Sign Language Interpreters

An interpreter facilitates communication for a Deaf or hard of hearing (DHOH) student through the use of sign language or oral interpretation. The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) and the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) have established a set of ethical standards that define an interpreter's role. Interpreters hired by DAS adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct standards.

The Code of Professional Conduct requires interpreters to:

  • Keep all information from interpreting assignments confidential.
  • Interpret all information accurately and without bias.
  • Refrain from participating in the class in any way.
  • Refrain from expressing personal opinions.

Working with Students and Interpreters

  • To communicate with a Deaf/hard of hearing student, maintain eye contact and address the student directly. If the faculty says to the interpreter "tell him he should...," the interpreter will sign those words exactly. However, the phrase "you should..." directed towards the student will establish a direct line of communication.
  • The interpreter is most often seated in front of the class, opposite the Deaf/hard of hearing student, and will try to maintain a position that allows the student to see the speaker and the interpreter at all times.
  • There will be a few seconds "lag time" between the spoken message and its interpretation into sign language, as well as when the Deaf/hard of hearing student signs and the interpreter begins voicing. Therefore, the Deaf/hard of hearing student will always be slightly slower to respond than the majority of students in the class.
  • The interpreter will interpret environmental noises and may, at times, interpret overheard conversations before class begins.
  • Provide the interpreter a copy of the class syllabus and all handouts which will be used in the class aids the interpreter’s preparation for the class.
  • Students cannot watch the interpreter and media simultaneously; captions allow access to the information presented. Please ensure all media shown in class include captions.
  • If the classroom is to be darkened, be aware that the student must be able to see the interpreter in order to access the information presented in an auditory format. Please adjust the lighting so that the interpreter can be seen by the student.
  • In the absence of an interpreter, don't hesitate to use paper and pencil for communication. It is a widely accepted method.

Requesting an Interpreter

  • DAS has the responsibility to provide access for all academic programs and essential student services. An interpreter may be requested by completing a Custom Request for an Interpreter.
  • Students registered with DAS may submit custom requests through their DAS Online Services profiles.
  • Departments are responsible for requesting interpreting services from DAS for non-essential services and other university events.
    • Please make your request for an interpreter as far in advance as possible. A minimum of 48 hours advance notice is typically required to locate available interpreters.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Manager of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Access Services at DHOH.Services@oregonstate.edu or 541-737-3670

Page Updated 5/2021