Communication Access

About Communication Access

The Disability Center provides sign language interpreters, captioning, transcription and other communication access methods to students who are d/Deaf or hard-of-hearing.

ASL Interpreting

Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing can request interpreting services when they register for classes. After a student is connected and requests their accommodations, the Disability Center provides guidance to instructors regarding the implementation of ASL Interpreting accommodations.


  • Interpreters hired by the University of Missouri are bound by the code of ethics developed by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, which specifies that interpreters are to serve as communications intermediaries only.
  • In the academic environment, the Deaf student and the interpreter will work out seating arrangements with the interpreter usually located near the speaker. This allows the Deaf student to view both the interpreters and the speaker.
  • Events or proceedings that are complex in nature or that exceed 75 minutes will require two interpreters to maintain the integrity of the process. The interpreters typically will swap out every 20-30 minutes with no interruption to the presentation.

Real-Time Captioning

Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing can access lectures and class discussions by utilizing real-time text-based access to the spoken/auditory message. The student can view the captioning on a laptop computer or tablet.


Other Services and Accommodations:

  • Captioned Media
  • Note Taking Accommodations
  • Priority Registration
  • Preferential Seating

Requesting American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting and Captioning

The Disability Center works with registered students to coordinate the implementation of their accommodations however, this requires that after the initial student meeting, students have the following responsibilities:


  • Use the MyAccess Portal at the beginning of each semester to notify instructors of accommodations.
  • Identify courses or course activities that will require interpreting or captioning.
  • Provide the accommodations coordinator with a class schedule containing course and section numbers.
  • Keep in contact with instructors and the accommodations coordinator concerning absences from class and other changes to the regular schedule.


The coordination of interpreting services for courses can take several weeks to arrange. Please be mindful that we often work with freelance staff or third-party agencies to cover all assignments. To secure enough interpreters, it is recommended students request accommodations at least 4 weeks in advance of the start of each academic term or as soon as their schedule is finalized. A delay may limit our ability to provide interpreters during the first few days of class.