PEN-International has participated in the development of an online resource:

"Hard of Hearing Students in Postsecondary Education: A Guide for Service Providers"

A federal law allows students with hearing loss to have a free and appropriate public education alongside non–disabled students, to the extent possible, up to 12th grade. Even though a child may have a hearing aid or cochlear implant they will probably still need assistive technology, modified acoustics, and accessible teaching strategies to participate fully in noisy classrooms. In post-secondary institutions students must advocate for accessibility through the school administration. Many schools have disabled student offices that can coordinate accessibility requests.

Friends and Colleagues,

For the past two years, PEN-International has participated in the development of a resource that is now available on-line for serving students who are hard of hearing, "Hard of Hearing Students in Postsecondary Education: A Guide for Service Providers." This product is the result of the work of the Hard of Hearing Task Force that first convened in December 2005. The task force, cosponsored by the University of Arkansas Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (RT-31) and the Postsecondary Education Programs Network (PEPNet) was co-chaired by Drs. Doug Watson and Marcia Kolvitz. The task force meetings were facilitated by myself and Denise Kavin of PEN-International, we also served as co-editors of the work product of the task force.

The publication is intended primarily for services providers at the postsecondary education level. However, information and resources included will be very helpful to students and parents as they discuss future plans for education. Teachers, transition specialists, and other related staff from secondary programs also can use this as a tool when working with students as they transition from secondary to postsecondary education and training programs.

James J. DeCaro, Ph.D.
Professor and Director
Office of the Vice President
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Rochester Institute of Technology
52 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York 14623

How to Get the Most Out of College

How to Get the Most Out of College is a peer guide to self-advocacy and transition for the college student who’s hard of hearing.

Resource Guide

Personal Accounts, Accepting your Hearing Loss:
Harvey, Michael A. Odyssey of Hearing Loss: Tales of Triumph. Dawn Sign
Press. San Diego: 1998.

Learn the Basics about Hearing Loss and Assistive Technology:
Davis, Julia M. Ph.D. Our Forgotten Children. SHHH Publications. Bethesda,
MD: 2001.

For More Information on the College Student with a Hearing Loss:
Flexer, Carol Ph.D. How the Student with Hearing Loss Can Succeed in College:
A Handbook for Students, Familes, and Professionals. Alexander Graham Bell
Association. Washington: 1996.

“Making Your Education Happen:”
Laufer, Sara. “Taking the Initiative in Meeting and Dealing with the Challenges
of Acquiring a College Education, Part I.Hearing Loss Magazine. January/February
Laufer, Sara. “Taking the Initiative in Meeting and Dealing with the Challenges
of Acquiring a College Education, Part II.” Hearing Loss Magazine. March/April 2000.

Your Rights in the Post-Secondary Arena:
“Students with Disabilities Preparing for Post-Secondary Education: Know Your
Rights and Responsibilities.” Office for Civil Rights. May, 2004.

“A Nuts and Bolts Guide:”
“College Success for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students.” PEPNet Resource

For Parents:
“A Parents Guide to College.” University of Kansas Center for Research on
Learning, Division of Adults Studies:

College Guide for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

College v. High School:
“How College Differs from High School.” Advocacy Consortium for College
Students with Disabilities of Greater Rochester.

Important Contact Information:
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights
Customer Service Team
550 12th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-1100
Telephone: 1-800-421-3481
FAX: 202-245-6840; TDD: 877-521-2172

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-7100
Phone: (202) 245-7468

U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Civil Rights Division
Disability Rights Section - NYAV
Washington, D.C. 20530
800-514-0301 (voice)
800-514-0383 (TTY)