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Know Your Rights
Know Your Rights
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Your child, who may be deaf or hard of hearing, has the right to an accessible education. In order to achieve equal access to promote academic success, your child needs full access to language, the curriculum, and all materials in the learning experience.
Please note that hearing loss requires documented audiometric testing done by a licensed audiologist or otolaryngologist or an ears, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist.
Colleges, universities, and other postsecondary programs are required to make their programs accessible to their students who may be deaf and hard of hearing. Access in the form of CART services can make the difference in a student succeeding or failing. (If you would like to get an understanding of what it may be like to have hearing loss, please see our hearing simulator in the blog section of our website.)
CART is a service provision mandated by law! A student must request CART services. Once the request has been made, the educational system must provide appropriate accommodations at no cost to the student. It is up to the student to advocate for themselves for the appropriate accommodation.
Do not be discouraged; you may have to educate the disability office (names of individual offices may vary) at the institution. Unfortunately, many times, when people are faced with scheduling accommodations for the students who are deaf and hard of hearing, their first instinct is to place an interpreter in the classroom.
If the student does not know sign language, the institution’s second instinct is to place a note-taker in the room with them. This is an unacceptable pattern that we have seen too many times in our experience. Note-taking services provide incomplete information, which is subjective to the note-taker. That is not equal access.
The student has the right to a complete transcript of all auditory information, where the student has the opportunity to identify the information that is important to them. CART services provide that opportunity. That is why it is important for the student to know their rights! As the parent, please reinforce the understanding of self-advocacy and appropriate accommodations.
If it is taking longer for your child to advance in school, then maybe they do not have the appropriate accommodations! When information is inaccessible to the student, it is not their fault if they are unable to learn.
If you have a student in K-12 with hearing loss, frequency modulation (FM) systems are given to the child as the solution. FM systems amplify all noises, not specific sounds like the spoken word of the teacher. These may be helpful tools but may be only part of a solution.
CART will provide a written dialogue of everything said in the classroom for your child to read. This transcript will be made available for them at the end of the day so that it can be reviewed with you, the parent. It can also be reviewed with another person, like a tutor, sibling, or caregiver who helps the child with learning outside of school.
The solution may be a combination of an FM system and CART services to help your child succeed. Our advice is to try out different solutions so you know what works best for your child.
Student advocacy is important. Policymakers, school districts and officials, community leaders, parents, and others must be reminded about the importance of providing equal educational opportunities for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. HearSay LLC in Staten Island, New York wants your child to succeed and is willing to work with you and your child’s school to advocate for the implementation of CART services.