Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services is part of the Accessibility Resource Center and coordinates accommodations for deaf and hard of hearing students. Accommodations include signed language interpreters, real-time captioning, assistive listening devices, and note taking.

Signed Language Interpreting: Signed Language Interpreters are professionals who help facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing individuals using signed and spoken languages.

Real-time Captioning: A real-time captioner is a stenographer similar to those used in courtroom settings. All verbal communication that transpires during the class session is transmitted onto the screen of the student’s laptop computer via a remote real-time captioner. When the class is over, the student is given a copy of the class transcript, which they can use as their class notes.

Note-taking: For students who are eligible and approved for this accommodation, ARC will arrange for a notetaking company to produce notes for the student, either by accessing audio- or video-recordings of the class made by the student, or by providing a live notetaker to take notes during each class.

Assistive Listening Devices, or FM Systems: Assistive listening devices allow amplification of the lecturer’s voice or audio portion of a videotape and filters out any extraneous noises.

Phone: (505) 277-6605
Email: DHHS@unm.edu

Staff:

Associate Director: Tommi Tejeda
Staff Interpreter: Risa Roybal
Staff Interpreter: Jillian Klenck
Staff Interpreter: Orlando Obeso

Request a Signed Language Interpreter

ARC/DHHS schedules all UNM interpreting/captioning requests.

Accessibility Resource Center schedules sign language interpreters when it is determined to be a reasonable accommodation. We will schedule signed language interpreters for both academic and University co-curricular activities when the student makes this request.

Requests for interpreter services must be made at least one week prior to the event or activity taking place in order for ARC to have enough time to contact and schedule a qualified interpreter. Last-minute requests cannot be guaranteed; however, attempts will always be made to schedule an interpreter/captionist.

Special Event Requests

In addition to regularly scheduled classes, ARC/DHHS schedules interpreters/captionists for campus events. These include appointments with professors, field trips, campus activities, or any other activity that is not the normally scheduled class meeting. Requests can also be made for university-sponsored events and work related meetings.

About Signed Language Interpreters

It is our priority to find interpreters who use the mode of communication of the individual’s choice. When hiring interpreters, UNM will seek to hire the most qualified and skilled interpreters available. Every attempt will be made to fill interpreter requests with Staff Interpreters first, taking into consideration:

  • Deaf consumer’s preference
  • Match of knowledge and skill

ARC/DHHS maintains a pool of On-Call Interpreters to be placed in an assignment when a staff interpreter is unavailable or is not the best match for the request. On-Call Interpreters will be contacted in the following order of priority:

  • Deaf consumer’s preference
  • Professionalism
  • Certification/Qualification
  • Prior experience
  • Availability

All interpreters employed at UNM adhere to the policies and procedures outlined in the DHHS Interpreter Handbook And to the Code of Professional Conduct issued by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.


Accessibility Funding

UNM as an institution is responsible for providing equal access to its programs and events. If your program/department has received a request for professional captioning, and the cost is outside of your budget, please reach out to CEEO (Compliance, Ethics, and Equal Opportunity) for information about funding assistance. Here is the link to apply for funding assistance.

Auto-Captioning Versus Professional Captioning

Zoom, Teams, and many other online meeting and video platforms have a feature that is referred to as auto-captioning, live transcription, or auto transcription. This all refers to the process of using speech recognition software (SRS) to provide captions of what is being said in real time. This can be a useful feature, however it is important to distinguish between auto-captioning and professional captioning. Professional captioning is a service provided by a live human stenographer who is typing verbatim what is being said around them. Here is a guide that highlights some of the main differences between the two types of captioning.


How to Request Captioning services

Here is a guide that explains how to arrange for professional captioning services for a UNM-sponsored event. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please contact dhhs@unm.edu.


Who is responsible for paying for captioning

ARC is funded to provide accommodations to students who are registered with our office. Services provided for all other stakeholders of the university (general student body, staff, faculty, campus visitors) needs to be provided by the hosting department or program. Please see this flow chart if you need more guidance in determining who is responsible for providing captioning services.


New Customer Welcome Packet For Setting Up Captioning Services

UNM’s vendor for professional captioning services is ACS, an Ai Media company. They are happy to work with each program/department directly to provide captioning services for events that ARC is not directly responsible for providing. If you need professional captioning services, please download and follow the steps in the New Customer Welcome Packet. If you have any questions or concerns about this process, please contact dhhs@unm.edu.


Accessibility Funding

UNM as an institution is responsible for providing equal access to its programs and events. If your program/department has received a request for professional captioning, and the cost is outside of your budget, please reach out to CEEO (Compliance, Ethics, and Equal Opportunity) for information about funding assistance. Here is the link to apply for funding assistance.

Access to class notes is critical to learning. There are three ways to accomplish this: 1) audio recording lectures using a smart pen which connects with your smart phone or tablet; 2) Notetaking Express: this is a service that uses audio recordings from class that are uploaded to an account where the notes are then produced and uploaded for the student to access; or 3) notes provided by a notetaking company using live in-person notetakers who attend class and deliver notes for each session via email.

Digital Recording Lectures and/or Smart Pen

Students may use a personal digital recorder, note taking app, or smart pen to record lectures. Digital recorders and smart pens are available through Accessibility Resource Center as needed.

Class Notes Provided by the Instructor

Faculty often provide lecture slides to the class to assist with note taking. A good study strategy for all students is to augment the PowerPoint slides by taking additional notes during the lectures. This will help you to recall the information as you prepare for exams.

DHHS can loan students an FM system for the duration of their time here at UNM. An FM system is a personal high-fidelity amplifying system used in the classroom by deaf and hard of hearing students to enable them to more accurately hear what the professor is saying.

The instrument consists of two units:

  1. A transmitter (2" x 3" x 1") with a small lapel microphone worn by the speaker.
  2. A receiver (same size as the transmitter) with a loop or headphones worn by the student.

The speaker's transmitter can be hung around the neck with a lanyard, so the microphone, built into the transmitter, is near the head. There are no connecting wires between the instructor's unit and the student's unit.

The student brings the instrument to class. The professor only has to put on the transmitter and commence with the lecture. The student clips on the receiver (or possibly lets it lie on their desk) and puts on the loop or headphones. When the class is over, the student collects the transmitter from the professor.

DHHS Student Handbook (PDF file)

This handbook can also be accessed through the videos below: