Sign Language Interpreters

Communicating with a deaf or hard of hearing student through a sign language interpreter can be a bit confusing at first, but here are some simple tips that will make it easier.

  1. The interpreter will sit or stand near you, so the student can see both of you at the same time.
  2. Talk directly to the student, not the interpreter. For example, ask "What is your name?" not "What is her name?" or "Do you have your homework?" instead of "Ask her if she has her homework."
  3. The interpreter will speak in first person, so when the interpreter says "I have a question," it means the student has a question, not the interpreter."
  4. The student will primarily be watching the interpreter while you are talking instead of you." The lack of eye contact can be uncomfortable for some, but the student needs to watch the interpreter to "hear" you.
  5. The student cannot write and watch the interpreter at the same time, so if you have asked him/her to fill out a form, please wait until they are finished to give further information.

If you have any questions about using an interpreter, just ask the student or interpreter. You may also call Holly Philpott at the SSD Office (559) 278-2811.

The information on this website is available in alternate formats. Please call our office at (559) 278-2811 to make your request.