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Bakersfield College

DSPS Staff

Deaf Services

Deaf Services at Bakersfield College provides communication access in a variety of forms for all Deaf and Hard of Hearing students requesting service. These services are provided to facilitate communication access between the students and hearing people in classroom and required co-curricular activities, enabling all to communicate easily.

Services provided by Deaf Services include American Sign Language interpreting and other modes of manual and oral communication as requested. Realtime captioning is available to both Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, and assistive listening devices are provided for those with residual hearing who communicate orally. 

Additional services include matriculation and registration assistance, academic advising and counseling, special testing accommodations, note taking services, advocacy, and campus orientation and accessibility.

A mentoring program is also available to provide professional development for sign language interpreters employed by Bakersfield College.


Michelle Begendik, Deaf Service Coordinator/Adviser, FA 56

Email: mbegendi@bakersfieldcollege.edu

V/TTY: (661) 395-4296

Video Phone: (661) 369-8826

Academic Services

  • Interpreters
  • Academic Advising
  • Campus Accessibility
  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Realtime Captioning


In order to provide equal communication access for d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing students at Bakersfield College, the Deaf Services Coordinator/Advisor is fluent in American Sign Language. This allows students using manual communication as their primary method of communication access and opportunity to have educational advising without having to use a sign language interpreter to communicate.

Services include assistance with assessment, matriculation, registration, financial aid, orientation, academic standing, etc.

The Deaf Services Coordinator/Advisor will also assist the student in identifying accommodations appropriate for specific levels of hearing loss and act as an advocate/educator in case of inappropriate situations, problems, or discrimination involving communication access at Bakersfield College.

Real Time Captioning

Realtime Captioners attend class with the Deaf or Hard of Hearing students and type the spoken word on a steno machine. This process instantly creates English text on a laptop computer placed on the desk in front of the student so that he/she can see what is being said in the classroom.

Non-oral students have the option of utilizing the keyboard to ask questions. These questions are read aloud by the captioner.

This process meets the ADA requirement for equal communication access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons, and is especially suited for those who do not use sign language or other types of manual communication as their primary method of communication.


Requesting a sign language interpreter

Students may call (661) 395-4296 (V/TTY) or (661) 369-8826 (VP) to make an appointment with the Deaf Services Coordinator (FA-56) when planning their courses for the upcoming semester. Interpreting services can be requested during this appointment.

Copies of policies and procedures for interpreting services are available through the Deaf Service Coordinator.

Assisted Listening Devices

Students wishing to use an Assistive Listening Device in the classroom may call (661) 395-4334 (V/TTY) to make an appointment with a DSPS Counselor or Michelle Begendik at (661) 395-4296 (V/TTY) or (661) 369-8826 (VP) for an appointment with the Deaf Services Coordinator/Adviser.

You will then need to complete an Equipment Checkout Agreement with a DSPS staff member located in the Center for Student Success (CSS), formerly Student Services Building 1st floor, room 10 on the south side of the building, who will put their name on the daily checkout list for assistive listening devices.

The equipment must be picked up and returned each day at the designated times because other students will also be using the devices.

When the student arrives in class each day, they will ask their instructor to wear the microphone and transmitter unit, so that their receiver unit and headphones will pick up the amplified sound. Students must remember to retrieve the device from their instructor before leaving class! All equipment is returned to DSPS for recharge and/or reissue to others.

If there are any mechanical difficulties with the assistive listening device, the student should notify DSPS right away so it can be repaired.

Tip for instructors: Students that use an assistive listening device will bring a small microphone for you to wear in class. This microphone amplifies your voice only in their receiver.

Kern Community College District