By Jade Hill
JSU News Bureau
Ensuring that all students have
an equal opportunity is the job of JSU’s Disability Support Services (DSS)
According to Dean Evans, the lead
interpreter at JSU, DSS is a service under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We make sure that the university
provides appropriate accommodations for students with all types of
disabilities," he said. "The population we serve includes but is not limited to
blind/visually impaired, deaf/hard of hearing, physical disabilities, learning
disabilities, attention deficit disorder (ADD), as well as mental health
DSS offers many services for
students. In the fall and spring semesters, DSS serves 245 to 250 students.
“We provide readers for the
blind, Braille tests, tests in a reduced distraction environment, and assistance
in obtaining books on tape,” Mr. Evans said.
“DSS provides internship
opportunities for students interested in becoming interpreters, and we also
serve as an information source for faculty and staff on campus who have
questions or concerns about students.”
As the lead interpreter at JSU,
Mr. Evans said his job duties include coordinating interpreting, captioning and
other accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing to ensure
that they have full access to instruction and extracurricular activities.
“The job involves not only myself
interpreting, but locating and identifying qualified interpreters to meet the
needs of the students.”
According to Mr. Evans,
interpreting involves anything from American Sign Language to English
transliteration (changing spoken English to signed English) to C-print
captioning. C-Print Captioning involves an interpreter typing what is said in a
classroom on a laptop computer so a deaf or hard-of hearing student can read the
discussion that is taking place. Mr. Evans said, “It is designed to provide
communication access in a lecture type setting, and it is almost custom made for
“This fall we expect to have 4 or
5 students who are deaf American Sign Language users and around 15 hard of
Mr. Evans co-teaches an American
Sign Language course at JSU. “The aim of the class is to give students a good
solid foundation in the language using as much practical application as possible
by limiting the use of voice and maximizing the visual element of the
DSS has good working
relationships with other resource networks for people with disabilities. Mr.
Evans said that JSU is well known in the state and across the southeast for the
services it provides to students with disabilities.
DSS recently participated with
the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) and EH Gentry Technical
Facility, a technical school for the deaf and blind, in a college preparation
program for students who are deaf and hard of hearing.
“It was a two week long,
intensive college preparation program in which we discussed study skills, rules
and regulations, time management, and just basic college survival skills,” Mr.
Evans explained. “We focused on self-advocacy.
“The program ended with students
each giving a power point presentation on what their career goals are and the
type of college education they plan to pursue in order to reach those goals. It
was a great success.”
Mr. Evans said that if he could
offer one piece of advice to students it would be that they come forward and
identify themselves to DSS if they have a disability. “If they do not come
forward and the time comes that they are in trouble academically, it’s too late.
It is very important to ask for accommodations if needed.
“The most important thing about
this job is knowing that students have access to education. Education is one of
the best things people can do in their lives, and it has a greater impact on the
future than most things. By providing that education, we’re not only enriching
students personally, but we’re enriching the community at large.”
If you want to learn more about
JSU’s Disability Support Services, call Dean Evans at 782-8390 or e-mail him at