Instructors' Guide for Interpreters

  1. Include the student as a member of the class with the same expectations as other students.
  2. Conduct class as you normally would without an interpreter present.
    The interpreter's role is that of a communication facilitator, which means the interpreter is there to bridge langauge gaps, not to function as an associate or tutor for either the Deaf or Hearing students.
  3. Speak and look directly at the student.
    The presence of the interpreter will allow you to speak directly to the student. Use phrases like "Do you want...", "Open your book...", You do not need to involve the interpreter by saying, "Ask him if he wants...", "Tell her to open her book..." etc.
  4. Face the class and speak naturally at a moderate pace.
    Repeat or rephrase questions/comments from the class before responding. If the speaker is talking too fast, the Deaf student or the interpreter may ask for clarification. Ask that only one person speak at a time. It is difficult for the interpreter to interpret more than one conversation at the same time.
  5. Encourage the student to participate in classroom discussion.
    The interpreted message will always reach the student a few moments after the actual words are spoken, so extra time is needed for a response.
  6. Talk with the student and the interpreter about:
    • Special seating
    • Adequate lighting to see the interpreter
    • Classroom activities (handouts,guest speakers, field trips, etc)
    • Videos with closed captioning
    • Requesting a note taker
      (It is difficult for the student to focus on the interpreter and instructor while taking notes.) If the note taker is absent provide the student with lecture notes.
  7. When showing videos check for closed captioning prior to viewing.
    Contact Media Services if videos will be viewed. This department can provide the classroom with a closed captioned (CC) TV or a decoder so captioning can be available. If CC is not available written transcripts may be requested. To ensure that DMACC complies with ADA law, videos need to be closed captioned for Deaf students. The interpreter in the classroom can assist you with any other questions you may have.
  8. The interpreter is not able to provide personal information about the student.
    If you would like to know more about the student, ask the student directly. Once you begin speaking to the student, the interpreter will begin signing to the student. The interpreter follows a code of ethics and views all information from an interpreting situation as confidential.
  9. Emergency Situations:
    Be aware that the student may not hear or understand an emergency situation, such as a tornado or fire alarm. Refer the student to the posted emergency plan in the classroom for clarification.

    The interpreter will wait outside the classroom for the student to arrive. The interpreter will wait 20 minutes for each class. If the student arrives after the time limit, he/she is responsible for contacting the interpreter to determine arrangements. The interpreter may be reassigned and in a different classroom after the time indicated.