Handbook: Code of Ethics

The principles of ethical behavior have been established to protect and guide the interpreter, the consumer (hearing, D/deaf and hard of hearing) and the profession. All WSU interpreters are responsible for knowing and adhering to the Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf (RID) Code of Professional Conduct.

Expectations of WSU Interpreters

While interpreting in classes at WSU can be a more relaxed experience than that encountered in community interpreting, there are still some basic guidelines that need to be followed.

  1. WSU interpreters are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the professional standards set by the Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf (RID) Code of Professional Conduct. (i.e., interpreters shall maintain confidentiality, render the message faithfully, refrain from interjecting personal opinions, and function in a manner appropriate to the situation, etc.)

    However, interpreters may at times need to share classroom accommodation related issues with other campus staff on a “need to know” basis. On a regular basis, the interpreting staff adopts a team approach in the collaboration and sharing of work-related information. As a result, there will be times when interpreters share typically confidential information about students and work experiences/challenges for the purpose of improving the quality of the WSU interpreting services.

  2. For the first class session, arrive a few minutes early to introduce yourself to the student who is Deaf. Also either introduce yourself to the instructor or ask the student if he/she would prefer to introduce you to the instructor.

  3. If a student needs interpreting services for a student-teacher conference, workshop, practice, study-group meeting, etc., that is outside of the regular class schedule, he/she must complete an Interpreter Request form, or send a text message or email to the Assistant Director with all pertinent information. (The form is bright pink and can be obtained in the front office.) Once the Assistant Director has all the necessary information, such as date/time/place/situation and duration of the extra assignment, the interpreter will be scheduled accordingly. Any interpreting that happens outside of this stipulation will be done at the interpreter’s expense.

  4. In case of a student "no-show", wait 10 minutes for each hour of class. (10 minutes for a 50 minute class, 15 minutes for an hour and 15 minute class, and 30 minutes for a 3 hour class) If the student does not show up for class within these time parameters, you may leave. You will be compensated for the session missed. If a student must miss a class, our office requests that the student call our office at least 15 minutes before the start of the class. If the student misses three consecutive classes without contacting our office, please notify the Assistant Director.

  5. The Office of Disability Services implements a 24-hour cancellation policy. If you are not notified 24 hours in advance of class cancellation, you will receive payment for that assignment.

  6. Interpreters must complete an absentee form a minimum of 2 days before a planned absence. If the interpreter receives vacation and/or sick leave benefits, a leave and overtime request form must also be completed. All forms must be submitted to the Assistant Director. In the event of illness or an emergency, please contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible so that arrangements can be made to provide adequate substitutions.

  7. We encourage the students to provide you with feedback regarding their communication needs and preferences (ASL, PSE, SEE, voicing needs). Please incorporate their suggestions. If you have any on-going concerns, contact the Assistant Director.

  8. If the information or assignment you have accepted is new and unfamiliar to you, please do appropriate preparation. Our office can provide you with a copy of the text, you can talk with the professor outside of class regarding vocabulary, check out our office resources—texts and/or videos, develop consistent signs for course-specific vocabulary (encourage involvement with the student in this task), and talk with staff and freelance interpreters.

  9. Staff and freelance interpreters will be given the opportunity to be observed and given feedback each semester. Appointments will be arranged with a designated staff member.

  10. You are responsible for submitting your time sheet/hours by 4:00 on the last Wednesday during the pay period in which it is due. Failure to do so will result in non-payment for interpreted services for that pay period.

  11. If any information regarding your assignment is incorrect or if there are any schedule changes, please notify the Assistant Director. These changes may include meeting time, room assignment, and/or instructor change.

  12. If at any time during the semester you are unable to continue your assigned schedule of classes at WSU, a two-week advance notice is required. After notifying the office in writing, you will be expected to maintain your schedule for two weeks so as not to jeopardize our students’ access to the classroom, and allow the Assistant Director ample time to recruit a new interpreter for your interpreting assignments.

  13. If the students withdraw or drop classes that alter your interpreting schedule thus removing classes that decrease your hours, our office will try to reassign you so that your hours are not lost. However, if that can't be done, we will continue to pay you for those lost hours for two weeks even though you will not be interpreting for them. This will help ease the transition for you. It is your responsibility to claim the cancellation time on your timecard.

In summation, the interpreter's basic responsibility is to transmit information between the deaf student and hearing persons accurately, quickly, and clearly. The interpreter will interpret everything that goes on in the classroom--lecture, group discussions, side conversations, etc. The interpreter is not a participant. By being flexible in using the appropriate mode of communication, and by interacting well with teachers, students and colleagues, the interpreter will work to make the educational experience worthwhile for everyone involved.