The Student Disability Center (SDC) provides interpreting services as an accommodation/auxiliary aid for students who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing, as well as those whose hearing loss significantly affects or limits, their ability to access the learning environment. Interpreting services encompass sign language (transliteration) and/or oral interpretation. Interpreting services are a means of providing access to spoken language and to facilitate communication. Interpreters providing the services are professionally trained and are hired to serve the role as a facilitator for communication.
Eligibility and Approval
Eligibility for this service is determined by an assessment of a student’s individual needs by the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations. The effects, or limitations, of the disability must support the need for interpreting services as assessed and verified by the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations.
Interpreting services may be requested by a student or be recommended by the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations as an appropriate auxiliary aid/accommodation after an assessment of needs.
All students who request interpreting services for the first time must meet with the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations for the recommendation of services. Interpreting services must be requested by a student each semester in order to continue this service. All student requests for interpreting services are processed through the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations. Students must meet with the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations for each semester before services will be implemented and/or continued. Approval and continuation of services will be documented by the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations.
Provision of Services
All requests for interpreting services must be submitted to SDC in a timely manner so that adequate planning is possible to fulfill specific student needs.
Once approved for services, students must meet with the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations to initiate the support for any academic interpreting. A course schedule is also required so that appropriate scheduling of interpreters can be accomplished. The SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations is a qualified and certified sign language interpreter responsible for responding to all student and university requests for interpreting services.
Procedures for Requests
Students who request interpreting services are asked to sign an agreement statement for SDC indicating their willingness to abide by the established policies and procedures associated with this service area. This agreement will be valid for each semester a student is consecutively enrolled at the university. A break in enrollment or services will necessitate a new signed agreement statement if needed as determined by the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations.
Assignment of interpreters to classes occurs once a student submits their schedule of classes to the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations. Students must submit their class schedule to the SDC, including any subsequent changes, in a timely manner. Due to variable availability of interpreters, students are requested to submit their class schedules during the registration period of the semester and/or at least three weeks before the beginning of classes. Priority registration will be given for any continuous semester beyond the first one enrolled to an undergraduate student using interpreting services in order to facilitate this process.
Requests for interpreting services for activities other than regularly scheduled classes may be submitted via a Request for Interpreting Services form or through other means of contacting the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations. Messages can be relayed through e-mail, through the SDC front desk, or through a relay service.
Requests will be fulfilled on a first-come basis. Last minute changes or requests may result in a delay of services. Requests for specific interpreters may be granted only if early notification is given to the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations and/or there is a compelling reason a particular interpreter is needed. However, there is no guarantee of any specific request can be fulfilled.
One week notice is requested to schedule interpreting services for other academic-related activities (i.e. meetings/appointments) or for non-academic university-sponsored programs. Academic meetings/appointments should be scheduled between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Alternate times will be considered for individual requests depending upon the purpose of the event and availability of interpreters.
Any unit associated with the university may request interpreting services from the SDC. A fee of $65.00 per hour will be charged to the unit for each interpreter assigned to the event or activity (minimum of 2 hours charged). Requests may be submitted directly to the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations who will determine whether or not the SDC interpreters are available for the event. If not, the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations will refer the unit to an off-campus resource. Prices for off-campus interpreting services are often at a higher rate.
Requests from the university campus must be made in a timely manner, no later than one week in advance. It may be difficult to fulfill requests that are made with less than one week notice.
Priority of Requests
Priority of requests is given to academic commitments of a student. The following criteria are used for determining the priority of requests for interpreting services:
- Classroom instruction/presentation, including laboratories
- Class required group activity outside of the classroom (e.g., field trips), including required local internship/practicum activities
- Other academic activities outside of the classroom such as tutoring, reviews, meeting instructors, advisor, etc.
- Special requests related to class requirements not included above
- Other university-sponsored programs and activities, including optional internship/practicum activities
Non-academic university-sponsored programs or activities will be interpreted depending upon the availability of interpreters and the timeliness of a request. Programs sponsored directly by the SDC and offered to the community are automatically interpreted for the public.
Assignment/Reassignment of Interpreters
The SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations assigns interpreters to academic courses based on the needs of the student and the availability and background or experience of specific interpreters. Assignment of interpreters to other university sponsored programs is dependent upon the type of program as well as the availability and background or experience of an interpreter. Whenever possible, classes/events are teamed-interpreted to provide adequate support and coverage of the class/event and to avoid work-related injuries for interpreters.
The assignment of interpreters takes into consideration the following:
- The background or experience of the interpreter
- The specific communication needs of the student/participant
- The purpose of the assignment (academic vs other)
- Course/presentation content and difficulty
- The academic background of an interpreter
- The availability of an interpreter for a particular course/event.
Specific preferences on behalf of students will be considered whenever possible if there is a compelling reason for the preference. However, there is no guarantee that a student will be assigned any specific interpreter for any particular class or activity.
Requests for reassignment may be made by either the student or interpreter. Reasons acceptable for reassignment include: i
- Interpreter’s knowledge base/experience with subject
- The difficulty of subject matter
- Breach of ethics, objectionable behavior, or unresolved personal conflicts between the student and interpreter.
Requests for, and ultimate, reassignment on behalf of interpreters or students must be made to the SDC Coordinator of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Accommodations in consultation with the SDC Director.
It is the responsibility of the student to notify the SDC of any absences from classes or other scheduled interpreted academic activity. At least one hour notice is required if a student will not be attending class. Cancellation of any other scheduled service (academic or other university sponsored program) can be done at any time prior to the event or activity. In case of illness or emergency, a student must notify the SDC as soon as they are aware of the situation and/or is able to contact the office. Interpreters will be paid for one hour of service if a cancellation of an event or activity occurs with less than 24 hours advance notice.
Interpreter(s) will be required to wait at least ten minutes (for each hour of class) for a student to arrive at class, after which time they will be permitted to leave if the student has not arrived. Unless otherwise notified by the student, the interpreter(s) will consider the student absent from this class if they have not arrived within the first 10 minutes of a class. The interpreter(s) will be paid for the hour committed to the class.
Suspension of Service
Suspension of services may result from behavior exhibited by the student that seems contrary to the need for services. This includes, but is not limited to: inappropriate behavior towards SDC interpreters, continued absences from class, or disregard of the conditions agreed to upon initiation of services. Prior to the suspension of services, the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations will provide written notification to a student of the suspension, outlining the reasons for suspension and the conditions required for reinstatement of services. The following are conditions which may lead to suspension of services:
- If a student misses three consecutive class meeting times without at least 1 hour prior notice for each instance.
- If a student is attending a class for less than half of the regularly scheduled sessions during no less than four consecutive weeks, regardless of notification of missed classes.
- If a student does not abide by the agreed-upon policies and procedures for interpreting services established by the SDC.
- If a student engages in substantiated abusive behavior, physical or verbal, towards any interpreter. Such behavior will be considered in violation of the university-sanctioned Student Code of Conduct (as indicated in the CSU Student Rights and Responsibilities) and may be subject to disciplinary action by the university.
Reinstatement of Services
Once interpreting services have been suspended, the student may request reinstatement of services by contacting the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations to discuss reinstatement conditions. Depending upon the reason for the suspension, one condition may be to meet with the SDC director.
Reinstatement of services for individual classes will be arranged by the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations after contact with the student and the interpreter assigned to the class, as determined necessary. For reinstatement of services due to extended absences or non-compliance to policies and procedures, the student must also meet with the SDC director.
The student is responsible for scheduling any meetings necessary for reinstatement of interpreting services. The SDC will be responsible for providing appropriate interpreting services for the meeting.
Quality of Service
The interpreter(s) hired by the SDC, including the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations are all graduates of a recognized training program or have had extensive experience that is equivalent to a training program. Some also have attained certification status with the Registry of Interpreters. The SDC ccoordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations is also responsible for facilitating professional development activities for interpreters.
The SDC hires interpreter(s) as non-student hourly employees. These interpreters are qualified interpreters from the surrounding community to fulfill requests related to academic or other university program needs. All interpreters are paid on an hourly basis with a pay rate dependent upon experience, education/certification skill level, and responsibilities.
A condition of employment for all interpreters hired on an hourly basis is an evaluation by the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodationss to assess the adequacy of an interpreter’s qualifications to interpret college-level course content. All interpreters hired by the SDC are expected to act in compliance with the Professional Code of Conduct for interpreters and/or the ethical policies of the Division of Student Affairs and to maintain a high level of professionalism in working with students, faculty, and staff. The substantiated unprofessional behavior of an interpreter toward a student will be grounds for dismissal from university employment.
Specific Payment for Interpreting Services
Interpreting services are provided free of charge to any enrolled student at Colorado State University for academic and/or university related programs and activities. Individual university units who provide interpreting services through the SDC are charged $65.00 per hour for each interpreter used for an event and/or activity (minimum of 2 hours charged).
Interpreters scheduled through the SDC for other university sponsored programs open to the public will be paid regardless of the attendance of a particular student. There is a general expectation that Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing individuals may attend such programs without prior notice.
A student-initiated request for interpreting services for a university-sponsored non-public program will be considered a scheduled meeting and be subjected to the same conditions as stated above. If the student subsequently does not attend, the interpreters will be paid for their scheduled time if notice of cancellation is less than 24 hours.
Interpreting services for all non-academic programs sponsored by other university entities are the fiscal responsibility of the sponsoring unit, including student organizations and clubs. Discounts for, or donations of, interpreting services on behalf of the SDC are approved only by the SDC director.
At least one week prior to the event, a student or sponsoring entity must contact the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations to schedule an interpreter. The SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations will provide appropriate referral sources if the SDC is unable to provide the service directly.
Interpreting services for non-university events or meetings is the responsibility of the sponsoring entity and/or the student. Related costs for interpreting services for non-university programs is the responsibility of either the student or sponsoring entity to be paid directly to the interpreter, whether or not the interpreter assigned/hired is employed by SDC.
Due to the different needs of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing individuals, providing access to auditory information may be accomplished through different means. The goal is to provide an interpreting option that is as effective as possible for an individual student.
American Sign Language
The primary service provided through interpreting services is American Sign Language interpretation or transliteration. This method conveys what is being spoken through sign language. Students who are Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing and whose first language is American Sign Language find this method to be the most appropriate accommodation/auxiliary aid for academic and other communication needs. Interpreters will also “mouth” what is being said as a means of supplementing/enhancing the communication as appropriate.
An alternative method provided through interpreting services is oral interpreting wherein the interpreter “mouths” what is being said so that the student is able to lip-read what is being communicated. Students who are Hard-of-Hearing and/or have some residual hearing may find this method to be the most appropriate accommodation/ auxiliary aid. Due to the extensive vocabulary of the academic environment, some manual signs may be utilized to supplement/enhance communication.
For those with less severe hearing loss, other methods or services may be more appropriate as an accommodation/auxiliary aid in academic situations.
FM Listening Device
A closed circuit FM listening device may be more appropriate for specific environments. This system requires the speaker (e.g., instructor) to wear a microphone/transmitter while the student uses the receiver. The receiver can be adjusted to frequencies compatible with most hearing aids. This method transmits the voice of the speaker directly to the student, minimizing extraneous noise.
Devices are available on loan from the SDC. A student is required to sign a loan agreement form that outlines specific responsibilities and liabilities. Devices are loaned on a semester-by-semester basis, or as determined by the SDC coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations.
In some instances, note-taking support may be adequate for a student with residual hearing to have access. Note-takers are often recruited from within a particular class and voluntarily share notes with a student. Depending upon the circumstances of a particular student, paid note-takers may also be hired to assist with this accommodation (See Note-taking Accommodations information).
However, any accommodation/auxiliary aid used for communication purposes may require the supplement of note-taking support. This supplement will be provided in combination with other methods offered as an accommodation in recognition of the difficulty associated with communicating and comprehending through alternative methods.
Transcription support may be available for specific situations. Transcripts are prepared from recorded lectures/presentations with a two to three day turnaround time, depending upon the amount of material and availability of transcribers. Students who have less hearing loss and/or feel they are able to comprehend to some degree what is being communicated in a class may find this service to be helpful as support for specific situations. It may also be used temporarily if other services are not available or appropriate for a particular situation.
If transcribing services are determined the only adequate or appropriate means available to access a course, the SDC will be responsible for the full cost and for the digital recorder and/or equipment needed to record a lecture.
The SDC is not obligated to substitute transcription support when other more appropriate means of accommodation/auxiliary aids are available on a regular basis. If a student specifically requests transcribing services when an alternative method would be as effective, the SDC may not fulfill the request unless there is a compelling rationale by the student as determined by the SDC director.
Exceptions to the above policies may be made based on individual student need and circumstances only through the approval of the SDC director. Exceptions may be requested from the SDC director by the student or the coordinator of Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing accommodations.