Interpreting Captioning Information for Professors

Information for Professors:

This information is for professors who have Sign Language Interpreters and/or CART Providers in their classrooms.

  • Interpreting is receiving a message in one language and delivering it in another. It requires a complex process that requires a high degree of linguistic, cognitive and technical skills.
  • Professional Sign Language Interpreters develop interpreting skills through extensive training and practice over a long time period and continue to improve their skills, knowledge, and professionalism through membership in the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID).
  • CART Providers write the spoken word on a steno machine. Software enables the student to see the text on a laptop.
  • CART Providers receive certification and maintain their skills through membership in the professional organization, National Court Reporters Association (NCRA).

The following questions and answers will provide you with some of the information needed to work more efficiently with Interpreters/CART Providers and Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When will I know that an Interpreter/CART Provider has been assigned to my classroom?

A: The Interpreter Coordinator will send an email to faculty before the beginning of each semester.

Q: Where will the Interpreter /CART Provider stand or sit?

A: The interpreter should be situated close enough to the lecturer so that the Deaf student can see both at the same time. CART Providers need to sit near the student as well as near an electrical outlet.

Q: What are the Interpreters'/CART Providers' responsibilities in the classroom?

A: The interpreter/CART Provider will interpret/caption lectures and class discussions. Communication with the Deaf or Hard of Hearing student will also be facilitated. It is the Interpreters'/CART Providers' responsibility to interpret/write everything you say.

Q: Can the Interpreter/CART Provider "help out" in the classroom?

A: Interpreters/CART Providers should not be thought of as an extra pair of hands to help pass out papers or move furniture. Their job is to facilitate communication and it is vital that they be available to do this at all times. In addition, the Interpreter/CART Provider should not be regarded as the students' companion, tutor, or keeper.

Q: How do I talk to a Deaf or Hard of Hearing student?

A: When using an Intepreter/CART Provider, talk directly to the student, not the Interpreter/CART Provider. As the Interpreter/CART Provider voices the student's reply, keep your eye contact on the student to preserve the person-to-person relationship. Speak at a normal rate.

Q: Do Interpreters/CART Providers become tired?

A: Yes, there is an alarming number of education interpreters suffering from "overuse" injureies such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome. You may have two Interpreters in your class (this is called team interpreting) and they will interpret in "shifts" to avoid injury.

Q: How can I help the student to receive the most benefit from my lectures?

A: Sharing handouts, such as those made from power point presentations, will provide a good preview of the lecture.

Q: What if I show a video or DVD?

A: If you plan to show a video or DVD, please check that is a captioned video or DVD. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Assistive Technology Professor, John Cavano, at