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Communication Disabilities
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Accommodations | Special Considerations

A communication disability is a ". . . limitation in the process of speech and/or hearing which impedes the educational process and necessitates the procurement of supportive services or programs."

There are several different types of hearing and communication disabilities. Some can be partly corrected with a hearing aid and some cannot. Some kinds of communication disabilities do not simply reduce the volume of sound; they also distort it, so that words cannot be understood.


bullet modifications of assignments, such as one-to-one presentations or use of computers with voice synthesizers
bullet substitutions for oral class reports

Special Considerations

Speech and language disorders may be managed by computerized voice synthesizers or electronic-speaking machines. Speech therapy is frequently used to improve certain disorders. Anxiety and stress often accompany oral communication and can exacerbate the problem.

The student may speak more slowly in class and should be given time to express his or her thoughts. Interrupting or completing a sentence for the student is not helpful and may lead to embarrassment. It is appropriate to ask the student to repeat the statement. Summarizing the message helps the student to check for accuracy of understanding. The instructor’s acceptance and support of the student is important to facilitate communication and manage the speech disorder. If an oral presentation is required, the instructor should discuss alternatives with the student.

The information on this Web page is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for information found in CSUF publications.  Please consult the California State University, Fullerton Catalog and the CSUF Class Schedule.

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