Deaf Services Student Handbook

Eligibility of Services

In order to be eligible for support services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing students must provide documentation from a licensed clinical professional or Department of Rehabilitation along with a copy of an audiogram.  The documentation may also include an IEP, psychological and/or medical reports, or specialized testing reports. Students must apply to DSS online and upload the required documentation.

DSS Academic Counseling

Once we have verification of your disability, with supplemental documents, we will arrange for you to meet with one of our DSS Academic Counselors for a new student appointment. In this meeting, the counselor will give you an orientation to the college and discuss DSS program requirements, develop an Academic Accommodations Plan (AAP) for appropriate support services, discuss the requirements of your major, and help you plan your class schedule. Appointments are available in-person and virtually.

It is important to not miss your appointment. The wait list for counseling services can be very long! If you miss two counseling appointments consecutively without notifying the DSS office, you will be required to wait two weeks to reschedule another appointment. To request DSS services and accommodations, you will be expected to meet with the counselor at least once per semester. In order to continue to receive services, you must update your file at least once a year (usually in the summer or fall).

Priority Registration

Priority registration means that students who receive DSS services can register earlier than some students on campus. This helps you plan your classes appropriately to ensure DSS has time to secure DHH services before the beginning of the semester.  Once you have planned a class schedule with a DSS Counselor, you will receive priority registration allowing you to register for classes by visiting

If you do not register during priority registration and you wait until the last minute, you may not get the classes you need.  Additionally, you may not receive interpreting or remote transcription services in a timely manner.

How to qualify for priority registration when you’re a new student:

  1. Must have attended a college orientation. (This will be completed during your new student appointment with DSS.)
  2. Must have completed a Student Educational Plan.  (This will be completed during your new student appointment with DSS.)

How to qualify for priority registration when you’re a returning student:

  1. Must have completed orientation and one-semester Student Educational Plan (same as above).
  2. Must have completed 75% of Cypress and Fullerton courses with A-B-C-CR-P grades.
  3. Must have not recently been on probation or dismissed from Cypress or Fullerton.
  4. Must not have attempted more than 100 units at Cypress and Fullerton Colleges.

How to qualify for priority registration when you’re a continuing student:

  1. Must be in good academic and progress standing.
  2. Must have completed 75% of Cypress and Fullerton courses with A-B-C-CR-P grades.

Must not have attempted more than 100 units at Cypress and Fullerton Colleges.

How to Request Interpreters or Remote Transcription Services

As soon as you register for classes, you must either:

  1. Email your class schedule to the Interpreter Coordinator at and request interpreters or remote transcription services for those classes.
  2. Come into the DSS office to fill out an Interpreter/Remote Transcription Request Form.

You must also request your accommodation letters through your Charger Access Student Portal. To continue receiving services, you must update your DSS file every year and request accommodation letters every semester.***YOU MUST REQUEST AN INTERPRETER/REMOTE TRANSCRIBER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  IF YOU WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE, YOU MAY NOT HAVE SERVICES WHEN CLASSES BEGIN.***

For Classes on Zoom

If the class takes place via Zoom, interpreting services will be provided remotely. Interpreters will enter the Zoom meeting and can be “pinned” by the student to be viewed in full screen.

Student Contract for Interpreting/Remote Transcription Services

You will be asked to read and sign a Student Contract for Interpreting/Remote Transcription Services prior to receiving the service. It is important that you make this request as soon as possible (no later than two weeks before the start of classes) so that we can ensure that an interpreter or remote transcriber will be scheduled for you. Students can also request interpreting/remote transcription services for in-person or virtual meetings with instructors or tutors, appointments or special events, and other educational activities.

Requesting Interpreter/Remote Transcription for Non-classroom Events

To request an interpreter/remote transcriber for educational activities outside the classroom such as a conference with a teacher or counselor, club meeting, field trip, or weekend event, contact the Interpreter Coordinator as soon as you know of the event by sending an email to or visit the DSS office to complete an Interpreter/Remote Transcription Request form.  The more notice the Interpreter Coordinator has of your request for services, the more successful you will be in obtaining quality interpreting/remote transcription services.

Notetaking Assistance

Students who cannot take notes or have difficulty taking notes adequately, would benefit from: instructor’s notes/slides, note taking apps, or notes from a volunteer in class. If a volunteer is preferred, you must select this accommodation in the Charger Access Portal when requesting your accommodation letters. To request a volunteer:

  1. Click on the link to “Request a Note Taker” in the Charger Access Portal.
  2. Click “Course/Notes” at the top of the page. Select the courses from which to receive notes and confirm the request.
  3. You will receive an email when a volunteer note taker has been assigned and every time the volunteer note taker has uploaded notes to the portal for you to access.

The volunteer note taker will receive a bookstore gift card in the amount of $60 for providing notes for 9-16 weeks OR $30 for 1-8 weeks. To be eligible for the gift card, the volunteer must apply on the Charger Access Portal and receive a confirmation email that they were assigned as a note taker, prior to starting the assignment. The gift cards will be issued at the end of the semester.

Tutoring Services

Cypress College has tutoring services available for all students. DSS can provide interpreting/remote transcription services for virtual or in-person tutoring appointments. If you think you will need tutoring, you should sign up for the program that is best for you at the beginning of the semester. If you put it off, it may be difficult for you to catch up with your class. You must request an interpreter/remote transcriber for tutoring at least 48 hours before the tutoring meeting.

Testing Accommodations

DSS can provide testing accommodations if you need more time to take exams in a distraction reduced environment. To request testing accommodations, ensure that your file is updated. Request testing accommodations in the Charger Access Portal by clicking “Request Accommodation Letters.” Accommodation letters will be emailed to your professors when you have completed this process for each class.

In-person testing: If the exams for your class take place in-person, you must call or stop by the DSS office to schedule your exam. All exams must be scheduled with the DSS office at least three days prior to each exam.

Remote testing: If the exams for your class take place virtually, DSS will proctor exams via Zoom. Testing appointments must be made at least three days prior to each exam by emailing and the instructor must be cc’d with the date and time of testing appointment. Students will receive the DSS Zoom link and password before the exam. Virtual testing procedures must be followed.

Class Presentations

If you have to give an oral report or presentation in your class, it is a good idea to arrange a time to practice with your interpreter/remote transcriber if you want them to voice for you. If the DSS office is open, you may come to DSS to make a copy of your report for the interpreter or the Interpreter Coordinator will email a copy to the interpreter. If classes are taking place remotely, a Zoom meeting can be arranged to practice. Please DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE to do this. It will take time to practice.

Closed Caption Videos

Most instructors know that closed captioning must be included when showing DVDs/videos in their classes. If you find out that your instructor will be showing a video in class, it’s always best to ask if it is closed captioned or ask to have the TV or online video set up for closed captions.  If the video does not have closed captioning, ask your instructor to contact DSS to find out how their videos can be captioned.

Student Absences

If you plan on being absent, you must notify the Interpreter Coordinator at at least 48 hours in advance. If you are unexpectedly absent due to illness, emergency, etc., you must notify the Interpreter Coordinator as soon as possible. If you do not show up for class and do not notify DSS in advance on two occasions, your interpreting/remote transcription services may be suspended until you meet with a DSS Counselor or Director. If, after you meet with the DSS professional, your absenteeism continues, services may be terminated for the remainder of the semester.

Student Tardiness

Interpreters/remote transcribers are instructed to wait ten (10) minutes for every hour the class meets for students to arrive. If you arrive after the DHH service provider has waited the required time, you may not receive interpreting/remote transcription services for that class period. Failure to arrive to class on time twice in a semester will result in your services being suspended until you have met with the DSS Counselor or Director.

Adds, Drops, or Other Class Changes

You must inform the Interpreter Coordinator immediately of any changes in your class schedule so arrangements can be made with the interpreter/remote transcriber. For in-person classes, please inform the Interpreter Coordinator if there is a permanent change in your classroom location or if the class will meet in a different place for one day, so the DHH service provider is aware.

Intrepreter/Remote Transcriber No Shows

If your interpreter does not show up or your remote transcriber does not connect with you in a timely manner, you have the following options:

1. Stay in class without an interpreter/remote transcriber and then report it to the DSS office as soon as possible.

2. Report to the DSS office immediately to see if a substitute interpreter/remote transcriber may be secured right away.

If there is no interpreter/remote transcriber and a substitute could not be located, the Interpreter Coordinator will make every effort to assure services are secured for the next class.

Complaint Resolution Procedure

If you have a problem with your interpreter/remote transcriber, please discuss it with the interpreter/remote transcriber first and try to solve the problem between the two of you. If you cannot solve the problem, or the interpreter/remote transcriber will not listen to you, please inform the Interpreter Coordinator. If you have a hard time understanding the DHH service provider, please notify DSS as soon as possible.

DSS prides itself on providing appropriate accommodations in a timely manner. However, in rare instances a student may feel that they have been treated unfairly.  For more information, please refer to the Accommodation Complaint Resolution Procedure.

Suspension or Termination of DSS Services

There are two ways in which an eligible student may be denied services through DSS:

1. Lack of Measurable Progress: Failure to make measurable progress towards the goals established in the student’s Academic Accommodations Plan (AAP) for two consecutive semesters.

2. Inappropriate Use of Services: Defined as a failure to comply with the policies and procedures of individual services authorized for a student. Failure to comply with the terms stated within each specific service area may result in the suspension or termination of that service. Prior to the suspension or termination of services, the student will be notified in writing. The letter will inform the student that they must meet with a DSS Counselor or DSS Director within one (1) week from the date of the letter to discuss the area of concern. If the student does not schedule the meeting or fails to attend, services will be suspended or terminated.

Helpful Suggestions

  • Make sure to register for classes before the semester begins.  If you wait too long, there may not be an interpreter/remote transcriber available on the first day of class.  DHH services schedules are secured before school starts so the student will have an interpreter/remote transcriber at the beginning of class.
  • You will do best in college if you set goals at the beginning and choose your major carefully. Counselors can help you with this.
  • Try to keep up with your homework every day. If you are struggling in a class, there are tutorial services available at the Learning Resource Center. DSS can provide interpreting/remote transcription services for your tutoring session. It is best to sign up for tutoring at the beginning of the semester so you don’t get behind in your school work/studies. Once a student gets behind, it is very difficult to catch up. Be sure to request an interpreter/remote transcriber with the Interpreter Coordinator as soon as you have the tutoring appointment.
  • We have some instructors here at Cypress College who have not worked with Deaf or Hard of Hearing students before. If you have any problems with the instructor, you can use DHH services to communicate with the instructor and try to solve the problem. If you still have the problem, please come to DSS and ask for help.
  • If you need help with solving registration problems, contact the DSS office and ask someone to assist you.

Contributions to the Handbook

This Handbook was developed with contributions from and thanks to the following institutions:

  • San Bernardino Valley College, Services to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students – Student Handbook
  • El Camino College, DSS Student Handbook
  • Cypress College, DSS Student Handbook