Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS)

Disability Services and Programs provides services for students who are deaf/hard-of-hearing (DHH). Services include but are not limited to sign language interpreters, CART services (real-time captioning), and notetaking assistance.

Sign Language Interpreters

USC provides qualified sign language interpreters for students to access their coursework. Students utilizing the services of interpreters are fluent in American Sign Language, Conceptually Accurate Signed English (CASE), Sign Supported Speech (SSS), Manually Coded English (MCE), or a combination of these.

CART Services

CART services (also referred to as real-time captioning) are typically utilized by individuals who are deaf/hard-of-hearing who do not use American Sign Language as their primary mode of communication. CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) is the verbatim, near instantaneous, conversion of spoken language into text which allows the student to quickly access all audio content that takes place in the classroom.

Captioned Media

Captioned media is also referred to as “closed captioning” (CC). Students who have been approved for Captioned Media will receive captions on all coursework related media where there is audio information. This includes but is not limited to YouTube clips, films or video clips shown in class or required to view outside of class, and recorded lectures. For instructions on Captioned Media, please review our Captioned Media Guide.

Assistive Listening Devices

Assistive listening devices (ALD’s) including FM systems are approved for qualifying hard-of-hearing students. This accommodation will take lead time to implement. The student will first meet with a Disability Specialist and will subsequently check out the ALD. The student is responsible for maintaining the ALD throughout the academic year.

Preferential Seating

This accommodation allows for students with hearing loss to sit close to the front of the class or to the main speaker. This can assist the student with accessing the class content when it comes to lip-reading and visuals. The student will manage this accommodation, but will contact the professor if assistance is needed.

Notetaking Assistance

This accommodation typically provides notetaking assistance in the form of a peer notetaker, or NoteTake Express services (DSP will arrange).

Auto-transcription in Zoom

The University is currently a beta test site for the “live transcription” feature within Zoom. This is a useful tool and resource. Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to use and familiarize themselves with it. To learn more on how to use this feature, please review our Zoom Transcription Guide.

Student Action Items

Students who are registered with DSP and have been approved for sign language interpreters or CART services will need to take the following steps:

  1. For credit-granting classes: At least 1 week before the start of classes (preferably as soon as your register), please send your schedule of classes and locations to DSPDHHServices@usc.edu. Continue to communicate with DSP when changes are made to schedule. Changes in location also need to be communicated.
  2. For one-time requests: Please send request to DSPDHHServices@usc.edu. Email should include the following:
    • Date of service needed
    • Start time
    • End time
    • Location
    • Nature of situation (e.g., study group, meeting with professor, etc.)
    • Note: DSP is responsible for services covering students’ courses and required, related events. For one-time events, conferences, special programs, or other events not required by the student’s program, students should contact the hosting department or entity.
  3. Read and sign the Student Agreement, available from DSP’s DHH Specialist or DSPDHHServices@usc.edu.