Sign Language Interpreters
Main Office: A255 Murphy Hall, (310) 825-1501 voice, (310) 206-6083 tty,
(310) 825-9656 fax
Proctoring Center: A242 Murphy Hall, (310) 825-2651
Dan Levitt, Assistant Director & Coordinator - Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Student Services, (310) 825-1501 voice, (310) 206-6083 tty
UCLA's Office for Students with Disabilities, in its effort to assist deaf
students in obtaining full access to education, provides Sign Language
interpreters for class meetings, office visits, discussions, tests, labs and
other activities. This effort is consistent with the requirements of Section 504
of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of
1990. This information has been prepared to help familiarize you with the
services provided to deaf students.
Sign Language Interpreters
Interpreters are communication facilitators. They sign everything that is
spoken, and at no time, will they interject their own thoughts, opinions, or
explanations. Typically, the interpreter sits in the front of the classroom, off
to one side, where the professor and the interpreter are both in full view by
the deaf student. During films or other presentations, when the lights are
turned out, the interpreter will need to move next to the screen, and the deaf
student may wish to shine a flashlight on the interpreter. If positioning
presents any problems, then you, the deaf student, and the interpreter can work
out other alternatives.
Two interpreters are typically provided for lectures which are longer than
one hour, because interpreting can be physically exhausting, and quality may be
affected if one interpreter has to go too long without a break. There may be
times when only one interpreter is available, and it would be very helpful if
you could give the class more frequent breaks if the class is long.
Notetakers are provided because it is difficult for a deaf student to watch
an interpreter and take notes simultaneously.
Interpreters are not Participants
The interpreters will not participate in the class nor should they be asked
to perform any other duties because it would interfere with their interpreting.
It would be awkward, for example, to ask the interpreter to pass out papers. The
interpreter will not tutor the deaf student nor will they explain anything to
him/her after class. The interpreter is there to facilitate communication
between you and the student, not to summarize, supplement or substitute for you
and the knowledge and expertise you possess as a professor.
Speaking to the Deaf Person Directly
It is a natural tendency, when using an interpreter for the first time, to
speak to the interpreter instead of the deaf student, using phrases such as
"Tell him. . ." or "Ask her. . .". Remember, the interpreter
is signing exactly what you say. If you say "Tell him…," that's what
the interpreter signs. The process proceeds more smoothly if you virtually
ignore the interpreter, look directly at the deaf student, and speak to the deaf
student in the same way that you would speak to anyone else.
It is rarely necessary to slow down when speaking through an interpreter. A
competent interpreter can easily keep up with normal rates of speaking. The only
exception is when long passages are read aloud, since readers tend to read much
faster than they speak conversationally, and the wording of written passages is
often quite dense. If you (or students in the class) plan to read aloud at
length or with any frequency, you may wish to make copies of the passages, and
give them to the deaf student to follow.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Office for
Students with Disabilities at x51501. It is also very appropriate to ask deaf
students if you have any questions; they are the best source of information
about what makes a class accessible for them
If you would like this information in an alternative format, contact
the Office for Students with Disabilities at (310) 825-1501 voice, (310)
206-6083 tty or (310) 825-9656 fax.
Revision 10/02/02 Sign Language Interpreters, Information for