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: https://rid.org/ethics/code-of-professional-conduct/