Rock Valley College

Interpreting and Captioning

Interpreters and Captioners are trained professionals who transcribe spoken information into a visual form (or vice versa). Sign language interpreters convey messages between two different languages, typically spoken English and American Sign Language (ASL). Captioners provide a speech-to-text translation which can be read visually on a laptop, computer monitor, or other display screen.  Due to the unique coordination involved in providing these services, the following guidelines have been established to ensure a smooth and successful implementation of this service.  

Using an Interpreter or Captioner for Classes

  1. You should submit your request via the DSS Accommodations Portal to request an interpreter or captioner. Requests are typically filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and should be made as early as possible. Should you have issues with completing the request, contact Disability Support Services at (815) 921-2371 for assistance.
  2. Interpreters will be assigned to your classes by DSS. When two or more students who use interpreting/captioning are found to be taking the same class (but different sections), the Administrative Assistant may request for one or more students to switch sections whenever feasible.
  3. The Administrative Assistant should be notified immediately of any changes to the student’s schedule. Late notification of changes in a student’s schedule or late registration may result in delayed provision of services.
  4. In the case of an absence, students must notify their interpreter/captioner in advance (see No Show policy below). The interpreter/captioner is not responsible for the student’s progress or success, and is not a substitute for missed information in the event of an absence. Any concerns regarding class performance should be addressed with the appropriate instructor.

Using an Interpreter or Captioner Outside of the Classroom

  • You may request an interpreter or captioner for anything other than regularly scheduled class time (ex., meeting, field trip, advising appointment, play, etc.); requests should be made as early as possible, and at least 48 hours in advance.
  • Requests will be covered on a first-come, first-served basis, depending on interpreter/captioner availability. Please ensure that requests are completed fully so as not to cause a delay in services.
  • In the event a request cannot be filled, every attempt will be made to notify the student in advance, and to discuss possible alternatives.

As the DSS office strives to provide student-centered services, the No Show/No Call Policy for Students Utilizing an Interpreter or Captioner outlines specific guidelines and expectations for students utilizing interpreters or captioners at the College.

Tips for Using an Interpreter in the Classroom

For Instructors: Read these helpful tips, including information on expectations, roles and responsibilities, and general information on utilizing an interpreter in the classroom.

For Students: Read these helpful tips on what to expect, and how to respond to an interpreter in a class.