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Sign Language Interpreter Services

Sign for InterpretThe University of Texas at Austin will pay for interpreter services for classes, related academic requirements, and non-academic out-of-class activities sponsored by the university.

Services for Students with Disabilities coordinates sign language interpreters for qualified students. Students requesting interpreter services will meet with an SSD staff member to discuss his or her needs and to sign an agreement acknowledging familiarity with related policies.

Students are encouraged to register during the priority registration period and to submit requests for services to SSD as soon after registration as possible. Students are urged to finalize their schedules far in advance of the first class day, so that interpreters can be scheduled according to student preference and interpreter availability.

All non-classroom requests (including meetings with professors or group meetings with other students for projects or assignments) should be made as far in advance as possible, but at least three business days in advance. Last-minute requests cannot be guaranteed, though attempts will always be made to secure interpreter services. Tests taken outside of regular class time will be treated as a special request and students should submit requests for review sessions and final exams as far in advance as possible. All interpreting done out of class must be requested through the Interpreter Coordinator.

No Shows

Students using interpreter services should notify SSD at least 24 hours in advance if they will not be in class. If a student misses class three times without 24 hours advance notification, the student must meet with the Interpreter Coordinator to continue to receive services. Interpreters will wait five minutes for each half-hour of class time. If the student has not shown up after the waiting time has elapsed, the interpreter will leave. If the interpreter does not show up for class, the student should wait for ten minutes, then call the SSD office. A replacement will be sent if one is available.

Student Responsibilities

  • Students are encouraged to meet with their professors before classes to discuss the use of the interpreter and the individual student’s special learning needs.
  • Students are responsible for introducing the interpreter to the professor on the first day of class, and for introducing the interpreter to any appropriate persons during specially requested assignments.
  • Students are responsible for all information presented in class. The interpreter is not responsible for retaining or repeating information the student missed.
  • Students are encouraged to obtain note taking paper from SSD and to obtain volunteer note takers in class. The interpreter cannot take notes, even if paired with an other interpreter for the classs.
  • The student is responsible for informing SSD of any changes in a regularly scheduled assignment.

Interpreter Ethics

  • The interpreter is there to serve the class…professor, the Deaf student and the other students.
  • The interpreter’s role is to facilitate communication between the Deaf student and the hearing persons in his/her educational environment. Interpreter services are provided to make the Deaf student equal, not more than equal, to his or her hearing peers. The student will be allowed to succeed or fail on his or her own, without the interference of the interpreter.
  • The interpreter cannot participate in class.
  • The interpreter cannot answer student’s questions.
  • If the student has a question, he or she should raise his or her hand. The interpreter will voice if requested.
  • Students should not socialize with interpreters while they are on the job.
  • Interpreters will keep all information confidential.
  • If the student talks with other students during class, the interpreter may voice the conversation.
  • The university is not responsible for any interpreter services other than those approved by SSD and the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.

I need a sign language interpreter.  Where do I request interpreting services?

A Deaf or Hard of Hearing student registered with SSD may be eligible for interpreting services.  Submit your request online using the following link:  Interpreter Services Request For Students

If you are not registered with SSD, contact the office at (512) 471-6259 voice or (512) 410-6644 videophone to make an appointment.  Faculty and staff can submit a request for interpreting services online using the following link: Campus Event Interpreter Services Request

Members of the general public who would like to request an interpreter for a University-sponsored event should contact the department sponsoring the event to request the interpreter.

Departments may request an interpreter using the online request form using the following link:  Campus Event Interpreter Services Request and must provide an account number for the charges to be billed through Interdepartmental Transfer (IDT) approximately 4-6 weeks after the event has taken place.


Further Information

Resources for Interpreters

Related Links