Deaf Services

This page details policies about services for the d/Deaf at Idaho State University.

Staff Interpreters and Service Providers

ISU interpreters hold a variety of educational degrees, certification, experience in interpreting at the post secondary level, and Deaf Culture backgrounds. All interpreters are put through a hiring process that includes interview, skill evaluation and student/staff feedback.

Purpose of Disability Services

Disability Services staff works to ensure that students with disabilities have equal opportunity to pursue a higher education. We abide by the laws as stated in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and related regulations.

Disability Services strives to supply qualified individuals to provide equal access to employment, educational, recreational and social activities at ISU. An example for d/Deaf students may mean ASL interpreters, transliterators, text service providers, and other services to facilitate communication needs. When possible, certified service providers are used. However, the main focus is using qualified individuals as service providers. Qualification of service providers is determined by the University and is an ongoing process that involves d/Deaf and Hearing professionals hired by the University.


Registration is the process of choosing a schedule of classes and paying tuition fees. Students must register before attending any class. Each semester students register for new classes.

Registration is done according to your status as Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, or Graduate student. Class Schedule books are available at the Registrar's Office in April and November or on the ISU web page. However, with the permission of Disability Services, d/Deaf students can register early. This helps coordinate service providers in a timely manner.

Please check a copy of the Class Schedule book to see the in-person, on-line and telephone registration times for your class level. If you decide to register in-person and would like to request an interpreter, please schedule a time with the Coordinator of d/Deaf Services.

It is the student's responsibility to bring their class schedule to Disability Services each semester. On the schedule you need to indicate what classes you will need services for and what types of services you are requesting.

Individual Responsibilities

Disability Services encourages each individual to strive for maximum independence in the pursuit of personal, academic, and vocational goals. Throughout this handbook there will be components about student responsibilities. If there are any questions or concerns about these responsibilities, please contact the Coordinator of d/Deaf Services or the Director.

In order to be considered for services, one must:

Documentation Required

Current documentation from a qualified medical or psychological professional is required in most cases. Documentation should include diagnosis, prognosis and recommended accommodations. Information regarding the nature of an individual's disability is held in strict confidence.

After Accommodations are Discussed and Identified, the Individual Agrees to:

What You Can Expect From Your Service Providers:

If the service provider is a sign language interpreter, he/she will remain outside the classroom and wait for you to arrive. The interpreter will wait fifteen (15) minutes. If the student does not arrive, the interpreter will be sent to another assignment. However, if a student is unavoidably detained and unable to contact Disability Services prior to the beginning of class, the student can call or have someone call the office at 282-3599 to see if an interpreter is still available.

Text service providers will set up in the classroom and wait for students to arrive. The text service provider will wait for fifteen (15) minutes at which time they will be sent to another assignment. However, if a student is unavoidably detained and unable to contact Disability Services prior to the beginning of class you can call or have someone call the office 282-3599 to see if the text service provider is still available.

The interpreter and the d/Deaf client will determine interpreter/text service provider's placement. In the case of the interpreter, this normally is the front of the classroom. The text service provider needs to be near an outlet.

Interpreters will work with the student and professor to determine if movies and videos are closed-captioned. If they are captioned, the student needs to inform Disability Services, prior to the movie, to allow time for a Disability Services representative to work with the professor to ensure the technology is caption friendly. If the movie is not captioned, the student and Disability Services will work with the professor to arrange accommodations.

Interpreter No-Show

If the interpreter does not show up for the student's class, ask your professor to have someone contact Disability Services at 282-3599. Disability Services will then contact your interpreter or a substitute interpreter will be sent. It is important that you remain in class. While we hope this never happens, it is important that the student report these mishaps to help us prevent this from happening in the future.

Disability Services tries to place two interpreters in each class. This helps prevent repetitive motion injury to the interpreter, as well as supports clearer interpretation. However, if one of the interpreters does not show up for the class but the other one is on time, do not worry about calling the office. It will be the responsibility of the interpreter who is in class to report the no-show. Many times the interpreter who does not show up on time was detained on another assignment. Professors are informed at the beginning of the semester that there is a chance one of the interpreters in a team may be late from time to time. Therefore, the tardiness will not reflect on the student. Furthermore, the Coordinator of d/Deaf Service is not required to inform d/Deaf students about changes in interpreters schedules, as long as at least one interpreter is assigned and on time. However, when feasible, the Coordinator will inform the student out of courtesy.

Teletypewriter (TTY) Use

If you call Disability Services at 282-3599 using a TTY, please hit the space bar to alert the office worker to a TTY call. Also, allow the office manager time to transfer the call to the TTY in the Interpreter Coordinator's office. You may also ask an interpreter to interpret a telephone call for you if other resources are not available.

Disability Services does have a Video Phone in the office, sending an e-mail before calling will help. VP (208)282-3599.

Some Accommodations Typically Provided

Some acccommadations that are typically provided include:

The Best Time to Apply for Services

To maximize the effectiveness of accommodations, we urge individuals to apply for services 6-8 weeks prior to needing them. Some accommodations take 4-6 weeks to accomplish.

Qualified individuals are encouraged to contact Disability Services prior to or upon enrollment at ISU. It is Disability Services's responsibility to make every reasonable effort to accommodate student needs. If you encounter structural or attitudinal challenges, please contact us.

Other Resources are Available

You might also be interested in the following services.

Absent or Tardy

Letters to Professors

Before each semester, students are responsible for picking up an accommodation letter from Disability Services. It is the student's responsibility to make as many copies as needed to give to your instructor(s). This letter will inform professor(s) which accommodation(s) you are eligible to receive. After engaging in an interactive process, where appropriate, the Coordinator of d/Deaf Services will decide your accommodations in accordance with your documentation.

Disability Services will also send a letter to professors before each semester to explain the role of interpreters in the classroom. This letter does not list accommodations.

Classroom Arrangement

The interpreter will work with you and the professor to determine the best place to sit or stand.

If seating in the front is limited, it is the responsibility of the student to make arrangements with the professor if the student cannot arrive to class early. Saving seats is not the interpreter's responsibility.


If one of your accommodations is to have a Notetaker notebook the student must check it out from Disability Services each semester. Carbonless paper is extremely expensive. Disability Services will supply the student with one (1) packet of paper. Additional paper can be purchased by the student at cost. Please only use this paper for in-class notes. If regular notebook paper is needed for other reasons, the student is responsible for purchasing it.

Hints for Finding a Good Notetaker

Student Responsibilities

General Information

Many d/Deaf students are more comfortable using text pagers or e-mail to contact Disability Services. While this is acceptable, know that the technology has its limitations. Pagers do not always send when expected and e-mail messages are not always checked as fast as you may have need. As a general practice, the Coordinator of d/Deaf services checks e-mail every morning and several times a day. The best way to contact Disability Services, if it is an urgent issues, is to call TTY, relay, or have someone place the call for you. Otherwise, pager or e-mail is acceptable.

Socializing with your interpreter before and after class is acceptable; however, chatting with them during class may be distracting to the instructor of fellow classmates. Interaction in a social situation is not covered by the Code of Professional Conduct. However, most interpreters have the common sense to know when personal conversations need to be maintained as confidential.

If the interpretation is not clear, ask for clarification. Also, if the student is aware of a sign for a word that the interpreter keeps fingerspelling, feel free to let the interpreter know the sign. Many of the interpreters have learned sign from a specific area. Therefore, they have some regional signs that may be unfamiliar. It is expected that the student let them know when this is causing a communication barrier. The interpreters will be happy to change to a more familiar sign choice. Keep in mind that when there is more than one d/Deaf student in a class, the interpreter will need to have the d/Deaf students agree on the sign.

If the student has a question about something the professor said, get their attention and ask for clarification or set up an appointment with your instructor.

Not doing homework, not paying attention, or sleeping during class is every student's right. The interpreters are not responsible to catch students up on the information missed and the interpreters may rest their hands if no one is attentive to the process. They are responsible to stay attentive to the information and at a moments notice resume the interpretation process. Most of the time the interpreter will continue interpreting despite the lack or attention from the d/Deaf students. It will be up to the professional judgement of the interpreter to determine if continued signing is appropriate.

It is expected that students will show respect and courtesy toward interpreters and service providers. Part of this respect is working with them to meetthe student's accommodation needs.


If the student feels they are being misrepresented by the interpreter who is voicing for them, they need to follow the grievance process.

Schedule Changes

Students must give the Coordinator of d/Deaf Services advance written notice for any class cancellations, room changes, teacher conferences, field trips, tests, or additional interpreting assignments. If students do not give advance notice, they will not be guaranteed an interpreter, though all efforts will be made to cover such assignments. Only University activities and class-related activities will be paid through Disability Services. If a student would like to talk with a peer or the professor before or after classes, Disability Services encourage such interaction, however, be aware that sometimes the interpreters may not be available due to their schedules. If this creates a dilemma for you, you will need to contact the Coordinator to arrange an interpreter to be there for you.

Service Provider Requests Forms

Idaho State University is proud to offer many opportunities for students to be involved in academic and non academic activities. These are open to all students. However, if a student plans to attend an activity that is not on the original class schedule and wants to have service providers, the student will need to fill out an interpreter request form located in the ADA office or on the ADA web site. These need to be filled out at least three working days in advance to provide enough time to secure service providers. If the student finds out less than three working days prior to the event and would still like to attend, they can still fill out the forms and the Coordinator of d/Deaf Services will still attempt to find service providers. Although these forms are titled "Ad Hoc Interpreter Request Form" they are also to be used for text service providers. The forms are also useful to inform the interpreter about other special activities such as class field trips, room changes, in class movies, oral presentations, and other activities that are different than the norm.

Off Campus Service Requests

For off campus service requests there is a MINIMUM 2 week notice. The student must first contact the event coordinator to see if there will be appropriate accommodations provided. If there are no appropriate accommodations, the student is to make their request with that event coordinator. If the event application does not have a place to indicate a need for disability accommodations please contact the ADA office with the event materials so we can investigate that situation. If, after contacting the event coordinator, there is still a need for an interpreter, please contact the Deaf Services Coordinator.

The following information will be required for this type of request in addition to the Ad Hoc Interpreter Request:

Tutoring Sessions

If a student needs a tutor for a class, you can go to the Mathematics Lab, Writing Lab, Trio Support Services, or Content Area Tutoring (CAT) office. You will need to fill out an interpreter request form to arrange interpreters.

Conflict Resolution

If conflicts arise with another student, interpreter or faculty member, these conflicts, when possible, should be resolved between the two parties. If a resolution cannot be reached, follow the grievance procedures as detailed below.

Grievance Procedure

Should a student disagree with any the implementation of these policies in their situation, they may initiate the following steps:

  1. Contact the Coordinator of d/Deaf Services and explain the grievance. If the grievance is related to service providers, complete a service provider grievance form which is available in the office. The form will help to articulate the grievance and it will be taken seriously. The Coordinator of d/Deaf Services will use the form to help in assessing the skills of the service provider. Sometimes the students may decide a form is not necessary and simply wish a change in the interpretation. Students are encouraged to meet with their interpreter and advocate for positive change. If this is not successful, the following steps should be taken as soon as possible.

    A. After meeting with you and going over the form, the Deaf Services Coordinator will come observe the interpretation process. A tape, either audio and/or video, will be made (with permission from the professor). The in class observations along with the taped versions will be collected to assess the skills of the service provider and address the complaint. In the event that the Deaf Services Coordinator is unable to observe and assess the process a qualified representative will be assigned.

    B. After the results are collected, the Deaf Services Coordinator will meet with the d/Deaf student to inform them about the results. The entire process will be done in a timely manner to ensure that d/Deaf students can continue the educational process with as little interruption as possible.

    C. If the findings support the d/Deaf student's grievance, the service provider will be removed as soon as is reasonable. If the findings differ from the student's complaint and resolution is not immediate, the service provider will continue as the process continues. The student will have responsibility to attend classes and keep up with assignments. The student will also be expected to work with the service provider. In turn, the service provider will also be expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner.

If the action taken by the Deaf Services Coordinator is not satisfactory to you then you need to proceed as follows:

  1. Contact the Director of Disability Services. You will need to fill out an interpreter request form to arrange interpreting services. These are the only two cases where this procedure differs. The Director of Disability Services will arrange an interpreter. This interpreter will keep any meeting confidential and will be expected to maintain professional practices. If the action taken by the Director of Disability Services is not satisfactory to you then you need to proceed to step two.

  2. Contact the Dean of Student Affairs or a representative from the Dean's office. You will need to fill out an interpreter request form to arrange for interpreting services. If the action taken by the Dean's office is not satisfactory to you then you may contact the Office of Civil Rights.