ASL Interpreting Services
The Student Disability Services (SDS) office at The New School can provide communication assistance for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. These services are available in academic settings and during university-related extracurricular activities. Depending on the situation and the needs of the student(s), services will be performed by qualified sign language interpreters or speech-to-text transcriptionists.
Hands in Motion Professional Sign Language Interpreters is the university’s primary service provider. SDS also uses accredited sign language interpreters and TypeWell transcriptionists from several other New York organizations. ASL interpreting is typically provided by a two-person team while TypeWell—a meaning-for-meaning transcription service utilizing laptops—typically requires only one transcriptionist. All interpreters hold national certification from either the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID) or the National Association of the Deaf (NAD).
Services include American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting and TypeWell speech-to-text transcription and can be provided in the classroom and other academic settings as well as outside of them. Under the law, extra classroom activities for which interpreting services are mandated are those required for course completion. These may include student/faculty meetings, fieldwork, plays, volunteer work, student teaching assignments, and off-campus classes. SDS can also provide interpreters for activities such as campus tours, workshops, seminars, and guest lectures. Students should contact SDS if they are not certain whether a particular event or activity qualifies for interpreting services.
Requesting interpreters or transcriptionists is the sole responsibility of the student, whether he or she needs service for regularly scheduled classes for a whole semester or for a one-time event, activity, or meeting. Most students make their requests by email. When contacting SDS to make requests, students must include the following information:
- Student name
- Course/event/activity name
- Course/event/activity location
- Course/event/activity time/duration
- Preferred interpreter, if any
When requesting recurring services for classes, the student should provide SDS with a copy of his or her official schedule well before the semester starts. Additionally, the student must notify SDS immediately if his or her schedule changes.
Students who would like services for one-time events should submit their requests to SDS at least one week in advance. SDS will make every effort to cover all appropriate extracurricular events but cannot guarantee coverage in the case of short notice.
If a class or event is canceled, the student should inform SDS immediately. For a regularly scheduled assignment, SDS requires notification five full business days in advance to cancel a single date.
Problems with Service
Students should try to resolve any interpersonal problems that arise directly with the interpreter. If the interpreter is unresponsive, the student should contact SDS, who will communicate with the coordinator of the interpreting service to find a solution. If an interpreter is late or fails to show up for an assignment, the student should report this to SDS promptly. Similarly, students are expected to be on time and to inform SDS and interpreters of planned absences.