OSWD works collaboratively with Gallaudet Interpreting Services (GIS) to ensure that OSWD students receive equal access to classroom information through the use of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting services. OSWD registered students are eligible to receive interpreting services when there is a documented need for this service as an accommodation.

OSWD prioritizes interpreting services in the following order:

  1. academic classes,
  2. academic class-related or class-sponsored activities,
  3. international travel,
  4. extracurricular activities, then
  5. consortium courses.

Academic Classes

Students must complete the OSWD Interpreting Services Request Form and provide OSWD with a schedule of classes two weeks prior to the start of a semester to allow for a reasonable amount of time to reserve service and have an interpreter present on the first day of class. If a request is submitted after this deadline, there is no guarantee that interpretation will be available on the first day of class.

Class-Related or Class-Sponsored Activities

When requesting services for academic-related activities, such as student-faculty meetings or watching required videos outside of class; or course-sponsored activities, such as field trips or off-campus presentations, students are to email their OSWD counselor and send a copy of their email to GIS and the course faculty.

Requests should be made at least 48 hours prior to the event. In case of emergency, the time, date, location, and purpose of the event must be shared when the request is made.

Students requesting interpreting services for international travel must complete the OSWD Interpreting Services Request Form and provide OSWD with a program schedule three months prior to the start of the trip to allow for a reasonable amount of time to reserve service. If a request is submitted after the deadline, delays may occur in securing interpretation services.

OSWD will work collaboratively with appropriate offices such as GIS, academic departments, and staff units to ensure that OSWD students receive equal access to information through the use of American Sign Language (ASL) interpreting services.

The host program is responsible for supporting the costs of interpretation services.

Extracurricular Activities

Students needing interpreting services for extra-curricular activities such as sorority, fraternity, or Student Body Government meetings or campus-wide events are referred to the event host to make their interpreting request. It is recommended that the student petition the hosting department to provide interpreting services.

Consortium Courses

If interpreting services are needed for an online course or consortium course at another institution, it is the host institution's responsibility to provide those services. The student must contact the relevant office (often called "Disability Support Services") at the host institution.

Scheduling Changes and Canceling of Services

If a student makes changes to their academic schedules, they should contact their OSWD counselor immediately so the arranged service providers can make any necessary adjustments as soon as possible.

If a student knows s/he will be absent from a class or an event during which services are scheduled, s/he must e-mail Gallaudet Interpreting Services directly at least 5 working days, with copies sent to OSWD and the faculty member, to cancel services.

A student must notify GIS and OSWD when withdrawing from a course for which interpreting services were arranged.

Attendance Policy

If a student knows s/he will be late or absent from a class with interpreting services scheduled, s/he must contact GIS and OSWD directly via e-mail. This is in addition to satisfying the policy and procedure on absences stated in the course syllabus and mandated by the professor of the course.

Certified Deaf Interpreters (CDI) working with OSWD students are required to report student absences via email to both GIS and OSWD. OSWD will issue a warning notification to an OSWD student after the second absence. The warning will alert the student that one more absence will result in suspension of interpreting services.

When a student is late, GIS interpreters will wait for 20 minutes for each hour of class time. This means 20 minutes for a 50 minute class, or 30 minutes for a 90 minute class. If the student does not show up within the allotted time, the interpreter is free to leave.

Suspension of Interpreting Services

Interpreting services are suspended when:

  • The student has three unexcused absences; or
  • The student repeatedly does not utilize interpreting services when provided.

Students must petition the director of OSWD for reinstatement of services. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Dissatisfaction with Interpreting Services

Students should inform both GIS and OSWD if an interpreter is late; the professor of the class for which interpreting services were scheduled should also confirm this.

Students are encouraged to approach the interpreter initially to discuss expectations and request modifications to service, and to provide feedback periodically. If the student is still dissatisfied with the interpreting service, GIS and OSWD should be contacted so the situation may be resolved.

Questions regarding making arrangements for interpreting services should be directed to OSWD staff, who will assist. Students are expected to be proactive towards their education. Self-evaluation of one's comprehension of lecture materials as they are delivered, as well as class performance, should take place on a frequent basis. Faculty members should be contacted immediately if there is any concern.