Rock Valley College

Chapter 12: Interpreting & Real-Time Captioning Services

Sign language interpreting and/or real-time captioning services may be requested for classes, class related activities, and college-sponsored events open to students and the public. Interpreters and captioners are trained professionals who are hired by the college. All interpreters are required to abide by the NAD/RID Code of Professional Conduct. In addition, effective January 1, 2009, all RVC interpreters are required to be licensed in accordance with the Interpreter for the Deaf Licensure Act.

Student Responsibilities

  • Maintain accurate and current class schedules
  • Maintain current contact information (address, email, phone number, etc.) in the DSS Accommodations Portal.
  • Register for classes on the priority registration date (when possible), and request accommodations in the DSS Accommodations Portal immediately after registering for classes.
  • Cancel or modify requests for accommodations in the DSS Accommodations Portal as changes occur.
  • Email or call (815) 921-2371 when absent from class(es) or if faculty cancels class on a particular day.
  • Students who repeatedly are “no shows” in classes without requesting a cancellation of the service may have the service suspended at the discretion of the DSS Director (see “No Show/No Call Procedure”).
  • Be prompt in arriving at class. The interpreter will wait for 15 minutes outside the classroom if a student is tardy. If the student hasn't arrived after 15 minutes, the interpreter will leave.

Additional Important Notes

  • Requests are filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and should be made as early as possible so as to not delay service provision.
  • When two or more students who use interpreting/captioning are found to be taking the same class (but different sections), DSS may request for one or more students to switch sections whenever feasible.
  • In the case of an absence, students must notify their interpreter/captioner in advance (see “No Show/No Call Procedure”). For this reason, it is highly suggested that the student exchange contact information at the beginning of the semester with their interpreter/captioner.
  • 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 and/or DSS.
  • Please check the class syllabus for information concerning field trips, extra credit opportunities and other activities that may require accommodations and notify DSS appropriately.

Non Class-Related Interpreting/Captioning Requests

Ideally, all advertisements for an event should list a contact person to whom requests for accommodations can be made. If no such information is provided, interpreters and/or captioners can be requested by clicking the Request Sign Language Interpreting and/or Captioning button on the DSS website, or by accessing the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing (DHOH) request option in the DSS Accommodations Portal.

Examples of non-course-related requests may include any college-sponsored event, such as: workshops, lectures, activities, performances, and meetings. Please note that some requests may take more time than others due to the amount of prep time required, therefore it is imperative to provide as much advance notice as possible.

If you have any questions, or require additional direction, please feel free to contact the Disability Support Services office at (815) 921-2371.

Timeline for Requests

A minimum of 48 hours advance notice is requested; one week advance notice is preferred. At least two weeks lead time is typically required for preparation for an interpreted theatrical or musical performance. Please do not make requests directly to interpreters or captioners as these professionals must have prior approval from DSS before accepting assignments.

No Show/No Call Procedure

As an individual who receives interpreting and/or captioning services, we expect you to give appropriate notification (as outlined below) when you will be unable to attend class and/or a college-sponsored event. Students unable to attend a class or event must notify DSS in advance. Failure to provide any advance notice will be recorded as a “No-Show.

  • The student should contact both DSS at (815) 921-2371 and their interpreter and/or captioner to let them know they will not be in attendance.

  • The student is expected to call, even if there are other students in the class using the interpreter or captioner.
  • If the student does not show up for a class/event two times (per semester) without advance notice, services will be suspended for that class/event until the student arranges a meeting with the DSS Director. After this meeting, services will resume should it be determined that this is the most reasonable and appropriate course of action.
  • The third no show for that class/event will automatically result in cancellation of regular services for that class/event. To obtain services for future sessions of that class/event, the student must schedule another meeting with the DSS Director to review the procedure and discuss any concerns regarding the class/event and the accommodation. (Note: this will be required for all additional no shows beyond the third).
  • A decision will be made during this meeting regarding interpreting and/or captioning for the remainder of the semester. It is possible that the student will need to complete a separate request form for each remaining class/event session. Should this be the outcome, the request should be submitted between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon at least one day before the class/event session (or as arranged with the DSS Director).
  • The interpreter and/or captioner will wait outside of the class/event for 15 minutes, and will then leave if the student has not arrived. This will be considered an absence without advance notice.
  • If the student knows in advance that they may be late, they should contact the interpreter and/or captioner directly and an attempt will be made to notify the interpreter and/or captioner.
  • Students are highly encouraged to exchange contact information with their interpreter and/or captioner prior to the start of the class/event so that timely notification can be made in the event of an absence.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the above procedure, please feel free to contact the DSS office at (815) 921-2371.

Professional Expectations & Conduct

  1. Avoid having personal conversations with the interpreter and/or captioner during class and allow the interpreter and/or captioner to have a break during break time.
  2. The student and the interpreter and/or captioner may wish to meet to discuss or develop new vocabulary for the class.
    • If the student has any difficulties understanding their interpreter and/or captioner, or concerns about the interpreter and/or captioner services, the student is encouraged to meet with the interpreter and/or captioner to discuss them.
    • If the student is unable to resolve an issue, contact the DSS office for assistance. The student may request that the DSS Director (or another appropriate designee) observe the interpreter and/or captioner in their class.
  3.  A high standard of professionalism is required of RVC Interpreters. They are expected to follow the Code of Professional Conduct established by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). In addition, they are expected to adhere to appropriate conduct expectations, which include:
    • The interpreter is expected to treat all assignment-related information confidentially.
    • The interpreter should not talk about what happens in the student’s class, meeting, or    counseling session.
    • The interpreter is expected to interpret the full message accurately and not censor or add to the message.
    • The interpreter should remain impartial and not become involved in the situation they are interpreting.
    • The interpreter should not offer or give personal information about the student, but instead suggest the person speak to the student directly.
    • View the Code of Professional Conduct.
  4. In the educational environment, interpreters and/or captioners may at times need to share accommodation-related issues with other staff on a need-to-know basis. The DSS staff adopts a team approach in the collaboration and sharing of work-related information. As a result, there will be times when interpreters share information about students and work experiences for the purpose of improving the quality of the DSS interpreting/captioning services.