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Disability Services

Communication For Deaf/Hard Hearing



The Disability Services (DS) Communication Access Program provides access to course lectures and other activities for students who are hard of hearing or Deaf. DS relies on student, Interpreter/Transcriber and faculty cooperation to facilitate these accommodations. The following procedures identify the responsibilities of DS, the Interpreter/Transcriber, the professor and the student. 

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The student must provide DS with documentation verifying the need for a sign language Interpreter, speech-to-text transcription or assistive listening devices.
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Students must notify DS of their needs in a timely manner. This is particularly important when sign language Interpreters and/or in-class transcribers are required. Students should submit a request for communication access services to the DS Office immediately after early registration. Interpreting/speech-to-text services on the first day of class are not guaranteed for students who do not submit their class schedules to DS in a timely manner. 

Students must inform their professor(s) of their need to utilize an Interpreter, speech-to-text transcription or assistive listening devices by submitting an electronic accommodation request to each instructor and meeting with each instructor to discuss the manner in which communication access will interface with classroom instruction. 

Students who utilize sign language Interpreters and/or speech-to-text transcription are expected to attend all classes and arrive on time to classes. 

Students who must miss class due to illness are expected to notify their Interpreter(s)/Transcriber(s) and DS at least one hour before class begins to avoid an "unexcused" absence. 

If students are more than 10 minutes late for a one hour class, the Interpreter/Transcriber will leave class and report to the DS Office for reassignment. Students are expected to contact the DS Office after conclusion of that day's classes to discuss attendance. 

Students who anticipate a planned absence from class must notify their Interpreter(s)/Transcriber(s) and the DS Office a minimum of 48 hours prior to class time to avoid an "unexcused" absence.

Interpreting/Transcribing services will be automatically suspended when a student has three unexcused absences from classes in which services are arranged. Students with three unexcused class absences must meet with a DS Consultant to re-establish the accommodation. Following the reinstatement of services, any unexcused absence will result in suspension of services until the student has met with a DS Consultant again. 
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Interpreters/Transcribers must attend all classes and must arrive on time to classes. 

Interpreters/Transcribers who must miss class due to illness are expected to notify the DS Office by 8:00am on the day to be missed and, whenever possible, suggest a replacement. 

Interpreters/Transcribers are expected to arrive on time to all scheduled classes and other interpreting/transcribing assignments. 

If a scheduled class is canceled or the student(s) is/are absent, Interpreters/Transcribers are expected to report to the DS Office for reassignment. 

Interpreters/Transcribers who anticipate a planned absence are expected to notify their student(s) and the DS Office a minimum of 48 hours prior to class time and, whenever possible, suggest a replacement.

Interpreters/Transcribers must keep all assignment-related information strictly confidential. 

Interpreters will "render the message faithfully", conveying the content and spirit of the speaker, using language most readily understood by the person(s) they serve. 

Interpreters/Transcribers must not attempt to counsel or advise, interject personal opinions or "tutor" students.

Interpreters/Transcribers will accept assignments using discretion with regard to skill, setting and the consumer(s) involved. 

Interpreters/Transcribers are expected to maintain high professional standards.

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DS will identify and assign qualified sign language Interpreters and speech-to-text Transcribers to provide "real time" communication access to eligible Deaf/hard of hearing students. 

DS will assign sign language Interpreters and speech-to-text transcription services based on qualifications, areas of expertise and availability of service providers. 

DS will provide assistive listening devices to hard of hearing students who can effectively utilize such devices. 

DS will attempt to provide each student with his/her preferred method of communication access. When this is not possible due to availability of service providers or appropriate due to the structure of the course/meeting/event, the instructional methods of the professor or the type of information to be communicated, a DS Consultant will collaborate with the student to identify an equally effective service. 
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CWU faculty will work cooperatively with students utilizing assistive listening devices or sign language Interpreters/speech-to-text Transcribers to ensure effective communication for students. CWU faculty will assist students who are Deaf/hard of hearing in identifying a notetaker, upon request. 
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Like sign language interpretation, transcription is a "real time" service only and the resulting transcripts cannot appropriately be utilized as notes. Deaf/hard of hearing students who use transcription services will not be provided with a copy of class transcripts but will be provided with notetaking assistance (see DS Notetaking Policy/Procedures). 

Interpreters/Transcribers are not experts in every subject. Students should direct questions to the Professor, not the Interpreter/Transcriber. 

Professors should not address questions, comments, etc., to the Interpreter/Transcriber. Speak directly to the student - in this context, the Interpreter/Transcriber serves as a means of communication only. 

Students should not talk to the Interpreter while he/she is interpreting with the exception of asking for repetition or clarification. If students have difficulty understanding the Interpreter's signs they should speak with the Interpreter after class. If the problem is not resolved, the student should contact the DS Office. 

Students needing interpreting or speech-to-text transcription services outside the classroom must submit a request to the DS Office in a timely manner. These events must be related to college activities. 

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policy established - 1988 revised - 2003; 2006; 2008; 2009; 2010; 2011

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