Sign Language Interpreter Policy

The Disability Support Services Office will coordinate sign language interpreter services for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Any student requesting a sign language interpreter must do so in accordance with the following DSS policies:

  • Prior to the beginning of the semester, the student must submit documentation of his or her deafness or hearing loss to the DSS office.  Based on this documentation, DSS staff will determine   through an interactive dialogue with the student whether interpreter services constitute an effective and reasonable accommodation.
  • If an interpreter is needed for a class/classes, it is strongly recommended that the student submit the request to the DSS office a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester.  It may be difficult to fulfill requests made less than 2 weeks in advance due to the limited availability of qualified interpreters.
  • If an interpreter is needed for an event, appointment, or meeting, the student should make the request to the DSS office as soon as possible, preferably at least 2 weeks prior to the event.
  • The student must introduce him/herself to the interpreter on the first day of class or prior to an event or meeting commencing.
  • The student is required to notify the DSS office as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours, if unable to attend a class or event where interpreter services are scheduled.
  • Interpreters will wait 15 minutes after a class or event begins for a student to arrive. If a student does not show up or notify the DSS office, the interpreter will leave and the student will be marked absent.
  • If a student misses 3 classes and/or events, without reasonable excuse, interpreting services will be terminated until the student meets with staff in the DSS office.

DSS will make all reasonable attempts to arrange for sign language interpreting services for eligible students. Due to the limited availability of qualified interpreters in Massachusetts, it may not always be possible to honor all requests within the time allotted.