Documentation Guidelines for Deafness

More individuals in the United States have a hearing impairment than any other type of physical disability.  A hearing impairment is any type or degree of auditory impairment, while deafness is an inability to use hearing as a means of communication.  Hearing loss may be sensorineural, involving an impairment of the auditory nerve; conductive, a defect in the auditory system that interferes with sound reaching the cochlea; or a mixed impairment, involving both sensorineural and conductive.

The following guidelines are provided to assist the college in collaboration with each student to determine appropriate accommodations.  Documentation serves as a foundation that legitimizes a student’s request for appropriate accommodations.  (A school plan such as an Individualized Educational Plan [IEP] or a 504 Plan is NOT sufficient documentation.)

Recommended documentation includes:

  1. A clear statement of Deafness or hearing loss, with a current audiogram (the age of acceptable documentation is dependent upon the condition, the current status of the student, and the student’s request for reasonable accommodations).
  2. A summary of assessment procedures and evaluation instruments used to make the diagnosis and a narrative summary of evaluation results, if appropriate.
  3. Medical information relating to the student’s needs and the status of the individual’s hearing (static or changing) and its impact on the academic program.
  4. A statement regarding the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants (if appropriate).