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Meeting the Communication Needs of Postsecondary Students


Although CART is recognized in the Americans With Disabilities Act as an assistive technology which affords "effective communication access," obtaining CART service at some universities and colleges can often prove to be a challenge. Here are some resources that can help in your efforts to obtain CART in the postsecondary setting

Standing Up For Your Rights

CART services have helped many students learn more effectively at the high school or college level. If you want to be one of them, here are a few ways to stand up for your rights.

The Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education has also written "Students With Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities," which explains the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities who are preparing to attend postsecondary schools. This pamphlet also explains the obligations of a postsecondary school to provide academic adjustments, including auxiliary aids and services, to ensure that the school does not discriminate on the basis of disability.

For more information about the responsibilities of postsecondary schools to students with disabilities, read the OCR brochure "Auxiliary Aids and Services for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities: Higher Education's Obligations Under Section 504 and Title II of the ADA.

Legal Rights

Following are some additional resources that provide more information on the provision of communication access auxiliary aids:

  • The National Association of the Deaf issued a revised position statement on the "Responsibility for Cost of Communications Access Services for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing at Colleges and Universities." In addition, NAD has a comprehensive Information Center covering a variety of topics, including a review of how the ADA applies to deaf and hard-of-hearing students in the educational setting.

  • More information is also available at the Department of Justice's ADA Home Page.

  • For a full reading of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, click here.

  • "Americans with Disabilities Act: Responsibilities for Postsecondary Institutions Serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students," written by Jeanne M. Kincaid, Esq., and Sharaine J. Rawlinson, MSW, discusses the application of the ADA in the college or university setting. Click here for the Q&A section on CART.

  • Several experts in the legal challenges of obtaining communication access have expressed a willingness to provide additional information and help if possible.

    • Children's Rights Advocate for the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. E-mail: webmaster@agbell.org.

    • Melody James, Director of the Resource Center for Public Education for the League for the Hard of Hearing. E-mail: mjames@lhh.org.

    • Charles C. Diggs, Ph.D., Director of State & Consumer Advocacy for the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. E-mail: cdiggs@asha.org.


Filing a Complaint

If all else fails, and the university or college still refuses to provide CART, what can you do? Click here to find out.


CART Testimonials

Several people sent in moving testimonials to NCRA's CART SIG on the deep impact CART has had on people's lives. Some responded to the possibility of CART being replaced by notetaking services; others wrote to tell the Federal government that funds are needed to train the people who can provide this needed service.




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