Communication methods for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing:

American Sign Language

(ASL) is the language used by English-speaking members of the deaf community.  ASL interpreters are skilled professionals who have bilingual and bicultural competence in American Sign Language and spoken English.  Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may request interpreting services by contacting the appropriate campus office.  In most cases, the ASL interpreter will be physically present but advances in technology have made it possible for the interpreter to be in a remote location.  Standards for video and audio quality have been established by the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure a high quality experience.

To learn more about securing the services of an ASL interpreter for a campus event contact the EEO/ADA Compliance Officer

Communication Access Realtime Translation

(CART) is a technological service that provides verbatim realtime transcription of speech.  A transcriptionist uses a steno machine and the image of the text is projected on a computer screen for individual use or on a projection screen for multiple users.  CART works well in lecture formats where the interaction provided by an interpreter is not needed, or in conjunction with an interpreter to meet the needs of the broadest population of participants who are hearing impaired or who are not native English speakers.  Because the text is projected, the font size can be enlarged to also assist individuals who have a vision impairment.  CART services can be provided on site or remotely with the appropriate technology and, with advance arrangements, transcripts can also be provided.  Whenever possible, provide the CART provider with names of participants and non-generic terminology.


Captioning is like CART in that spoken language is represented as text; however, the text is integral to the image and appears within the screen.  Captions also provide descriptive information on other auditory features such as “classical music playing in the background.”  Digital technology allows broadcasts and videos to be closed captioned, which means the viewer can turn the caption feature on or off.  It is the videographer’s responsibility to make sure the captions are synchronized and accurate.  To learn more about captioning practices: http://www.dcmp.org/captioningkey/

UNH WEBSITE CAPTIONING POLICY:  Effective July 1, 2011, all videos, sound files and multimedia appearing on UNH web sites must be captioned in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1977, and the World Wide Web Consortium Accessibility Guidelines.

Text Telephones

(TTY) are phones that allow the user to send and receive a typed message.  Individuals who are deaf or who have a speech impairment are the primary users of text telephones.  There are two ways that a TTY can be used: the user can call a known TTY number or the user can place a call through the 7-1-1 Telecommunications Relay System (TRS).

The Telecommunications Relay System

"Relay New Hampshire : A free public service for communication between standard (voice) users and persons who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, late-deafened, deaf-blind, and speech-disabled using text telephones (TTYs), Voice-Carry Over (VCO) phones, and Captioned Telephones (CapTel) as well as internet-based WebCapTel.

Refer to the TTY User Notification Protocol for more detail.

Assistive Listening Systems

(ALS) are integrated into assembly areas such as performance halls and lecture halls where an audio amplification system is used.  ALS increase the loudness of sounds, minimize background noises, bridge the distance between speaker and listener and overcome poor acoustics.  The  ALS standard at the Durham campus is an FM system which converts the speaker’s voice (captured by a microphone) to radio waves which are then picked up by a receiver worn by the listener.  The listener hears the spoken word through head phones or a neck loop.  Neck loops are used by individuals who use hearing aids or cochlear implant processors outfitted with a telecoil (T-coil).  The T-coil allows the direct transmission of the sound to the device.  UNH-Durham continues to install ALS on campus.  Current classroom locations of ALS at Durham. ALS is also available at the Whittemore Center

Personal Assistive Listening Devices

(ALD) consist of a transmitter, receiver and ear phone or neck loop.  ALD's are a stand alone system that amplify and clarify sound.  The FM systems eliminate most ambient sound so that the listener can focus on what they want to hear without distracting background sounds.  Neck loops are used by individuals who have hearing aids with a T-coil.