Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students

Harvard University has a variety of accommodations available for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Accommodations are determined by a review of the student's documentation and by what the student describes as the impact of their disability on access in the classroom or other settings (i.e. housing).

Academic accommodations may include:

  • Note takers
  • Preferential seating to augment communication
  • Professors using microphones in class
  • Assistive technology
  • Captioning videos
  • Real-time captioning or interpreter services

FM Systems

Instructional Media Services (IMS) has FM systems available for use in classrooms, lecture halls and other university-sponsored event spaces. When a student registers with AEO, the office will collaborate with IMS to provide an FM system that is most appropriate for the student (i.e. compatible with your particular listening device).

Interpreter & Captioning Services

Harvard University will arrange and incur the cost of providing communication access services for classes, related academic requirements, and non-academic, out-of-class activities sponsored by the University for any registered Harvard student. Currently available options are sign language and oral interpreters as well as captioning services provided by CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation). CART can be remotely accessed via a computer system or in-person.

Captioning Videos

Students who need academic videos captioned should contact the AEO who will help to facilitate this process. Faculty who plan to use videos in class should enable closed captioning whenever possible, or contact AEO in advance of showing the films if captioning is not available. Video transcription is a time-intensive process, and there may be a delay in captioning production depending on the amount of advanced notice received. We will make every effort to ensure that all educational material is accessible.


Devices such as strobe light alarms and bed shakers can be set up in on-campus student residences for students that require these accommodations. Emergency procedures should be arranged between the student and House Dean. To learn more about requesting housing accommodations, visit our housing page.