Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Communication Access

Effective communication is critical to inclusion. We have a range of communication access approaches to put in place for both face to face and online courses and meetings. We employ ASL Interpreters, TypeWell Transcribers, and offer CART, captions, equipment and notes. 

The first thing to know

We want to make sure everyone can participate as fully as possible – automatically generated captions are not sufficient to provide access for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. 

  • If you are holding an event and believe it is likely that someone will need interpreting or transcribing in order to participate, please contact cap@pcc.edu
  • If you are holding an event and don’t anticipate a direct need, but want to improve access, please consider one of the note taking approaches AEDR is offering.

Some quick notes on providing services remotely

  • Audio will need to be available for any remote communication access service. This can be through Google Meet, Zoom, or a phone line.  Audio quality is critical to effective service delivery, so please try to use a quality headset and ensure mics are muted when not being used.
  • Remote Interpreting uses a video connection to ensure a person who uses sign language and an Interpreter can see each other, allowing for two-way communication. 
  • Remote TypeWell or CART providers will either send text directly through closed captioning or through a weblink that displays a transcript of what is being said in real-time through a browser window.
  • Video Relay is a free service that is used to allow people who are hearing to place and receive calls with Deaf people who are using interpreters or text based communication tools. This is utilized for conference calls or direct communication.

If you are using a Google Hangout Meeting 

  • If AEDR is providing TypeWell or CART transcribers, you will be given a weblink for the text to be displayed in real time through a browser. A transcript can typically be provided at the end.
  • If AEDR is providing a remote Interpreter, they will either be added as a participant with their video camera enabled, or will be connected through a separate weblink. 

If you are using Zoom 

  • Zoom allows the facilitator to assign a captionist and supports third party API tokens. If you are asked to assign a transcriber to type, please follow these quick steps.
  • When this option is used, participants will all be able to turn on the CCs as desired, both during the live meeting, and when accessing recordings. 
  • The same weblink options described for Google meetings can also work for Zoom.

If you are using a phone line

  • Please send call-in numbers, codes, and meeting details to cap@pcc.edu.
  • Oregon Relay can be a great option for individual calls.