More individuals in the United States have a hearing impairment than any other type of physical disability. A hearing impairment is any type or degree of auditory impairment while deafness is an inability to use hearing as a means of communication. Hearing loss may be sensorineural, involving an impairment of the auditory nerve; conductive, a defect in the auditory system that interferes with sound reaching the cochlea; or a mixed impairment, involving both sensorineural and conductive. Hearing loss is measured in decibels and may be mild, moderate, or profound. A person with hearing loss may use hearing aides and rely on lip reading. Others may require an interpreter.
Eligibility for Disability Services at the College of Saint Elizabeth is dependent upon the nature of the disability and its impact on learning. A person might meet eligibility requirements of vocational rehabilitation, disabled veterans or any other rehabilitation agency; however, she/he may not meet eligibility at the College of Saint Elizabeth. One of the reasons that the College has developed these guidelines is to ensure consistency throughout the institution. These guidelines are fairly consistent with those used by agencies administering standardized assessments. The ultimate decision for eligibility on campus is a judgment that must be made by the Coordinator of Disability Services based upon the guidelines developed for each type of disability. Once a student has been verified as disabled by the College of Saint Elizabeth Office of Disability Services, a disability eligibility form should be completed and placed in a confidential file with the determining documentation.