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Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program
A Statement of Policy for Students Using
Sign Language Interpreting Services
Revised: 8/3/07

  1. Confidentiality:  UWM interpreters are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the professional standards set by the Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf (RID) Code of Professional Conduct – Tenet 1.0: Interpreters adhere to standards of confidential communication.
Illustrative behaviors 1.1 states, ‘Share assignment-related information only on a confidential and “as-needed basis” (e.g., supervisors, interpreter team members, members of the educational team, hiring entities’.  Interpreters may at times need to share classroom accommodation related issues with other campus staff on a “need to know” basis.  On a regular basis, the D/HH staff adopts a team approach in the collaboration and sharing of work-related information.  As a result, there will be times when interpreters share typically confidential information about students and work experiences/challenges for the purpose of improving the quality of the UWM D/HH Program services.   
  1. First day of class:  The first day of class, arrive a few minutes early and introduce yourself to the interpreter. The interpreter will be looking for you in the first row of the classroom or at the entrance of the lecture hall. Be sure your seat in each classroom is right for you. It is important that you have a direct line of vision to the instructor, the board or screen, and the interpreter.
  1. Interpreter wait time:  If you are late, the interpreter will wait 10 minutes for a 50-minute class and 15 minutes for classes longer then an hour. If you do not arrive to your class within these timelines, the interpreter will leave.
  1. Interpreter no show:  Contact the D/HH Program Office or  if the interpreter does not show-up for class.  As a last resort, an audiocassette tape recorder is available from the D/HH Program to tape the lecture and arrangements can be made for the audiocassette to be transcribed for you as soon as possible.
  1. Communication with your interpreter:  Communicate with your interpreter. If you have problems understanding signs used or any other concerns, discuss the concerns with the interpreter. On the first day of class or early in the semester, let the interpreter know if you will be voicing for yourself or prefer him/her to voice for you. Let the interpreter know your sign preference (ASL, PSE, SE), seating preference and/or concerns you are having that affect your ability to understand the interpreter. If your concerns are not resolved after talking with the interpreter, address your concerns with the Assistant Program Manager.
  1. Questions about class information:  If you have questions about class information, ask the instructor. The interpreter can assist by voicing your question(s) to the instructor.  It can be very beneficial to meet with the instructor outside of class time, either during the instructor’s office hours or by making an appointment with the instructor.  If you want to talk with the instructor or teaching assistant immediately preceding or following class, it is your responsibility to ask the interpreter if he/she can arrive before or stay after class for this purpose.
  1. Request for interpreters:  If you need an interpreter for any other meeting (such as meeting during a professor’s office hours), lecture, or class related activity, it is imperative that you complete a STUDENT SERVICE REQUEST FORM (yellow form) and return it to the DHH office so that an interpreter can be secured.  This form can also be found on the UWM D/HH web page at:
  1. Schedule changes:  The D/HH Program needs a copy of your class schedule and accommodation requests to arrange interpreters.  Students are encouraged to submit their class schedule and related changes on or before the date specified by the D/HH Student Advisor.  Due to the limited availability of interpreters, schedules and schedule changes received after the due date are at risk for classes starting the semester without a service provider.  If you need to make a schedule change, please discuss your options with the D/HH Student Advisor and Assistant Program Manager before making the change to ensure the availability of a service provider.
  1. Academic Advisor:  It is your academic responsibility to establish an on-going relationship with an academic advisor. This should be done during your first semester at the university so that you will have access to information for appropriate course selection during your academic career at UWM.  Your D/HH advisor will assist you with accommodation-related issues but will not assist you in choosing your classes.   If you need an interpreter to meet with your advisor, plan ahead; complete a Student Services Request Form (the yellow form in Mitchell 120 or online:
  1. Non-academic interpreting requests:   All your extra-curricular (non-academic) interpreting requests should be made to the department or organization hosting the activity or event. Our office accepts interpreting requests only for class related activities. If your requests for services are not satisfied, please contact the Assistant Program Manager of DHH.
  1. Course syllabus:  It is your responsibility to secure a syllabus (an outline of the main subjects covered throughout the semester) for each class and use it to plan for your assigned readings, exams, presentations, and final exam dates.
  1. ITP students:  Students in the UWM Interpreter Training Program (ITP) or student interpreting interns from other interpreter programs may be observing your interpreter or doing some interpreting for your class. This is an important part of the ITP. These students will NOT be observing YOU but rather the interpreting process. If a problem develops, inform the UWM staff interpreter working with the intern so that the situation can be resolved.
  1. Transportation Policy:  Some courses or course assignments may be held off-campus (i.e., not on UWM’s main campus).  Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the off-campus site.  D/HH Program staff and LTE service providers do not provide transportation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students to or from campus or other sites.    This applies to internships, field placements, group meetings, courses and other placements that may occur off-campus.
  1. Internship Policy:  Students may be involved with internships or field work placements as part of their academic program.  The UWM D/HH Program considers internships and field work placements in the same light as regularly scheduled courses at UWM.   All of the responsibilities and policies regarding use of services (i.e., interpreting and speech-to-text services) remain in effect for all students who earn course credit in field placement and internship programs.  These responsibilities are outlined in the Students using Interpreting/Speech-to-Text Services, Notetaking and D/HH Program No-Show Responsibility forms.
  1. Appeal process:  For students who are denied support services, (i.e. student requests a classroom interpreter, however, based on previous support services, degree of hearing loss and other pertinent information, this request is denied) an appeal process can be initiated. An appeal form is included in the D/HH Student Handbook that you received when you registered with the D/HH Program.  Specific information about the appeal process is available through the SAC office in Mitchell 112.
  1. Questions:  The Deaf/Hard of Hearing Support Services Program is here as your ally. If you have any special needs or concerns, please direct them to the Program Manager, Susan Gordon, in the DHH office, Mitchell 120, 229-4549 (v), 229-4284 (tty), or
I have read the above document and agree to follow the policy as a student receiving support services from the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Support Services Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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Last updated: October 12, 2007
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