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Sign Language Interpreter

A sign language interpreter provides communication for deaf or hard of hearing students in either American Sign Language or Signed English.

Sign language interpreters provide communication for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Most interpreters can do both American Sign Language and Signed English and they provide sign for the student as to what is being said in the classroom and do reverse sign (voice) for the student if the student doesn't speak. Interpreters are licensed and operate under a code of ethics that dictates that they are in the classroom to provide communication. Faculty should speak to the student rather than the interpreter at all times and not ask the interpreter questions about the student as they are prohibited by the ethics code to discuss the student with the faculty member without the student’s knowledge of what is being discussed. Resources attached to this page provide information about how to work with interpreters in the classroom.



The student is responsible for providing documentation of the need for a sign language interpreter. Arrangements for interpreters for the classroom should be made when the student registers for classes and as far in advance of the need for the interpreter as possible. Services for students with disabilities office have their own policies about the length of notification they need to provide accommodation.


It is the responsibility of faculty to collaborate with the services for students with disabilities office by making sure the services office knows about assignments or activities in the classroom that would require additional interpreting services and working with the student and the interpreter in planning that would result in effective instruction for the student.


The services for students with disabilities office is responsible for employing and scheduling a licensed sign language interpreter for the student and for facilitating communication between the interpreter, student, and faculty.


Related Functional Characteristics

Hearing Loss : A sign language interpreter translates auditory class information into ASL or signed English for students with hearing impairments who use sign language.

Deafness : A sign language interpreter translates auditory class information into ASL or signed English for students with deafness.

The Building Accepting Campus Communities (BACC) project was funded by the US Department of Education Office of Secondary Education grant #P333A080070-09. The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.