Support Services and Accommodations Offered to Students with Hearing Loss who Attend an Institution of Higher Education in South Dakota

Document Type


Publication Date



Communication Sciences and Disorders


Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), institutions of higher education must have in place services and supports to provide students with hearing loss access to the educational environment. The South Dakota Board of Regents has set forth policies regarding the ADA that universities in the regential system must follow. The Disability Services Office (DSO) within each institution is tasked with supporting students with hearing loss as they access the educational environment. At the college-level, students with disabilities must seek out the supports and services provided through the DSO. Not seeking/utilizing accommodations to access the educational environment may negatively impact the students' performance in the university setting due to limited auditory/communication access. The purpose of this work is to compile information about the services offered by institutions of higher education in South Dakota to students with hearing loss. This study's data was gained from the Disability Services directors at the institutions in South Dakota. The director's responsibility is assisting students with hearing loss by determining and implementing accommodations. The director was asked questions regarding the number of students with hearing loss registered with Disability Services at institutions in South Dakota, resources offered to students who seek services through Disability Services, and information on the accommodations these individuals may or may not utilize in the classroom, such as an FM system, extended test time, and preferential seating. Results revealed as of the 2019-2020 academic year, various accommodations students were offered include FM systems, preferential seating, note takers, extended test time, and separate, distraction free or minimally distracting exam location. Results suggest that DSO at institutions of higher education provide multiple accommodation options to students with hearing loss that support the ADA goal to "ensure that communication with people with disabilities is equally effective as communication with people without disabilities".

First Advisor

Jessica Messersmith

Research Area

Communication Sciences and Disorders

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