Samford University

Interpreting and Transcription Services Policy

 Interpreting & Transcription Services Policy

 The goal of Disability Resources (DR) in the area of interpreting services is to facilitate the process of providing high quality interpreting services to Deaf and hard-of-hearing clients (D/HH). DR will serve in a mediator capacity to ensure appropriate accommodations are provided to D/HH students as mandated by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Procedures for Securing Sign Language Interpreters for Non-Academic Events and Programs:

 The Office of Disability Resources provides services free of charge for departments and currently enrolled students as they fulfill their academic requirements.  The office is available to assist the campus in providing accommodations, including sign language interpreters, for events involving the general public and invited guests.  Please contact Disability Resources as soon as you are aware of the need for such services.  Disability Resources will provide the names and contact information of interpreters, and assist in locating appropriate services. The department requesting services is responsible for the cost of professional interpreting services.

 The Interpreter's Role

An interpreter is a professional communication facilitator between D/HH individuals and hearing individuals.  The purpose of an interpreter is to provide a meaningful communication exchange equal to that of a hearing individual.  The interpreter uses a specific sign language to communicate the spoken word to D/HH clients.  Interpreters will use their voice to communicate sign language to hearing clients.  Some D/HH individuals however, prefer to voice for themselves.  The interpreter is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the environment is appropriate and conducive for interpreting.

The Transcriptionist Role

The transcriptionist is a professional communication facilitator.  The transcriptionist will provide transcribed notes of class communication. The interpreter/transcriptionist is not a tutor, instructor, note-taker or counselor and should not engage in these roles.

Requesting an Interpreter/Transcriptionist

It is critical that D/HH students notify DR of their communication needs and preferences as early as possible to ensure appropriate accommodations.  Requests for interpreter services must be submitted as soon as classes are scheduled. DR will require a copy of the student's schedule to enlist interpreters. DR will review the request and make a determination regarding the requested accommodation. The goal of DR is to provide qualified interpreters and allow students access to programs. Consideration will be given for student preferences. However, due to scheduling conflicts or other matters the preferences may not be honored. Interpreters should be impartial and services should not be provided by a family member or friend.

DR will arrange interpreting services for a variety of SU activities outside of class. Students should request interpreters immediately upon determining a need for an interpreter and no later than at least 48 hours in advance of the event to ensure appropriate interpreter services. Note: This does not apply for emergency situations.

Students should inform DR immediately when any changes are made in the class schedule (adding or dropping a class, room change, day/time change).  This will allow DR to coordinate interpreters appropriately.

Students that experience problems with interpreting services should attempt to address their concerns with the Interpreter and/or professor.  If no resolution can be reached, the student should contact the DR office as soon as possible.