Interpreting Guidelines for Staff, Faculty, and Instructors

Working with a Sign Language Interpreter

 Before a meeting or event with a sign language interpreter – what you should know

  • The interpreter(s) will arrive early to introduce him/her self to you and answer any questions you may have.
  • The interpreter(s) will negotiate placement that will allow for optimal sight lines that will allow the Deaf individual to see the presenter and interpreter at the same time).
  • The interpreter(s) will need to be sure that their location has a sufficient amount of lighting.  Even if lights are dimmed, the Interpreter and Deaf participant must have enough light to communicate with one another.
  • The interpreter may want to briefly clarify unique vocabulary, acronyms, technical jargon, etc.

 Please provide the interpreter(s) with any course information as soon as it is available.  This includes:

  • Access to Web Vista, Moodle and other web-based material
  • The course syllabus
  • Handouts (ie: PowerPoint slides, class readings, etc.)

The handouts may be submitted to ICU@umn.edu.   This allows the interpreter(s) a chance to prepare and convey accurate information.

 Before showing a video in class, please check to see the media is captioned and have the captions turned on for viewing. If the video does not have captions please refer to https://diversity.umn.edu/disability/requestmediacaptioning.

Communication with a sign language interpreter present

Communicate directly with the individual who is Deaf or hard of hearing.

Interpreter(s) will convey auditory information via sign language.  This auditory information includes:

  • Identifying speakers
  • The dialogue (what you and other students say)
  • Descriptions of environmental sounds (e.g. music, alarms, cell phones ringing)

An interpreter can only accommodate one speaker at a time.  Please remember to:

  • Repeat student questions before answering.
  • Encourage students to speak clearly, and one at a time.
  • Face the class and minimize movement across a large area.

Understand the interpreter’s role

The interpreter is a communication facilitator, striving to ensure that communication is accessible between Deaf and hearing people.

While working as a neutral communication facilitator, the interpreter cannot serve as a participant.

The interpreter will follow the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct.  You can view the Code of Professional Conduct at this link: http://www.rid.org/ethics/code/index.cfm/AID/66