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Interpretation and Captioning Guidelines

Classroom Accommodations

Interpreting and captioning is provided as an accommodation for some students connected with Disability Services. Following the procedures below will help ensure that these accommodations are provided in a timely and efficient manner.

  • Use of personal laptop with assistive technology installed
  • Assistive Listening Devices
  • Copies of visual aids prior to or after class
  • Provision of early syllabus when available
  • Preferred seating (e.g. front of class; back of class)
  • Access to food and beverage during class
  • Tape recording lectures


Provision of captioning services is provided as a reasonable accommodation based upon documentation of a disability, its functional limitations that warrant communication access via print, and through discussion with the student and faculty. Transcripts of the communication are typically not provided to the student. Students seeking assistance with note taking in addition to the captioning should speak with the Coordinator.

Requests for Interpreting or Captioning

  • To request an interpreter or captionist for anything other than regularly scheduled class time (meeting, field trip, counseling, etc.); complete a Service Request Form. This should be done as early as possible and at least 48 hours in advance.
  • The Service Request Form should be filled out completely and accurately, and given to the Coordinator. The “Service Request Form” can be retrieved from Disability Services.
  • Additional requests will be covered on a first come/first served basis, depending on interpreter/captionist availability. Incomplete requests may not be filled.
  • If, for some reason, the request cannot be filled, effort will be made to notify the student ahead of time.

Sign Language Interpreters

Student Agreement for Use of Sign Language Interpreter Accommodations:

  • Qualified Interpreters will be scheduled for students upon request.
  • Students should request services a minimum of two to four weeks before the start of each semester to allow the Disability Services office time to locate an appropriate interpreter.
  • The Disability Services office will make every effort to locate sign language interpreters for HOH/Deaf students.

How to Request This Service

Request your accommodations as soon as possible after you’ve registered for classes. Interpreters will be scheduled to start as soon as possible, but late requests for interpreters may mean that no assistance is available for the first two weeks of the semester.

Lecture Classes

An interpreter will be in class full-time. If you’re taking a test during class, the interpreter may not stay the entire class period, but may if requested to do so. The interpreter should ask both you and the instructor if there will be any further need for services before leaving.

Lab Classes

An interpreter will be in class full-time as needed (group projects, in-class assignments, etc.)

Special Occasions

(For meetings or special activities) – If you need an interpreter for a meeting or special activity, you must request it at least 2 weeks in advance. You may contact Disability Services to make a request either by voice mail, TDD message, e-mail or fax. Be sure to include the purpose of the need (meeting with instructor, etc.), the date and time needed, and location where the interpreter should meet you.

Late to Class

Your interpreter will wait for you 10 minutes per hour of class (90 minute class=”15″ minute wait, 3 hour class=30 minute wait, etc.) After that time, the interpreter will leave. If you don’t call in, this will be counted as a No-Show.

Last Minute Absences

(For illness) – Students should contact Disability Services as early as possible (preferably before 7:00 a.m.) to cancel their interpreter services for the day. Messages can be left at any time by phone, TDD, e-mail or fax.


If you know you will miss a class (ex. doctor appointment, etc.), you must inform ADA Services at least 48 hours in advance of the absence, so that we may cancel or reschedule your interpreter for the day. When canceling services, the following information must be provided:

  • Your name
  • Names of the classes that will be missed (WR121, MTH60, etc.)
  • Time, day and date of the classes that will be missed (ex. 8-8:50 a.m. Monday, September 27)
  • Date you will return to classes
  • Why you won’t be in class (sick, medical appointment, etc.)

Notifying only the interpreter is not sufficient. Disability Services must be made aware of the cancellation.

Service Abuse

Service abuse occurs when a student repeatedly calls-in “sick” at the last minute (after 7:00 a.m.), resulting in excessive (two or more) interpreter cancellations. Students who abuse their accommodations in this manner will have their interpreter accommodations suspended as if they hadn’t shown-up for classes at all (see No-Shows, below). Each time this happens, interpreter accommodations will be suspended pending a meeting with the Coordinator. Services may become dependent on a daily phone call confirming your need for accommodations.


No-Shows occur when an interpreter is scheduled to provide in-class services for a student who does not attend class, and has not called-in. Interpreters are asked to return to the Disability Services office and report the student’s absence to the Coordinator. One “grace” no-show is permitted each term. Every future no-show will result in a suspension of interpreter accommodations for the missed classes, and will require a meeting with the Coordinator, before services will be reinstated. During this meeting, we will discuss what has happened that caused you to miss class. The outcome of this meeting will determine if your services will be suspended or conditional. If your services are conditional, you may be asked to call in each morning to confirm your need for an interpreter.


Occasionally, difficulties occur because an interpreter is unable to meet the needs of those for whom he or she is working. If a problem arises, the student should share her concerns with the interpreter. There may be a misunderstanding and a simple solution. If the problem cannot be solved through direct communication with the interpreter, the student should contact Disability Services immediately. We are committed to solving any problems that may arise.

Other Tips for Working with an Interpreter in Class

The interpreter may sit near you during class, if necessary. Please try to sit in a location that is convenient for both of you.

If you have a question for the instructor about the course (lecture content, reading assignments, homework assignments or other course-related concerns), please raise your hand and ask the instructor directly. The interpreter will speak for you if requested.

If you have any problems working with your interpreter, please contact Disability Services to discuss this with one of our staff as soon as possible.

If you have a disability-related concern about your classes or an instructor, contact Disability Services as soon as possible. It is your responsibility to inform Disability Services if there is any change to your schedule, especially room changes. Failure to do so could result in an absent interpreter.

Messages can be left at any time, day or night at:
Voice: 815.599.3605
TDD: 815.235.9584
Fax: 815.599.3646

A high standard of professionalism is required of HCC interpreters. They are expected to follow the Code of Professional Conduct established by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). This code of conduct states that:

  • The interpreter is expected to treat all assignment-related information confidentially.
  • The interpreter should not talk about what happens in the student’s class, meeting, or counseling session.
  • The interpreter is expected to interpret the full message accurately and should not censor or add to the message.
  • The interpreter should remain impartial and not become involved in the situation they are interpreting.
  • The interpreter should not offer or give personal information about the student, but instead suggest the person speak to the student directly.

Please visit for the full text of the Code of Professional Conduct. In the educational environment, interpreters may at times need to share accommodation related issues with other staff on a need-to-know basis. Disability Services staff adopts a team approach in the collaboration and sharing of work related information. As a result, there will be times when interpreters share information about students and work experiences for the purpose of improving the quality of the services.