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28 July 2006

Dean Evans

By Jade Hill
JSU News Bureau

Ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity is the job of JSU’s Disability Support Services (DSS) department.


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 disorders.”


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 a classroom.


“This fall we expect to have 4 or 5 students who are deaf American Sign Language users and around 15 hard of hearing students.”


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 language.”


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  



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