Working with Interpreters and Captioners

Shared Responsibility

Interpreters and captioners are working for you as well as the Deaf person. Requests for services can be made by the Deaf participant, event coordinator, or class instructor. After receiving a request, DRC will initiate communication and schedule services. 

Working with a Deaf Individual:

  • Speak directly to the Deaf person (do not say "tell him/her").
  • Encourage appropriate turn taking by having only one speaker at a time. 
  • Due to the nature of the interpreting and captioning process the Deaf person receives information at a delayed pace. The following practices help ensure access to content:
    • allow more time for questions and transitions. 
    • allow additional time to look at visual materials. 
    • project materials to allow participant to follow along when materials are being read aloud.

Working with Communication Access Staff (Interpreters and Captioners)

Communication access staff will introduce themselves and answer any questions about their work. As a reminder, direct all participant-related communication to the Deaf participant as the interpreter or captioner is present to facilitate this communication.

Interpreters and Captioners:

  • follow a Code of Ethics that includes strict confidentiality of all person and service related information.
  • will discuss the best location and lighting for providing their service.
  • may also request technical vocabulary and other preparatory materials.
  • may be granted access to D2L or DRC may request access to online content for class/event materials.

    Working with an Interpreter:

    • Interpreters often work in teams to control fatigue and support accuracy.
    • The interpreter may be several words or sentences behind you. Therefore, when asking questions or taking comments, allow time for the interpreter to finish conveying information. 
    • Working with Interpreters (Video)

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

    • CART captioners may send a copy of the captioned material to the Deaf participant. These transcripts are only for the Deaf participant and not shared with other participants. To review the transcript, contact DRC. 
    • Working with CART Captioners (Video)