Disability Support Services
Services for Deaf and
Captioning (Speech-to-Text) Services
providers (“captionists”) provide real-time captioning during classes or events
for students who do not use sign language or when exact word-for-word English is
deemed essential. Captioning can be provided via several methods, such as
word-for-word transcription (certified court reporter), or a more summarized
captioning method such as C-Print. The captionist most often is situated in the
front of the classroom and near the instructor, with the captions being
displayed either on a laptop in front of the deaf student, or occasionally on a
wall screen. The student should have both the captionist and faculty member in
their field of vision as visual cues are an important aspect of any
communication. A captionist is there to facilitate what is spoken in the class,
by both faculty and other students, into a form of visual communication, for
real-time access and interaction.
Captionists will need an
additional chair and may need to be seated near a power source for their
equipment. It is requested that captionists be provided access to the course
vocabulary, specifically names, or unusual or technical terms (copy of glossary
or an extra desk copy of the text if available). These resources are requested
in advance - as they can program their captioning equipment to assure more
accurate transcripts. They also need a copy of the syllabus and calendar – such
as cancelled class dates, tests dates, etc. DSS can assist in obtaining an
additional desk copy or in the purchase of
an extra text, if necessary. Students may be provided a copy of the written
transcript. DSS does request that the transcript not shared with others in the
course, as it is part of a disability accommodation for a specific student.
- Interpreting is the
process of transmitting spoken English into American Sign Language (ASL)
and/or gestures for communication between Deaf and hearing individuals.
ASL Interpreters do NOT sign each word that is heard – they translate between
two DIFFERENT languages, much like interpreters who work between spoken
French and spoken English or spoken English and spoken Spanish.
- Sign language is no
more universal than spoken languages. American Sign Language (ASL) is the
language used by a majority of people in the Deaf community in the United
States, most of Canada (LSQ is used in Quebec), certain Caribbean countries
and areas of Mexico. Other areas of the world use their own sign languages,
such as England (British Sign Language) and Australia (Australian Sign
Language, a.k.a. Auslan).
- There are two types of interpretation:
simultaneous and consecutive.
interpretation requires interpreters to listen and sign, or watch and
speak, at the same time. The interpreter begins to convey a sentence in
the target language while listening or watching the message being
delivered in the source language. This type of interpreting happens most
commonly in business meetings, college classes, or conferences.
- In contrast,
consecutive interpreting begins only after the speaker has spoken or
signed a sentence or paragraph. Interpreters may need to take notes to
assist in the process of creating a coherent accurate translation. This
form of interpretation is used most often for witness testimony in legal
settings or in a one-on-one meeting such as with a doctor, social
worker, or counselor. It is the more accurate of the two types, as it
allows more time for the interpreter to process the information and
determine the most linguistically and culturally accurate manner to
convey the concept in the target language.
- In both simultaneous
and consecutive interpreting, the interpreter sits in proximity to the
English speaker to allow the deaf person to see the interpreter as well as
the facial and body expressions of the English speaker.
- Because of the need
for a high degree of concentration in both types of interpretation and
because of the physical demands of the work, interpreters often work in
pairs if an assignment will last more than an hour, with each interpreting
20- to 30- minute segments.