Access Providers

You may have access providers such as an interpreter or a transcriber in your classroom or online with you during the semester. This page will provide you with some insight and tips into working with an access provider to provide communication access to your student.

Access providers are highly skilled professionals that facilitate communication between hearing individuals and Deaf or hard of hearing individuals. All access providers are bound to confidentiality requirements with their professions’ respective Code of Ethics.

Tips for Faculty on Working with Access Providers in the Classroom

  • Look at the Deaf or Hard of Hearing person, not the access provider when talking.
  • Speak directly to the Deaf or Hard of Hearing person, using first person speech (i.e., don't say, "Does she have her assignment?" but rather, "Do you have your assignment?").
  • The access provider is there to facilitate communication. Do not ask him or her to proctor a test or pass out papers, as this makes it impossible to work at the same time.
  • Avoid private conversations with the access provider or others in the presence of Deaf persons, as everything you say will be interpreted or transcribed.
  • Speak naturally at a reasonable, modest pace - the access provider will let you know if you need to speak slower. Also be aware that the access provider will lag behind you a few words in order to hear a complete thought before facilitating communication.
  • Consider including breaks. The access provider periodically needs time to relax, as the work is taxing, both mentally and physically. Also, receiving information visually can be tiring and cause eye fatigue for the Deaf student.
  • If you dim the lights to use the overhead projector, make sure the lighting is adequate for the Deaf student to see the access provider .
  • Interpreters will usually stand or sit near the faculty member. The student then has the option of viewing you, the interpreter, and any visual aids at any time. The transcriber will sit near the student with the laptop positioned in the student’s line of sight.
  • If online, the transcriber will need to be assigned to provide captions, depending on the platform. The interpreter will log into the video conference platform as a student would log in.
  • If the access provider is remote, the student will provide you with a microphone to wear during class. The student will watch the access provider via a tablet provided by DSS or a personal device during class.
  • Please repeat comments or questions from other students in class so that the access provider can convey that information as well as your lecture.
  • If you know a student uses an access provider and you want to catch them in the hall but do not see the access provider, communicating with written notes is appropriate. For lengthier discussion give the student a note to call you so an appointment time with an access provider can be arranged.

Page last updated 3:29 PM, June 6, 2024