Services for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students

  1. CLASSROOM: After you have registered for classes through My Sac State, review your schedule to determine which classes require interpreters or captioners. (Some classes, for example, multi-media math classes with no lecture, may not require interpreting or captioning.) Request interpreting or captioning for specific classes. SSWD planning for the semester will be based on your initial registration and requested classes. Remember to let SSWD know immediately if you change your schedule. A letter will be sent to your instructor prior to the first day of class. This letter briefly describes interpreting or captioning services. Please also refer instructors to Tips on How to Check if Your Multimedia has Captions or Subtitles
  2. NON-CLASSROOM: For class field trips, meetings with professors or other classmates, and similar meetings, contact the Lead Interpreter to request an intepreter. Brief meetings after your class can be covered by the interpreter from the class if the interpreter is available and does not have another assignment immediately after your class. Request an interpreter from the Lead Interpreter or Lead Captioner for meetings longer than 10-15 minutes.  While SSWD strives to locate interpreters to meet all student requests, occasionally the demand for services is greater than the available interpreters/captioners.  It is possible that we may be unable to fill late requests. 
  3. FIELD/PRACTICUM/INTERNSHIP: To request interpreting or captioning coverage for an internship, field work, or similar, meet with the Deaf Services counselor, to review in detail the requirements, complexity, scheduling, etc. If necessary, you may also be requested to meet with the Lead Interpreter regarding the requirements of your internship to ensure appropriate skill level, training, etc. in the interpreter assigned.
  1. LATE ARRIVALS (STUDENT) Interpreters will wait outside the classroom 10 minutes for each class hour before they return to the SSWD office. Captioners will set up their equipment in the classroom prior to the beginning of lecture and will also wait 10 minutes for each hour. Contact SSWD, as soon as possible if you know you will be late so that captioners and interpreters can be advised, if possible. If you do not show by the end of the designated waiting time, the interpreter/captioner will leave the classroom. 
  2. ABSENCES Captioners, interpreters and notetakers are not a substitute for your own attendance in class. They will not remain in class in your absence or be responsible for providing you with missed material/information. If you have special circumstances you wish considered, please contact your counselor in SSWD. Excessive absences will be reviewed for continuation of services, per policy. Unplanned/Last Minute: Contact the SSWD office (916) 278-7239 TTY; (916) 278-6955 (Voice), as soon as possible, so that we can make interpreting or captioner changes. Planned Absences: If you have a conflicting appointment, meeting, etc. and know you will miss class, field, or internship, notify SSWD by contacting the Lead Interpreter. If you are unable to reach the Lead Interpreter, leave a message with the office staff. Check with the office for the current method to cancel captioning. Failure to notify SSWD of an absence is considered an unexcused absence or a no-show without good cause. (Sudden illness/emergency situations are considered excused absences with timely notification to SSWD of the circumstances). After two unexcused absences in the class, interpreting or captioning services may be suspended. The student must meet with the counselor to request reinstatement of interpreting/captioning services.  Impromptu Short Meetings: Brief (5 -15 minutes) meetings after class can be covered by the interpreter from your class, IF the interpreter does not have another assignment immediately after your class. 
  3. NO-SHOW OF INTERPRETERS/CAPTIONERS: Please notify the office as soon as possible of a no-show. If no substitute is immediately available, tape the lecture, if possible, for either later transcription or interpretation. Please also advise SSWD if your interpreter/captioner shows up late on either a one-time occurrence or multiple times. 
  4. ROLE OF INTERPRETER/CAPTIONER: An interpreter or captioner is provided to facilitate communication between the deaf student, instructor, and other students. They do not function as tutors, notetakers, nor participate personally in the class. Address your comments and questions directly to the instructor. The interpreter will voice for you, if desired, and will interpret the response. Interpreters are expected to follow the R.I. D. Code of Ethics, and captioners follow similar professional guidelines. For interpreting services, team interpreting is used in most classes. Team interpreters provide technical support and relief for each other and will “switch” at appropriate points in the lecture, generally every 20-30 minutes. Captioners usually work alone and will arrive a few minutes before class to set up their captioning equipment. Interpreters and captioners will interpret/caption everything said in the classroom, by both instructors and students, and will also include as much of the environmental sounds/information as possible. 
  5. WORKING WITH YOUR INTERPRETER/CAPTIONER: You are an important part of ensuring the success of interpreting services. Give your interpreter feedback, if necessary, so that they can adjust their signing or their style to better suit your needs. If needed, meet with your interpreter to identify agreed upon signs that may be unique to your class. Provide your interpreter/captioner copies of your syllabus, relevant hand-outs, and lists of vocabulary or terminology and names specific to your course(s). 
  6. EVALUATIONS Every academic year the Lead Interpreter will forward a confidential, anonymous evaluation form for you to evaluate each of the interpreters assigned to your classes. Your feedback on captioners is also solicited on a regular basis. Your responses and information are appreciated and help us improve services and scheduling. Please direct any questions or input on the evaluation process to the Deaf Services counselor.

Assistance with notetaking for classes is available if desired. SSWD can provide a letter (“Request for Notetaker/Lecture Notes”) to your professors confirming the need for notetakers and seeking his/her assistance in identifying a volunteer notetaker. You may pick up a "Request for Notetaker" form from the front office and once you turn it in and it is reviewed and approved by your counselor, the letter will be processed and ready for pick up (generally 3-5 days). You may also be able to identify good potential notetakers by your observations in class and can directly ask a student if they would be willing to share their notes.

NCR (carbonless) paper is available from SSWD for use by the notetaker.

If no volunteer is identified, immediately return your notetaking letter from the professor so that we can search for an outside notetaker or make other arrangements.

To receive the most benefit from notes, review them the same day as class and rewrite in your own words and organize them in your own format.

See the Notetaker Policy for additional information.


Please inform SSWD at if you encounter any problems accessing the SSWD web site.