Sign Language Interpreting Services for Students


Student Access Center (SAC) recognizes the importance of quality real-time auditory access to academic and co-curricular materials. Sign language interpreting and real-time speech-to-text services are integral pieces of the accommodation process for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Although the University of Kansas currently does not utilize Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) services, if it should become necessary to implement VRI, the University will follow the requirements of the Title II regulation at 28 C.F.R. S 35.160 (d) as amended. The following procedures outline the provision of such services.


  • First day of class: On the first day of class, arrive a few minutes early and introduce yourself to the interpreter. The interpreter will be looking for you in the first row of the classroom or at the entrance of the lecture hall. Be sure your seat in each classroom is right for you. It is important that you have a direct line of vision to the instructor, the board or screen, and the interpreter. 
  • Course syllabus: It is your responsibility to secure a syllabus (an outline of the main topics covered throughout the semester) for each class and use it to plan for your assigned readings, exams, presentations, and final exam dates. 
  • Questions about class information: If you have questions about class information, ask the instructor. It can be very beneficial to meet with the instructor outside of class time, either during the instructor's office hours or by making an appointment with the instructor. You may request interpreting services for meetings with your instructors. If you want to talk briefly with the instructor or teaching assistant immediately preceding or following class, it is your responsibility to ask the interpreter if he/she can arrive before or stay after class for this purpose.
  • Schedule changes: SAC needs a copy of your class schedule and accommodation requests to arrange interpreters. Students eligible for early enrollment should take advantage of this privilege and submit class schedules to our office promptly. Because of the limited availability of interpreters, schedules and schedule changes by the student received less than five business days prior to the first day of class are at risk for starting the semester without a service provider. If you need to make a schedule change, please discuss your options with your access specialist before making the change to ensure the availability of a service provider. 
  • Attendance: If a student will be absent for any reason, it is important that he/she notify our office as soon as possible but absolutely no later than 15 minutes before the class. When possible, a cancelation notice should be made a minimum of two business days in advance of the event/class. Failure to notify us in advance will result in that absence being counted as a no-show/no-call. The student is responsible for notifying our office of his/her absence even if there is more than one D/HH student in the same class. 
  • To notify about an absence: Text: 785-691-7284, include your name and the course name in the message, email the SAC front desk staff in the SAC at: or use the TTY number, 785-864-4064. 
  • Interpreter wait time: If you are late, the interpreter will wait 10 minutes for a 50-minute class and 15 minutes for classes longer than an hour. If you do not arrive to your class within these timelines, the interpreter will leave and notify our office of a no-show/no-call. 
  • Student no-show/no-call: After third no-show/no call per class per semester, it is the student's responsibility to arrange a meeting with their access specialist to discuss the situation and review SAC policies regarding cancelations. 
  • After fourth no-show/no call per class per semester it is the student's responsibility to arrange a meeting with the Director or designee to discuss the potential continuance of interpreting services for the class in question. 
  • Interpreter no show: Contact the SAC Office or or text 785-691-7284 if the interpreter does not show up for class. As a last resort, a digital audio recorder is available from the SAC to record lectures, and arrangements can be made for audio recordings to be transcribed as soon as possible. 
  • Communication with your interpreterCommunicate with your interpreter!. If you have problems understanding signs used or any other concerns, discuss the concerns with the interpreter. On the first day of class or early in the semester, let the interpreter know if you will be voicing for yourself or prefer him/her to voice for you. Let the interpreter know your sign preference (ASL, PSE, SEE), seating preference, and/or concerns you are having that affect your ability to understand the interpreter. If your concerns are not resolved after talking with the interpreter, address your concerns with your access specialist. 
  • Confidentiality: KU interpreters are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the professional standards set by the Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf (RID) Code of Professional Conduct as well as abide by all University Policies and Procedures and the regulations set forth in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). 
  • Interpreters at the University of Kansas may share classroom accommodation-related issues with other SAC staff on a "need to know" basis. As a result, there will be times when interpreters share typically confidential information about students and work experiences/challenges for the purpose of improving the quality of the service. 
  • Internships: Students may be involved with internships or field work placements as part of their academic program. SAC considers internships and field work placements in the same light as regularly scheduled courses at KU. All of the responsibilities and policies regarding use of services (i.e., interpreting and speech-to-text services) remain in effect for all students who earn course credit in field placement(s) and internship programs. 
  • Transportation: Some courses or course assignments may be held off campus (i.e., not on KU's main campus). Students are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from the off-campus site. SAC staff and contracted service providers do not provide transportation for deaf and hard of hearing students to or from campus or other sites. This applies to internships, field placements, group meetings, courses, and other placements that take place off campus. 
  • Additional academic interpreting requests: If you need an interpreter for any other meeting (such as meeting during a professor's office hours), lecture, or class related activity it is imperative that you complete a Service Request Form at least 5 business days in advance so that an interpreter can be secured. This form can also be found on the University Academic Support Center Student Access Center web page. 
  • Non-academic interpreting requests: All extra-curricular (non-academic) or employment-related interpreting requests should be made to the department or organization hosting the activity or event. Host departments/organizations may consult or collaborate with SAC in procuring interpreting services. If your requests for services are not satisfied, please contact Catherine Johnson, Director of ADA Resources Center for Equity and Accessibility.
  • Academic advisor: It is your academic responsibility to establish an on-going relationship with an academic advisor. This should be done during your first semester at the university so that you will have access to information for appropriate course selection during your academic career at KU. Your access specialist will assist you with accommodation-related issues but will not assist you in choosing your classes. If you need an interpreter to meet with your advisor, plan ahead; complete a Service Request Form online at least five business days in advance. 
  • ITP students: Students in the Johnson County Community College's Interpreter Training Program (ITP) may be observing the interpreter or doing some interpreting for your class. This experience is a critical element of interpreter training. Student interpreters will NOT be observing YOU but rather the interpreting process. If a problem develops, inform the KU staff interpreter working with the intern so that the situation can be resolved. 

Questions: Student Access Center is here as your ally. If you have any special needs or concerns, please direct them to our office in 22 Strong Hall, 785-864-4064 (v/tty), or

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