Working with Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing (HoH)Students

In the classroom, some Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing students will use a sign language interpreter; others will use a transcriber who will provide a written transcript of the lecture; others will use an assisting listening device that may require the instructor to wear a microphone. The student will work with our office to determine what works best for them, and you will be informed of that decision. Most of our students use interpreters and some helpful tips for making this the best experience possible are listed below. Students are required to register with the Office of Disability Services at the beginning of each semester.  At the time of registration if a student needs a sign language interpreter, one will be assigned by our office.  Faculty do not have to request interpreters for students who are Deaf/HoH.

  • The interpreter is in your classroom to facilitate communication between you and the student and between the other students present in the class. If you need to address the Deaf/HoH student, speak directly to that student – not to the interpreter, and avoid using phrases like “tell him” or “ask her.”
  • Do not rush through a lecture or presentation. The interpreter or student may ask the speaker to slow down or repeat a sentence for clarification. Allow time to study handouts, charts or overheads. A Deaf/HoH student cannot watch the interpreter and study written information at the same time.
  • Permit only one person at a time to speak during group discussions. It is difficult for an interpreter to follow several people speaking at once. Since the interpreter needs to be a few words behind the conversation, give the interpreter time to finish before the next person begins speaking so the Deaf/HoH student can contribute to the discussion.
  • If a class session is more than an hour and a half, two interpreters will usually be scheduled and will work on a rotating basis.
  • Any videos that are used should be closed captioned.
  • You may ask the student to arrange for an interpreter for meetings during office hours.
  • Advance notice should be given for field trips and outside activities so that the student may request an interpreter in a timely manner.
  • Bound by a professional code of ethics, interpreters are hired by the University to interpret what occurs in the classroom. They are not permitted to join in conversations, voice personal opinions, or serve as general classroom aides. Do not make comments to an interpreter that you do not want interpreted.

Please click on the button below to request an interpreter for you personally.

* Reminder students must request their own interpreters for classes.