Disability Services >  Vocational Rehabilitation >  Hiram G. Andrews Center  > Student Services > Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

The Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services unit, under the direction of a vocational rehabilitation manager, includes a Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf and certified interpreters, all of whom are fluent in American Sign Language and are knowledgable about the use of assistive listening devices. Vocational evaluation and remediation services are customized to meet the needs of the students. Specialized day and evening services are available for students.


An essential part of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Unit, interpreting is provided in all classes in which deaf students are enrolled. Interpreting is also provided for doctor's appointments and extra curricular activities such as student council meetings, sporting events, and other evening activities. Interpreters may also serve as tutors for students in the various training programs. All interpreters and educational coaches are certified in ASL.

Educational Coaching

Educational coaching is an optional additional support in the classroom. The educational coach works closely with the instructor, counselor and student to reinforce job appropriate behaviors and socialization as well as job skills. This approach has proven successful in lessening the common social and communication obstacles that students who are deaf or hard of hearing face while learning/working in a mainstream setting.


Preparing students for their areas of specialization, as well as remedial programs in Reading, Math, English, and Life Skills, are the components of this remediation program. Students learn the technical vocabulary and signs for their major areas of study.

Functional Competency Program

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services staff at HGAC strongly believes that competency in independent living skills is essential to successful employment. Each student participates in a survey of independent living skills. An individual life skills tutoring program is then developed, based on the student's needs as determined by the survey. Information on TTY and relay services use, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the sign language interpreter's role are emphasized. Hands-on activities are used to reinforce this important information. Deaf staff, as role models, also reinforces this important area of independence and problem solving.

Assistive Technology Evaluation

The Center for Assistive and Rehabilitative Technology (CART) may provide an evaluation for each deaf or hard of hearing student in order to assess his or her individual needs for adaptive equipment. After such needs have been identified, CART will make this equipment available to students on a temporary basis. Some examples of equipment provided include: TTYs; FM Systems; Flashing Light Alerts; Alarm Clocks with flashing lights or tactile signals. In addition to the initial evaluation, CART provides ongoing instruction and monitoring for students making use of adaptive technology to ensure that the equipment truly meets the students’needs.

Cognitive Assessment and Intervention for the Deaf

The Cognitive Assessment and Intervention for the Deaf (CAID) Project provides students who are deaf or hard of hearing with services to assess and develop cognitive skills, executive functions, social cognition and vocational skills. Such services are provided through use of functional assessments, individual program development strategies and treatment intervention strategies.
Contact UsCommonwealth PortalContact the Web Team | Privacy PolicyDisclaimer
Copyright ©  Commonwealth of Pennsylvania