Office of Specialized Services
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Interpreter Expectations

You as an Interpreter have a unique and important role at Bergen Community College. Interpreters are a representative of the Office of Specialized Services/Deaf Services. Interpreters can, in a very dramatic way, educate others to view Deaf and hard of hearing people in a positive light. Interpreters serve both hearing and Deaf consumers. As part of the support team, it is essential that open communication be established early to achieve the best possible service.

It is your primary responsibility to attend class and/or other College activities with the Deaf and/or hard of hearing student (s) and faithfully facilitate communication between the student(s), faculty member(s) and other students involved. Interpreters are expected to look and conduct themselves in a professional manner. Interpreters should strive to maintain clear boundaries and distinct role of facilitating communication.

NOTE: College instructors will receive general orientation materials regarding the Deaf Services and should welcome you easily. Some professors may have additional questions or require additional information. If you are unable or uncomfortable addressing the instructors, please refer them to Deaf Services.

Center Procedures

  • You are expected to be present at your assignment at least five minutes before class actually begins and wait outside of the classroom for the student.
  • Interpreters should introduce themselves to the instructor at the start of the first class.
  • It is the interpreters’ responsibility to explain their role and the process of interpreting to the instructor, if necessary. If the student requires you to voice for him/her, make sure you explain this process also.
  • If a student is late, wait ten (10) minutes for every hour of class time outside of the classroom, then report to Deaf Services. The following may occur:
    • You may be reassigned to interpret in another situation at Bergen
    • You may be asked to stay on campus in an “on call” capacity
    • You may be permitted to leave Bergen Community College.                   

Policies

  • Interpreters will be paid for a two hour minimum, and must be available the entire two hours, unless otherwise notified.
  • Interpreters will be paid for assignments, unless given forty eight (48) hour notice of cancellation. Deaf Services will make every effort to reschedule you for this time slot if at all possible.
  • Feedback forms will be given to students at the end of each semester to evaluate individual interpreters. This evaluation will be shared with the interpreters. The student’s name however will remain confidential and will be filed in your personal folder.
  • As a condition of employment at Bergen Community College, Office of Specialized Services, interpreters will be required to attend meetings as the need arises, without pay, not to exceed 2 meetings per semester.
  • An interpreter’s primary responsibility is to Deaf Services; all other employment opportunities at the college must not conflict with obligations to Deaf Services.
  • Tardiness: If the interpreter is running late, Deaf Services must be contacted so that a temporary substitute may be arranged. If interpreter is more than 15 minutes late two times, Deaf Services reserves the right to cancel the interpreter’s class assignment at that time without pay.                      

Cancellations

If the student is a “no show”, you need to inform Deaf Services immediately so notice can be given for any other interpreters working the class in question. If the student is a “no-show” three times for the same class without notification, services will be suspended, unless otherwise notified. Services will resume for this class upon notice from the Deaf Services office only.

  • Official cancellation of assignments comes only from the Deaf Services office. If a student or instructor informs you that a scheduled assignment will be cancelled, it is your responsibility to contact the Deaf Services office for official cancellation of an assignment.
  • If the interpreter is planning to be absent, he/she will first submit a substitute request form at least two weeks in advance.
  • In cases when a morning assignment is cancelled before the Deaf Services office is open, please wait until the office opens to be reassigned.
  • When evening classes are cancelled after the Deaf Services office hours, please email Deaf Services immediately. Please wait 15 minutes for a response before departing; if none is received the interpreter is free to leave campus.
  • If a student is absent, report the absence to the Deaf Services office immediately. This applies to all deaf students in the class, regardless of the number of students for whom you are interpreting. Please complete the "class not interpreted" form.
  • If a professor is absent and the class is canceled, inform the Deaf Services office immediately and complete the "class not interpreted" form.

Emergencies

  • In the rare case of an emergency or injury to a Deaf Services student, stay with the student. Be sure the Deaf Services office is contacted as soon as possible.
  • In the event an emergency arises and you cannot interpret your scheduled assignment, contact the Deaf Services office immediately.

Useful Information

Parking: A parking permit/id must be obtained in order to use the college lot. Please see Office of Specialized Services staff for details.

Equipment: Portable lamps and flashlights are available in the Deaf Services office.