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. Real-time 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.

Academic Advising

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.

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, Michelle Begendik at (661) 395-4296 (V/TTY), or (661) 369-8826 (VP) for an appointment with the Deaf Services Coordinator/Adviser.


You will need to complete an Equipment Checkout Agreement with a DSPS staff member located in the Center for Student Success (CSS) room 10 on the south side of the building, to have your name to 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 you arrive in class each day, ask your instructor to wear the microphone and transmitter unit, so that your receiver unit and headphones will pick up the amplified sound. Remember to retrieve the device from your instructor before leaving class! All equipment must be returned to DSPS for recharge and/or reissue to others.

If there are any mechanical difficulties with the assistive listening device, 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.

Campus Accessibility

The Deaf Services Coordinator can assist the campus community with arranging accommodations for deaf or hard of hearing students involved in non-academic events. Contact the Deaf Services Coordinator by phone, (661) 395-4296, or email with any questions.

Real-Time Captioning

Real-time 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.

To request real-time captioning, see How to Request Captioning and Interpreting Services.

Sign Language Interpreters

The sign language interpreter plays a critical role in the success of deaf students. In addition to providing the communication link for students to interact with teachers and their hearing peers in regular education classes, interpreters also make it possible for all deaf students to gain access to all other school activities.

Request for Real-Time Captioning and Sign Language Interpreter Services

To request real-time captioning or interpreter services, complete the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Request Form. This request form assists DSPS in providing Sign Language Interpreters and Real-Time Captioning services to students that are Deaf and utilize these approved accommodations for any academically-related courses, meetings, events, or other activities at or for Bakersfield College.

For community/club activities or other non-academic events, contact the event coordinator. If you need assistance contacting the event coordinator to request accommodations for non-academic events, the Deaf Services Coordinator, Michelle Begendik, can assist you with the process.


  • Make your request at least three (3) days prior to the event.
  • Requests submitted with less than three days' notice may not be fulfilled.
  • If you need to cancel service, notify the Deaf Services Coordinator, Michelle Begendik, at least 48 hours prior to the scheduled event.

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Request

Contact Us!

Phone: (661) 395-4334 (V/TTY) | Fax: (661) 395-4079 | | Location: Center for Student Success (CSS) 10