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January Question of the Month: Video Remote Interpreting Services

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Our January Question of the Month revolves around VRI services on campus: 

Q: What should disability services professionals consider when implementing video remote interpreting (VRI) services for their deaf students? 


A: VRI can be new territory for students, disability services, and for faculty. There are a variety of factors to consider such as the class format, the location and class environment, and number of participants or students in the classroom. We’ve pulled together some primary considerations when implementing VRI services for deaf students. 


  • Make sure that the services provided are effective where the student can understand the instructor and the class – providing the same opportunity to receive information and engage in class as everyone else. 
  • Use trained and qualified interpreters who have experience in postsecondary classes and VRI services. 
  • Reliability of technology: ensure that service has stable internet connection, clear audio and video. It’s recommended that disability services and students test out the reliability of the set up before implementing services. This will provide the best long-term quality of service for the student. 
  • Consider the format of the class, VRI would be a better fit for classes that are lecture style with minimal discussions or interactions. This is too to the limited capability of VRI to capture multiple conversations and technology limitations such as mic range and camera views. 
  • Check in with your student on VRI frequently, are there any issues that need to be addressed, such as group discussions, lab settings, or technological problems? Can supplemental accommodations be added such as peer note taking services or CART services? 
  • What plans are in place should any technical issues arise? Who is responsible for troubleshooting? Are IT services on campus equipped to handle and troubleshoot any problems? 

You can view more information on VRI on our website using the link below: https://nationaldeafcenter.org/resources/access-accommodations/coordinating-services/interpreting/video-remote-interpreting/


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