Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students

Accommodations for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing 

Cornell University has a variety of accommodations available. They are determined by a review of your disability documentation and by what you describe as the impact of your disability in the classroom or other settings (e.g., housing).  

To register with Student Disability Services (SDS) for a hearing disability, please complete the online Disability Self-Disclosure Form and submit documentation of the disability. 

When registering with SDS, we invite you to also complete an Assistive Listening Device (ALD) Form (pdf). This form asks about any assistive devices, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants, you may be using, and which types of environments present barriers to hearing. The information provided on this form will enable SDS staff to better prepare for your access at Cornell.  


If requested, devices such as strobe light alarms, ringers, and/or bed shakers can be placed in your on-campus residence. Emergency procedures can be arranged between you and members of the residence hall staff. There is more information is available our Housing Accommodations page. 

Academic Accommodations 

Academic accommodations may include:

  • copies of class notes
  • preferential seating to augment communication
  • request of professors to use microphones in class
  • assistive technology (i.e. FM systems)
  • requesting that videos shown have subtitles/captions
  • real time captioning or interpreter services.

Specific accommodations will be determined based on the information you submitted to SDS, and the teaching format and requirements of each course.

FM Systems 

SDS has personal FM systems available for use in classroom and/or other university-sponsored activities. SDS will work with you to provide you with an appropriate one (i.e., compatible with your particular listening device). 

FM systems are also available at many large lecture venues at Cornell (including Bailey Hall, Kennedy Hall and Uris Hall) and can be used when attending a class or event in those rooms. 

Interpreter & Captioning Services 

For any registered Cornell student, we will arrange and incur the cost of providing communication access services for: 

  • classes,
  • course-related academic requirements, and
  • non-academic, out-of-class activities sponsored by the University.

Currently available options are:

  • sign language and oral interpreters
  • captioning services (provided by either a C-Print captionist in-person, or a CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation) provider located remotely and accessed via a computer system) 

If approved for either interpreting or captioning services, your SDS counselor will review with you the process for requesting these services for both ongoing courses and one-time events, as well as the procedures and responsibilities related to using these services throughout your time at Cornell.