Service Provider Policy Handbook

Dear Colleagues:

The intent of this Service Provider Handbook is to offer guidelines, clarify expectations and responsibilities of service providers, and give a basic understanding of some of the objectives, policies and procedures of Disability Resource Center (DRC). With the general information presented in this handbook and good judgment, service providers should have a reliable guide as to what is expected of them. If you do not understand any portion of the material or if questions come up that are not covered here, please contact me.

We look forward to working with you here at UA Little Rock and hope you will enjoy it as well.

Sincerely,

Ann Marie Lott, NIC
Interpreter/Transcriber Coordinator

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Hiring and Scheduling Procedures

Qualification Criteria

The following list outlines the minimum criteria to be hired as an interpreter at UA Little Rock:

  • Interpreter license issued by Arkansas Department of Health
  • Certification from RID or NAD, or QAST level (Quality Assurance Screening Test) level 3/3 or higher
  • Graduate of an Interpreter Education Program preferred
  • Three years interpreting experience, in the postsecondary educational area preferred

The following list outlines the minimum criteria to be hired as a transcriber:

  • TypeWell Novice pre-certification minimum
  • Graduation from an accredited high school or possession of acceptable equivalency diploma (G.E.D.)
  • Excellent English and listening skills
  • Ability to understand and summarize information while typing
  • Ability to handle pressure of using transcription system in classroom setting
  • Computer and word processing knowledge
  • Adhere to the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct
  • Agree to abide by the conditions in this handbook
  • Sign language communication skills preferred or willingness to learn

Hiring Procedure

DRC provides quality access to all programs and services of the university. In the area of communications access, we endeavor to use the most qualified service providers. When hiring interpreters, DRC will generally contact based on certification, starting with those nationally certified, continuing through QAST Levels 5, 4, and 3, and equivalent levels from other states. When hiring transcribers, DRC will generally contact transcribers based on certificaiton, starting with TypeWell certification level 3-1 to Novice.  Student preferences and seniority are also considered.

It is critical for UA Little Rock service providers to commit to assignments accepted. If a service provider is habitually tardy or absent, it has an adverse effect on the student. Such a lack of commitment will impact the their placement in current and future assignments.

Scheduling Procedure

DRC has no control over students adding, dropping, or withdrawing from classes. Scheduled hours could change at any time. If a full-time staff service providers’ hours drops below an acceptable number, they will occasionally be required to replace contract service providers. In addition, on rare occasions, a service providers with a higher certification level who loses a class may replace an them with a lower level of certification. This will be done at the discretion of the Interpreter / Transcriber Coordinator (“Coordinator”). These replacements will in no way reflect negatively on the contract service providers.

Some classes, because of length or some other factor, may at the onset look as if they require two service providers. However after the first few classes, it may be obvious that one service provider can do the job. It is the responsibility of the service provider to promptly inform the  Coordinator of this situation. At this point the Coordinator will determine if it would be best to alternate the two service providers or to keep only one service provider for the remainder of the semester.

The service provider is scheduled until the end of class. If an instructor goes past the designated time, or if a student needs to speak to the instructor after class, the service provider may stay if their schedule allows. If the time goes over the scheduled class time, call DRC to inform the Coordinator. If the service provider has another class or assignment, they may leave at the end of the scheduled time. If the service provider has to leave, and the instructor continues teaching, the service provider should inform the instructor that they have to leave and inform the Coordinator of the situation.

Only assignments that are scheduled through DRC will be paid. A student may ask a service provider if they are available, but they must be given the assignment through Disability Resource Center. DRC maintains the right to move service providers within their scheduled time. All requests must come through the Coordinator. Students must request a service provider in advance from the Coordinator (the exception is for interpreting or transcribing that takes place immediately after class that runs over the scheduled class time). Students are made aware of this procedure.

Service providers should not make other commitments that would force them to leave campus early, or accept a UA Little Rock assignment if they know they must leave early.

During the semester, service providers may be needed for such events as residence hall meetings, lectures, and pep rallies. As these requests come in, the Coordinator will contact service providers to fill these requests.

Meetings

Group meetings with service providers may be held prior to the beginning of the semester. These meetings are mandatory for any service provider who wishes to maintain a schedule of interpreting or transcribing classes. Compensation for these meetings will be provided at a two-hour rate.

There may be times when it is also necessary for the service provider to meet individually with DRC staff. Attendance at these meetings is mandatory and part of the service provider’s responsibility while working for UA Little Rock. There will be no compensation for these meetings, however they usually will be brief. Reasons for meetings may include, but are not limited to, discussion of performance; meeting between student, service provider, and DRC staff; or discussion of schedules for upcoming semesters. DRC will attempt to schedule these meetings at a time that is convenient to all parties.

Student Absences/Cancellations

Service providers should exchange phone numbers with students (if both agree) so that students may notify them of an absence prior to class. If a student has not appeared at the beginning of class and has not indicated that they will be arriving late, the service provider is required to wait 20 minutes outside of the classroom. After waiting the allotted time, the service provider must contact DRC personnel by phone or in person and inform them of their availability and indicate no show on their timesheet (e.g. ‘no show 1.0 hour’). If DRC is lacking a service provider in another class at that time, they will be reassigned. [This should be reported on your timesheet as ‘(student initials) no show 1.0 hour’]. Failure to report to the Coordinator will result in no payment for that class period.

Service providers are not to bill for assignments canceled with at least 24 hours notice. Announcements in class are considered 24-hour notice. In daily classes, the day before is considered 24 hours notice. Service providers should also ask the professor for a class syllabus, and any classes designated in the class syllabus as canceled should be considered as notice.

If 24 hours notification is not possible, the service provider will be paid for the assignment. However, if a documented good faith effort to contact the service provider at least 24 hours in advance is made and DRC is still unable to contact her/him, they will not be paid for the assignment.

Substitutions

Consistency throughout the semester is very important. When a service provider accepts classes for the semester, DRC expects them to maintain that schedule of classes throughout the semester. However, it is understood that substitutions may be needed from time to time for emergencies, illness, or doctor appointments.

When a substitute is needed, the service provider is responsible for making a formal request by emailing the Coordinator.  Service providers should make all substitution requests in advance if possible.   For emergencies and illness, notify the Coordinator by phone or text as soon as possible.

Requesting a substitute in order to accept an off-campus assignment is not considered an appropriate request. Exceptions are rare and must be approved by the Coordinator on a case-by-case basis. Refer to the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct for a briefing on ethical business practices.

Chronic absences may result in dismissal for the remainder of the semester. Reliability will be a consideration when filling classes in future semesters.

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Team Approach

DRC, the student, faculty, notetaker, transcriber and interpreter work together as an educational team for the purpose of creating a fully accessible learning environment. Each member of the team has a vital and specific role. In order to create an equitable learning experience, all team members must actively fulfill their respective roles.

Service Provider Expectations:

  • follow the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct
  • interpret/transcribe lectures, discussions, media, and all communications in the classroom setting
  • provide services to the best of their ability
  • keep all information regarding assignments confidential
  • facilitate communication between persons who are hearing and persons who are deaf or hard of hearing as accurately as possible
  • arrive on time for assignments
  • be professional in all aspects of the assignment
  • dress appropriately wearing clothes that contrast with skin color and are not distracting
  • prepare for class by reviewing textbooks, handouts and media ahead of time
  • if student is absent or late, remain 20 minutes after class has begun unless notified otherwise
  • interpreters remain outside of the classroom until the student arrives; after 20 minutes, transcribers can pack up equipment and leave the classroom
  • any problems with the student should be discussed directly with them before coming to talk to a DRC staff person
  • contact the Coordinator with comments or concerns
  • For transcribers only:
    • transcripts can be provided to faculty upon request
    • position yourself in class near a power outlet, and such that you can see the board, hear the professor, and have minimal glare on the screen
    • appropriate font size and type should be decided in consultation with the student
    • the following header should be added to each transcript:
      • Class title
      • Date
      • Professor
      • Transcriber
      • this disclaimer:  “The following is the transcriber’s summary of the lecture and is not intended to be a word-for-word representation.  It has not been edited for content, grammar, punctuation, or spelling.”
    • at the end of each class, the transcriber will share a copy of the class transcript with the student
    • the transcriber is responsible for all equipment loaned to them from DRC

Student Expectations:

  • for service provider requests outside of regularly scheduled class times, complete the request form two weeks prior to the event or as soon as possible
  • on the first day of class or in any new situation, identify yourself to the service provider
  • be on time for all classes, labs and meetings
  • when watching an interpreter, sit in a place that provides the best distance, lighting, background, and angle for viewing
  • direct questions relating to the class materials to the professor
  • personal conversations with the service provider should not occur during class
  • any problems with the service provider should be discussed directly with them before coming to talk to the Coordinator
  • notify the Coordinator if the service provider does not come to class
  • inform the service provider of any planned absences, if the class is canceled or is late, if there will be a video shown in class, or if the student will be making a presentation
  • know and abide by all UA Little Rock and DRC policies, rules, and regulations.

DRC Expectations:

  • provide qualified service providers
  • help students determine which accommodations are appropriate and explain how these services will be provided
  • assist faculty and staff members in working with service provider
  • meet with students and/or professors as needed

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Service Provider Responsibilities

Ethics and Confidentiality

Service providers are expected to adhere to the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct. They are to provide services to the best of their ability and not allow personal feelings to interfere. When service provider socialize with students outside of the classroom, they should keep all information about assignments confidential, regardless of how inconsequential the information may seem.

Here are suggested phrases to maintain confidentiality:

  • I am not at liberty to say.
  • I am sorry, that information is confidential.
  • I am not sure.
  • I don’t know.
  • I only see the student in class.
  • I don’t know the student personally.
  • I am not able to discuss that information.
  • I can’t answer that question, but I would be happy to interpret (or transcribe) if you would like to ask the student directly.
  • The student could probably answer that better than I could.
  • DRC could probably answer that question for you. Let me give you their contact information.
  • I am sorry, I am not able to step out of my role during class time.
  • If you have concerns you would like to address concerning the service provider in your class you might want to talk to DRC. Let me give you their contact information.

First Day of Class

Here are some recommendations for the first day of class:

  • Arrive ten to fifteen minutes early to introduce yourself to the instructor and student, and let them know you’re open to feedback.
  • Discuss with the student their preferred mode of communication.
  • Use the team approach to best establish preferred placement within the classroom (i.e. standing by the board, sitting near the desk).
  • Obtain a syllabus in order to be better prepared.
  • Encourage continued open communication throughout the semester.
  • Promptly communicate any changes in room or instructor to the Coordinator.

Contact Information

We ask that all service providers provide updated contact information to the Coordinator. If your email address or cell number changes, please notify the Coordinator. This information is needed for service providers to receive possible schedule changes and any messages.

In case of an emergency phone call, every possible effort will be made to contact you wherever you are on campus. Therefore, it is important that the office know if your scheduled class has been canceled or changed location.

Service provider/Student Interaction

Service providers should not have conversations with students during class time. Visitation should be done before and after the class. If another student in the class asks for information about what the service provider is doing, they should politely let the student know they are not able to discuss it during class, but could answer before or after the class. When answering questions from faculty and other students, the service provider should provide only general information, keeping in mind the importance of confidentiality.

Team Service Providers

Due to duration or intensity, some classes require two service providers. Team should support one another on assignments. At all times, both service providers are working and should not take care of personal business until there is a break. While one is working, the other should be attentive, supportive, and ready to feed information when needed. Cues for requesting assistance should be agreed upon prior to the start of the assignment. The task should be equally distributed between both team members whenever possible.

When in a team situation, it is only necessary for one service provider to be present on test days. The team should decide which one will work on a given test day (e.g., alternating days or one service provider taking all test days). If no decision can be made, the Coordinator will make the final decision. When a staff service provider is in the class, they will provide services on test days unless otherwise arranged.

On non-test days, both team members are expected to stay until the end of the designated time. If there is another need on campus, exceptions may be made; service providers will be notified of changes by the Coordinator.

If a class is longer than an hour and 15 minutes, and the Coordinator has not been able to find a team, the service provider may then request to take a break. The Coordinator will clarify this with the instructor and the service provider.

Interpreting or Transcribing Videos

DRC is making every effort to ensure that videos on campus are captioned. If a video is captioned, the service provider is not responsible for interpreting or transcribing the video. If the video is not captioned, the service provider is responsible for interpreting or transcribing the video to the best of their ability.

The service provider should refer the professor to the Coordinator for information on captioning videos. Captioning is a very lengthy process. Service providers should not give the impression that a video can be captioned in a short amount of time. Service providers should inform the Coordinator of any concerns related to videos in the classroom as soon as possible.

Dress Code

DRC supports the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct regarding appropriate and professional dress. Service providers should dress in a manner that is consistent with the general dress of instructors on campus. Interpreters should wear clothes that contrast with skin color and are not distracting. The dress code that applies to service providers is online. Please contact the Coordinator with any questions.

Devices

Service providers should take care of personal business at times other than during assignments on campus. Because electronic devices can interfere with the quality of services and disrupt the setting, service providers are expected to turn them off or silence them during the assignment. They may check their devices if a break occurs, but should not respond to calls or texts during an assignment.

Equipment Care and Usage

Each Transcriber will be provided with a TypeWell¨ kit. Depending upon class schedules, transcribers may be required to share equipment. In this event, one of the team members will have the primary responsibility for the care of the equipment.

Each TypeWell kit is in a rolling bag and contains the following:

  • 2 Laptop Computers
  • Steno Table
  • 2 AC Adapters

All equipment is the property of UA Little Rock DRC.

  • Use only a 100% cotton cloth when cleaning the computers.
  • Never have foods or open drinks near the computer.
  • When transcribing back-to-back classes, the computer may be left in sleep mode for ease of setup.
  • All equipment problems must be brought to DRC for resolution. Do not attempt to fix a computer on your own or contract someone else to do it.

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Miscellaneous

Evaluation

The Coordinator will send several evaluations during the semester: student and faculty evaluations of the service provider, and service provider evaluation of the semester. Student and faculty evaluations will assist the service provider in identifying strengths and areas for improvement. Student evaluations of the service provider will be administered at mid-term and near the end of each semester. Faculty evaluations of the service provider will be administered near the end of each semester. DRC will provide evaluation summaries in a timely manner. Service providers, as part of the DRC team, will complete a service provider evaluation of the semester in order to provide valuable feedback to the Coordinator for future planning.

Due Process

If DRC receives a complaint about a service provider situation from students, faculty, or staff, the Coordinator will meet with the service provider involved. If a complaint about the same problem is reported more than once, the service provider involved will meet with the Coordinator and the Director of DRC. If this specific complaint continues, the decision may be made to terminate their services. Depending on the nature or seriousness of the complaint, a decision may be made to terminate services at an earlier stage in this process.

Relationships

Service providers interact with students, faculty, staff, and the community. Relationships with a variety of people will inevitably develop, and positive professional relationships and networking within the profession are strongly encouraged. However certain personal relationships with students are unacceptable within the context of a working relationship.

Service providers will not be placed in assignments that could threaten to compromise their commitment to the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct. Examples of this include but are not limited to interpreting or transcribing for family members and romantic interests. As stated in the RID Standard Practice Papers, “The relative may have attitudinal or emotional issues that could affect objectivity and impartiality and prevent accurate communication.” The deaf person’s right to privacy and confidentiality could easily be compromised.

Any questions about the ethics of a relational situation should be directed to the Coordinator.

Continuing Education and Licensure

Interpreter licensure must be maintained in order to interpret at UA Little Rock.

Service providers, regardless of their credentials, are encouraged to join professional organizations, attend workshops, and keep abreast of issues, standards, and practices within their profession.

Observations

In-class observation of each service provider may occur and may or may not be announced.  The purpose of these observations is to document their attendance, promptness, and professionalism.

Interns

DRC supports student interpreters by allowing students to observe classroom service providers. The Coordinator will inform the service provider ahead of time, as well the student receiving services, when an intern will be in the class. Interns are required to follow all aspects of our intern policy and the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct. If the intern fails to do so, the service provider should talk with the intern to resolve the problem. If the problem persists, the service provider should talk with the Coordinator.

Inclement Weather

If the weather appears hazardous, please refer to the inclement weather policy for UA Little Rock. Information regarding school closings will also be posted on the UA Little Rock website.

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Payment/Benefits

Pay Scale

Interpreters

RID Certification RID Hourly Rate NAD Certification NAD Hourly Rate NIC Certification NIC Hourly Rate QAST Level QAST Hourly Rate
Multiple $35.00 5 $34.00 Master $36.00 5 $25.00
CI or CT $34.00 4 $30.00 Advanced $35.00 4 $23.00
IC/TC/RSC $27.00 3 $26.00 NIC $34.00 3 $21.00
IC/TC $27.00

Inform the Coordinator of any change in credential. Pay increase takes effect at the beginning of the next pay cycle.

Transcribers:

Starting pay is $19 per hour. Transcribers who also interpret are paid at the interpreter rate.

 

Class
Meets
Actual
Time
Billing
Time
MWF/MW/TR 50 min 1 hour
MW/TR 1 hr 15 min 1.5 hours
once a week 2 hr 40 min 3 hours

For other classes that meet once a week (for example, a 2 credit hour class), round the actual time up to the nearest quarter hour. For example, if a class is scheduled for 2 hours and 10 minutes, the service provider would bill 2.25 hours.

If a service provider is going to be late for a class, they should inform the Coordinator and arrive as soon as possible. Service providers should only bill for time worked, to the nearest quarter hour (e.g., if 5 minutes late for a 50 minute class, bill for .75 hour (45 minutes).

Time Sheets

Timesheets must be filled out properly and submitted on time, weekly by close of business Friday.

It is the service provider’s responsibility to fill the time sheets out correctly.  If there are any questions, the service provider should feel free to come to the office (DSC 113) for assistance, or to the Office Manager in DSC 103.  Submitting time sheets filled out incorrectly or turned in late will result in a delay of payment.

Misrepresenting time worked is considered stealing and will result in immediate action, possibly including suspension or termination of services.

Direct Deposit

Service providers must complete a direct deposit request form in the Payroll office (Admin North basement).

Checks are deposited on the 15th and the last day of each month. Pay stub information is available on the web.

Benefits

We have collaborated with various departments across campus to gain hourly service providers some additional perks:

  • free admission to the fitness center
  • 10% bookstore discount on most items
  • access to health care through Health Services
  • free admission to many cultural events on campus
  • parking

 

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Acknowledgement of Policies and Procedures

All service providers are required to submit an acknowledgement of agreement form indicating that they have read, understand, and agree to follow all UA Little Rock policies and procedures.  Please follow this link to the agreement form.