Disability Services at UMass Amherst

Working With an Interpreter

It takes a team to make communication effective. All students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing and who utilize interpreting or transliterating services, are requested to work with their interpreter/transliterator. It is essential that the following guidelines be considered in order to ensure effective communication in all class sessions.

Discuss your communication preferences with your interpreter/transliterator prior to the first class meeting. Indicate whether you want this person to voice for you when you participate in class sessions.

Discuss with the interpreter an appropriate location for the interpreter to sit during the class.

If you will be late for class or do not plan to attend class, notify Disability Services and, when possible, the interpreter. If you do not show up to your first class of the day, your interpreting services will be cancelled for the remainder of the day. If you miss your first class, but intend to attend classes later in the day, contact Disability Services so that they will not cancel your interpreters.

Be assertive when the interpreter informs you that information has been missed. Ask the class instructor or other speaker to speak up, repeat, or slow.

If you have a substitute interpreter, inform him or her of signs that you have “invented” for the purposes of your course.

Inform Disability Services at least three days in advance if you have an interpreting request such as a field trip or review session.

If you are late for class, the interpreter will wait for only a limited time before leaving unless you inform him or her or Disability Services in advance that you will be late.

The interpreter will wait:

10 minutes for a 50-minute class
15 minutes for a 60-75 minute class
20 minutes for a 75 or more minute class