Student Services Manual (SSM)

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Effective: 1/1/1981

Revised: 7/1/2011

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SSM 701–08: Services for Students Who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing

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To provide equal access to ASU-sponsored educational programs and activities for enrolled students who are deaf/hard-of-hearing

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The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 United States Code §§ 701–796
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (1990, 2008), 42 United States Code § 12101 et seq.
Disability Resource Center

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ASU provides federally mandated interpreting services and other accommodations for qualified students who are deaf/hard-of-hearing. Services involve a variety of language modes, depending on the students’ needs. American Sign Language (ASL) and Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) services are the primary services provided for students. These services are provided by qualified interpreters licensed by the state of Arizona or qualified CART providers who have shown competency at the higher education level. The university is responsible for funding all interpreting and CART services related to all enrolled degree and nondegree students (graduate or undergraduate). These services are provided for all academic courses and course-related activities such as internships. If the academic program includes expenses (e.g., travel, per diem, and lodging expenses) beyond the actual cost of the disability accommodation, the sponsoring department is responsible for the extra costs.

Students must provide required disability documentation, which includes a current audiogram. Services are requested in advance through the Disability Resource Center (DRC) professional.

All service requests for registered students are processed through the student’s assigned DRC professional. Requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis with a priority given to currently enrolled students. Questions about ASU interpreting or CART services may be directed to the DRC professional responsible for deaf/hard-of-hearing accommodations on that campus.

Interpreting services through the DRC are not available for public activities or employment on or off campus.

Public, self-supporting university units (e.g., Grady Gammage Memorial Auditorium) are responsible for providing their own interpreting or CART services. This includes nonacademic credit and/or fee-based programs, lectures, classes, workshops, conferences, and activities.

University and nonuniversity units that need interpreting or CART services for activities or programs not covered by the DRC can contact the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACDHH) for a list of agencies that provide sign language interpreting and CART services (

Please check with each agency for its policies for making requests for interpreting/CART services, including deadlines for requesting or cancelling services, billing for services, rates, and additional charges that may apply prior to finalizing any requests. Costs may vary.

Note to students: Services are assigned on a first-come first-serve basis. All efforts will be made to meet the request submitted, but we cannot guarantee requested services if policies/procedures are not followed.

See the DRC Web site for detailed information and procedures for accessing services and accommodations available for qualified students at specific ASU campuses and sites.


Interpreting/CART Services
Arizona State University provides sign language interpreting or Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) services for qualified deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Once students are registered with the Disability Resource Center (DRC), they may request services online or by meeting with their assigned DRC professional and making the request in person. Additional resources are available for students such as FM systems and notetakers. Students should meet with their assigned DRC professional to discuss their individual needs.
Interpreting Services
The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf states “Sign Language/spoken English interpreters are highly skilled professionals who facilitate communication between hearing individuals and the deaf or hard-of-hearing. They are a crucial communication tool utilized by all people involved in a communication setting. Interpreters must be able to listen to another person’s words, inflections and intent and simultaneously render them into the visual language of signs using the mode of communication preferred by the deaf consumer. The interpreter must also be able to comprehend the signs, inflections and intent of the deaf consumer and simultaneously speak them in articulate, appropriate English. They must understand the cultures in which they work and apply that knowledge to promote effective cross-cultural communications.”
CART Services
CART stands for Communication Access Realtime Translation. The service is similar to captioning. CART provides those who are deaf and hard of hearing access to the spoken word. It is useful for those who are deaf and hard of hearing who cannot use interpreters or circumstances when written English is a more reasonable accommodation for them.


For more information, see:

  1. SSM 701–02, “Eligibility for Accommodations—Required Disability Documentation”


  2. SSM 701–03, “Priority Enrollment for Students with Disabilities.”

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