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Interpreters/CART Writers

Interpreters and CART writers provide communication access to deaf and hard of hearing individuals:

  • Sign Language Interpreters translate spoken English into American Sign Language (ASL) and often work in teams.
  • CART writers are trained court reporters who use a steno machine, translation software and a computer to translate spoken English into printed text.

Interpreters and CART writers:

  • follow a strict Code of Ethics that includes strict confidentiality of all student and course-related information;
  • will introduce themselves and answer any questions about their work that you may have;
  • will discuss seating and lighting arrangements with you and the deaf consumer, as necessary;
  • may request technical vocabulary or other preparatory information to provide the best services possible:
    • DRC will grant interpreters/CART writer access to class information posted D2L, by virtue of its relationship with D2L
    • DRC may be in touch to request access to other online course content on behalf of interpreters/CART writers;
  • can assist in translating films or videos shown in class if materials are not captioned. DRC will contact you about captioning audio-video course material and provide assistance in securing captioned media; and
  • will not provide service when the student is not in class

Working with an interpreter:

  • Speak directly to the student and not to the interpreter.
  • The interpreter may be several words or sentence behind you. Therefore, when you ask a question or take class comments, allow time for the interpreter to finish conveying information.
  • Interpreters work in teams to control for fatigue and support accuracy. While they are in different roles, both interpreters are working at all times.

Working with a Communication Access Real-Time (CART) writer:

  • CART writers send a copy of the lecture text to the student after each class.
  • The transcript is only for the deaf student and not shared with other class members. To review the transcript, contact DRC.

Additional resource:

A federal grant project, PEPNet, has created an online resource with basic information to support faculty who are working with deaf and hard of hearing students and interpreters or CART writers. Please visit:

Orientation to Serving College Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing