Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Based on feedback, we're providing a variety of resources for specific disabilities. Please note that this list is not all encompassing. To receive individual consultation, please reach out to

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing 

Disability Management Services assists managers/supervisors and deaf/hard of hearing applicants and employees in the interactive process to explore and implement effective communication accommodations. Please contact Disability Management Coordinators Melissa Wells (languages: English and ASL) or Jeanette Richards (languages: English and ASL). 

Emails:    |

What is American Sign Language? 

American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language. With signing, the brain processes linguistic information through the eyes. The shape, placement, and movement of the hands, as well as facial expressions and body movements, all play important parts in conveying information. 

Sign language is not a universal language. Each country typically has its own sign language, with regional dialects, much like the many spoken languages of the world. Like any spoken language, ASL is a language with its own unique rules of grammar and syntax. 

How to Utilize an ASL Interpreter 

When using an interpreter to communicate, remember to face and speak directly to the person who is deaf/hard of hearing, not to the interpreter. The interpreter is not part of the conversation and they do not voice personal opinions.  

As a manager/supervisor, if an employee or applicant is requesting an ASL interpreter, please reach out to an interpreting agency to schedule an interpreter. Melissa Wells is a resource but managers/supervisors are responsible for providing an ASL interpreter upon request.  

Examples of Effective Communication Accommodations 

  • Qualified Sign Language Interpreters - A qualified interpreter is one who can, both receptively and expressively, interpret accurately, effectively, and impartially, using any necessary specialized vocabulary. 

  • Real Time Captioning or CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) - The instant translation of the spoken word into English text using a stenotype machine, notebook computer and real-time software.

  • Video Relay Interpreting - VRI uses videoconferencing technology, equipment, and a high-speed Internet connection to provide the services of a qualified interpreter to people at different locations. 

  • Assistive Listening Devices - Amplifiers that bring sound directly into the ear. Audio induction (also called a hearing) loop, FM system, infrared system, personal amplified system and Bluetooth systems 

  • Captioned Media - The process of embedding text on film as well as other types of media. 

  • UbiDuo - Speech Generating Device:    

Local and Video Interpreting Agencies 

Eaton Interpreting Services:  

NorCal: Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 

Purple Communications:  

Sorenson Communications: 


Wilder Interpreting Services: 

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Accommodation Information  

National Association of the Deaf: 

National Deaf Center: 

NorCal Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 

Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf: 

Free Training/Education 

Deaf 101 is for anyone looking for information on what being Deaf means and how to interact with deaf people: -  

ASL Interpreting 101 for hearing people: 

Basic ASL Lessons/Videos: