Interpreters and Transcribers in the Classroom


Working with Interpreters and Transcribers
Speech-to-Text Transcription Methods
Interpreter/Transcriber Evaluations

Working with Interpreters/Transcribers (Service Providers)

Here is some information that you may find helpful when working with a service provider.

  • Give the service provider copies of handouts, lecture material, readings, and vocabulary lists – anything that might help them understand and quickly follow the information you will present.
  • Be aware that communication access is not word-for-word, but rather meaning-for-meaning.
  • What is spoken during class will be interpreted or transcribed to provide equal communication access to the supported student. Students using transcription services are provided with a copy of the transcript. The students edit their own notes to best suit their needs.
  • Speak loudly and clearly so the service provider can easily hear you.
  • Repeat or restate what other students say as they are sometimes hard to hear.
  • Students will use varying communication methods when participating in classroom activities. At times, students choose to use service providers to communicate their comments or questions.
  • Speak directly to the student using first-person personal pronouns (i.e. I, me, you, etc.).
  • For transcribed classes, if you would like a copy of the transcript, please inform the transcriber. Transcripts are not available for use by students not supported by the DRC. If you know of a student who would benefit from services due to a disability, refer them to DRC.
  • Students must copy diagrams from the lecture on their own. If using a transcriber, they will indicate in the transcript any references to the diagram. It may be beneficial to all students if these diagrams are available as handouts or online.
  • A notetaker may be needed for class.
  • Service providers are professionals and are expected to adhere to the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct and additional guidelines set forth by DRC.
  • Service providers are not tutors and students are expected to direct any questions or comments to the appropriate person (i.e. professor, fellow student, etc.).
  • If a student is absent, the service provider will not attend class.
  • If a student is more than 20 minutes late, the service provider will leave class.
  • Contact the Interpreter/Transcriber Coordinator (Coordinator) if you have any further questions or concerns about the services in your classroom.
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Who is this person in my classroom? Is this person a student volunteering to do this for the deaf student?

Interpreters and transcribers are professional service providers and paid by UA Little Rock to provide services in the classroom. They work through the UA Little Rock Disability Resource Center. All service providers have completed extensive, specialized training in the area of interpreting and/or transcribing. Also, each professional has obtained appropriate credentials in their field.

What kind of credentials?

Interpreters working for UA Little Rock are licensed by the Arkansas Department of Health and hold certifications or credentials recognized by the licensure board. Interpreters are tested on skills and knowledge of the profession. Once credentialed, an interpreter is required to obtain a certain amount of CEUs yearly to maintain their credentials.  

At UA Little Rock, transcribers are trained in either TypeWell® or Dragon ® NaturallySpeaking methods for speech-to-text transcription.

Does the service provider follow the same student around all day, every day?

No. Service providers may work with one or more students on any given day.   They also provide services for advising sessions, stage plays, performance concerts, sorority and fraternity meetings, study sessions, etc.

They also provide services for faculty and staff who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Why is this student not like the deaf student I had last semester?

Students, who are deaf—like students who can hear—are a diverse group of individuals. They use different modes of communication, have different majors, pursue different goals in life, and may not even know each other. Some of them may not use service providers at all, or may only need a notetaker during class. Congruent with the entire population UA Little Rock serves, students using services have individualized needs and have a right to obtain services that best meet their needs.

What if the student needs a note-taker?

DRC provides resources for students needing notetakers. For more information on notetaking services refer to the notetaking page.

Is there anything special I need to do when I plan to show a film?

Yes. Most media and programs made recently are captioned or subtitled.  Please refer to the captions how-to page for more information.  

If you choose to include multimedia presentations with audio, videos, etc. in the course material, DRC  asks that you make every effort to secure video/media material that already contains captions or subtitles.

If needed material is not available with captions or subtitles and you still have a video/media presentation that you want to include in your course material, please contact the Coordinator.

What if I need to turn out the lights?

Visual access to the  service provider is necessary for the student to have access to the material.  Please allow for adequate lighting during your lecture.

Is the service provider going to tutor this deaf student?

The service provider does not tutor or teach the student. Should a tutor be needed, a service provider may be scheduled to provide communication access during the tutoring session(s). If you’d like, you can refer the student to tutoring services.

Why does the service provider need lecture materials?

Due to the variety and complexity of the courses to which they are assigned, it is essential for service providers to prepare for class. These materials help them become familiar with concepts and key vocabulary you will introduce during lectures and classroom activities. If possible, copies of your lecture notes would be even more helpful and greatly appreciated.

Is the service provider going to participate in classroom activities and discussions?

The service provider is only there to facilitate communication.

Will the service provider be able to keep up with me?

Service providers are trained to facilitate communication in a variety of settings and at various rates of speech. If clarification is needed, they will ask. Please be patient and remember they are striving for an equivalent message.

Why are there two service providers?

Length of class, course content, and student needs are all reasons why two service providers may by needed.

Can I ask the service provider to be my classroom assistant?

No. It is not appropriate for them to assist the instructor in any way beyond facilitating communication. Service providers are not permitted to proctor during examinations.

Service Provider Evaluations

At the end of the semester you will receive an electronic Service Provider Evaluation Form. This form asks general questions pertaining to the service. The questions are very brief and allow us to monitor service provision to both our faculty and students. Please fill out the evaluation form.


Many questions or concerns can be quickly resolved by speaking directly to the service provider and/or student. If you require further information or assistance, please contact the Coordinator.