Preparing Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Students to Use Interpreters
ACE-DHH 2008 Conference
Darrell Doudt
Olivia Krise
Dr. Pamela Luft
Kent State University
Kent, Ohio
Preparing DHH Students
 Who teaches the students?
 Interpreters are not teachers
 General education teachers are not
knowledgeable
 DHH students may have limited time in deaf
education classrooms
 Knowledge is critical for self-determination
and self-advocacy
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Data Collection
 Survey of local interpreters in schools
 Spring 2007
 Two large local K-12 programs
 Feedback from Deaf adults
 Questions examined:
 Whose responsibility is it to provide
information?
 How important is this information?
 What type of information is needed?
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Preparation of DHH High School
Students to Use Interpreters
Whose responsiblity is it to educate DHH
students on use of interpreters?
70%
60%
50%
Deaf Ed. Teachers
40%
Parents
30%
Intepreter
20%
All (incl. Student)
10%
0%
1
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
DHH High School Students’
knowledge to Use Interpreters
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
February 2008
Parents
Teachers
Interpreters
Depends on Age
Very
Somewhat
Not Very
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Not
Preparation of DHH High School
Students to Use Interpreters
DHH Students need more
information
Role of Interpreter &
Code of Ethics
9%
36%
55%
February 2008
Rights to Interpreters
& Requests
Others
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Survey Results:
Top Issues:
Lack of knowledge in working with interpreters and about
the interpreter’s role
Lack of training and opportunities to educate students
about working with an interpreter
Minimal or low language skills of DHH students
*Linguistic skills are necessary to access academic
information and to benefit from interpreted
communication
*Knowing sign language does not mean having
proficiency in language
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Survey Results
Top Issues:
DHH students may be placed in inclusion classrooms
before they are academically ready:
-The fast pace of instructional content in the general education
classroom
-Little or no opportunity to expose students to new signs, equivalent
vocabulary, and other material prior to classroom teaching
-Students are acquiring language simultaneously with learning
curriculum content
-DHH students with different language needs as well as different
proficiency levels are placed together with one interpreter
Teachers lack of information about the rights or the needs
of DHH students
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Survey Results
Top Issues:
IEP Team members, administrators, and teachers lack
training and/or knowledge about the interpreter’s
professional roles
Many assume that interpreters function as tutors or
teacher aides
Many overlook the Interpreter as a professional
contributor and member of the IEP Team
The Interpreter’s role is to facilitate and mediate
communication
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Survey Results
Top Issues:
Interpreter Advocacy
-Misunderstandings about “leveling the playing field”
-Communicating about problematic areas of instruction.
Fast-paced games and keeping pace with hearing peers
“Around the World,” or Trivia games
-Allow teachers to provide equal opportunity for involvement in
the classroom.
Interpreter Preparation and Training
Lack of knowledge of new technical signs in specialized areas:
Chemistry, Calculus, Physics and other areas
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Survey Results
* Top
Issues:
 Student’s lack of maturity and ability to attend the
extended periods of time, especially young students
 Student’s lack of knowledge in utilizing the interpreter,
and importance of paying attention to an interpreter
 Content of classroom environment with little or no
opportunity to expose students to new signs:
new vocabulary, materials prior the teaching
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Preparation for DHH Students
The content about student roles and
responsibilities for using interpreters is
organized according to participation in:




Classrooms
Presentations or lectures
Small group discussions
Meetings
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Student Roles and Responsibilities:
General Preparation
• Awareness about the role of interpreters
• Prepare and express oneself clearly: use
sign language to express oneself
appropriately
• Notify others about any problems with
adapting to the pace of the communication
• Notify others about needs and any other
accommodations (notetakers, etc.)
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Student Roles and Responsibilities:
General Preparation
 Inform interpreter of your preference for using ASL, SEE
or other communication mode
 Use proper conversational etiquette with interpreter and
others
 Use of interpreters: develop skills in—
1. Asking for repetition and clarification from others
2. Requesting help from administrators, teachers, or others
through an interpreter
3. Using your own voice, if desired, or supporting the
interpreter to voice interpret for you
4. Developing personal relationships with others
- How to do this independently of the interpreter
- How to be assertive and resolve issues using interpreter
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Student Roles and Responsibilities:
General Preparation
Working With Interpreters
 Clear use of signs
 Be articulate in specific word choices to reduce
misunderstandings
 Slower pace to allow a new interpreter to adjust to
sign style when meeting for the first time
 Show respect and patience towards interpreter if
she/he requires repetition or clarifications
 Do not assume interpreters will assist you with other
things: their job is to focus on interpreting and
translating
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Student Roles and Responsibilities:
Classrooms
• Notify the instructor about any problems with
adapting to the pace of the classroom
• Request help from the teacher through the
interpreter
• Don’t expect the interpreter to help with or explain
class work
• Direct questions toward the teacher, rather than
interpreter
• Avoid having conversations with the interpreter
during classroom instruction and testing
• Help peers in the classroom understand the role of
the interpreter
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Student Roles and Responsibilities:
Classrooms & Teacher Awareness
Inform instructor about the importance of finding a good
notetaker
- Notify the instructor about unsatisfactory notes
Explain the difficulties in using multi-selective attention
- Watching a video and the interpreter
- Taking notes and watching the interpreter
- Paying attention to teacher’s lecture and peer’s
comments and the interpreter
Remind the teacher to request interpreters in advance for
any special activities or field trips
- Remind teacher to request 2 interpreters for events
that are 2 hours or longer
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Student Roles and Responsibilities:
Presentations or Lectures
• Prepare your presentation and express
oneself clearly.
• Use formal register of sign language to
express oneself appropriately
• Notify others about the role of the
interpreter during the presentation
• Voicing for the presentation
• Signing questions and facilitating
communication
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Student Roles and Responsibilities:
Small Group Discussions
• Explain to others about the role of interpreter
• Voicing for your comments and questions
• Signing for the group’s comments and questions
• Facilitating communication
• Notify the group about problems with the pace of the
group’s discussion
• Do group problem-solving
• Teach patience and respect for slower pace
• Notify group members (and teacher) about needs and
accommodations for notetakers and other things
• Adapt to different types of group work: discussions, lab
work, group projects, and other situations
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Student Roles and Responsibilities:
Meetings
• Prepare to participate in meetings with interpreter
• IEP meetings
• Vocational Rehabilitation meetings
• Meetings with administrators or others
• Inform others about the role of interpreter
• Voicing for your communication
• Signing for others’ communication
• Facilitating communication between everyone
• Notify others about any problems with the pace of
the discussion
• Notify others about needs and accommodations:
notetakers, etc.
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Classroom Activities:
Student’s Role Play
 Meeting an interpreter the first time: What should you do?
 How should you communicate your rights and preferences for
choice of sign language or mode?
 Meeting teachers with and interpreter the first time: What
should you do?
 How should you communicate your rights?
 How to you provide awareness of rights and responsibilities in a
user-friendly way?
 Meeting with a Principal or Administrator:
 How do you ask for for accommodations?
 Practice requesting an interpreter for extra-curricular activities.
 How do you ask for an interpreter if none has been provided?
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Classroom Activities:
Student’s Role Play and Practice
 Locate the appropriate place to sit
 Find a seat with a clear view between the instructor and the
interpreter
 Practice using appropriate communication strategies
 Adjusting to lag time in raising your hand for a question
 Asking for clarification or assistance
 Introduce yourself and your interpreter to each teacher prior
to the start of class
 Explain about your needs and reasonable accommodations
for various situations to the students and teacher:
 Lab work, group discussions, Q & A sessions
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Classroom Activities:
Student’s Role Play and Practice
 How do you explain your accommodation needs to others
and your peers?
 How should you request that the interpreter translate
everything including classmates’ chats or discussions?
 What do you say to the interpreter?
 How do you inform the teacher?
 Explain to the teacher the benefit of complete
communication access:
 Communication exchanges other than lectures such as:



February 2008
Conversation between teacher and students relating to assignments or
projects
Side comments and other incidental communication that add depth to core
subjects, arts, working in the lab, etc.
Conversations between teachers about school events or activities
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Presentation Activities:
Student’s Role Play
 Make a PowerPoint presentation about using interpreters
• Explain the “lag time” for interpreters to complete their
translating between two languages
• Explain the translation process of moving between a
spoken language and a visual language
• Explain that students should make eye contact with the
student, and ask questions to the student, not the
interpreter
• Expose to and provide awareness about DHH
individual’s needs and differences
• Discuss needs in different situations: lecture, small
group discussions, lab work, group projects, etc.
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Presentation Activities:
Student’s Role Play
Give copies of lecture or speech notes to all
- the teacher, interpreter, and students
Provide notes that are neat, concise
- give these in advance to the interpreter
Practice and preparation ensures a successful and
smooth presentation through an interpreter
- practice your presentation alone and with
the interpreter
Sign and fingerspell clearly to the interpreter
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Small Group Discussions
Student’s Role Play
Explain the presence of the interpreter
- describe his/her role as a “translator” of
all communication, not an aide for the
student
Explain to the group about speaking in turns
- avoid overlapping and simultaneous
communication during discussions
- avoid side conversations
- describe “lag time” and slower pacing
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Meetings:
Student’s Role Play
• Practice using the proper register of
communication
• Know your rights about making requests for
reasonable accommodations: what are your rights
to:
• Have an interpreter for extra-curricular events?
• Have an interpreter for field trips or assemblies?
• Have an interpreter use your preferred sign language
or communication mode?
• Attend an IEP, VR, or other service meeting?
• Provide awareness to others when working with
interpreters: to other school staff or to parents
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
Advocacy:
Addressing Critical Situations
Key Issues
When there is no interpreter:
When the interpreter is unqualified:
- Approach the teacher to request a meeting
with the Principal or Assistant Principal
- Notify parents immediately about the
situation
February 2008
Transition Services Preparation & Training
For more information:

Middle School And High School Instructional Units
 Career Development Units
 Standards-Based Transition Teaching Activities
To access the unit and other units please visit:
http://www.educ.kent.edu/fundedprojects/TSPT/grant.htm
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Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program Student Use of Interpreters