If a deaf student has concerns about an interpreter currently assigned to them, what is the best way to address these concerns?

Institutions should have a process in place where deaf students can provide critical feedback and have their concerns addressed regarding interpreting services. In many ways, the disability services office becomes the mediator for addressing concerns between students and interpreters. The following are suggestions to include both the student and interpreter regarding access issues:

When working with the student:

  • Ensure the feedback process is confidential for the student, allowing the student a trusted space to share concerns.
  • Discuss or model ways the student can provide feedback with the interpreter to resolve concerns directly.
  • Consider possible resolutions with the student if there are concerns of insensitive or unethical behavior.

When working with the interpreter:

  • Collect feedback from the interpreter to identify whether the interpreter may need additional support with course content or language skills.
  • Review your institution’s policies and the Code of Professional Conduct with the interpreter as needed.
  • Determine if the interpreter has the appropriate skill set to meet the student’s communication access needs, or if another interpreter would be more effective in the situation.

Samples of interpreter evaluations (by students):

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Updated on July 29, 2022

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