At the Access Center

You’ve been asked to interpret a meeting at the Access Center of the University of Minnesota-Duluth.  A high school senior, Ketsi, and her Deaf mom, Jonie, are scheduled to meet with Nancy, who is the Coordinator for Deaf and Hard of Hearing services on campus.  Be sure to take the chance to meet them before you start with the assignment.  You might want to visit the Access Center’s web page to get a little background about UMD. (The Access Center is now called Disability Services & Resources – or visit PEPnet to get background info on transitioning issues

Note: There was a misinterpretation of Ketsi’s first question during filming.  See the written summary for details. This note is so you won’t be thrown in practicing if that answer doesn’t match your interpretation.

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Let the Interpreting Begin…

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Summary of Interaction

The following summary is intended as a tool for preparation and as a guide for analysis.  It is not a formal transcription.

Nancy: Hi.

Jonie: Hi.

Nancy: Welcomes them to UMD;  Introduces self and Access; Offers to start with description of programs or for them to ask questions first;

Ketsi: Tells Nancy to go ahead and start

Jonie:Concurs with Ketsi

Nancy:  Describes different services and accommodations that Access Center can provide.  Require documentation of hearing loss; and has information about rights and responsibilities of student and of access Center.  Emphasizes difference between college and high school.  Expect students will make requests for accommodations.  Sometimes, students are unsure about what might be needed for course, and can meet about that.  Asks if they have any questions.

Ketsi: Asks if this is the place to come for complete services with interpreters and help?  (Note:  During actual filming, there was a misinterpretation.  The question was interpreted as:  Are there many students here who require interpreting services)

Nancy: Number of Deaf students vary from year to year, between 2-20 students who use sign.  Also have 10-20 students who are hard of hearing who use services.

Jonie: Expresses interest in response.  Notes that Access Center is for academic support.  Wonders what kind of support there is socially with other deaf students on campus.  Wonders if that is something the Access Center sets up.

Nancy: Social aspect—student can participate in any activity or club on campus.  Interpreters provided for other University-sponsored activity.  Some years have a club specific for Deaf students

Jonie: Says that was what she was talking about.

Nancy:…Depends on student group.  Sometimes Deaf students group together, sometimes socialize in more mainstream ways.

Jonie: That was clarifying—that it’s student motivated…not set up by the office.

Nancy: Right;  Large student center on campus with many groups.  Idea is to promote student leadership.  So, student groups run by students, perhaps with faculty advisor. Advisor could be from this office, or from ASL or Deaf Education departments.

Jonie: OK, asks Ketsi if she has questions.

Ketsi: Currently senior at school for the Deaf.  Has open access to communication with everyone. Would be a big difference at UMD.  So, interpreters more important.  Wonders how much timer equests for interpreters need to be made.

Jonie: Good question.

Nancy: Affirms it’s a good question.  Time varies.  Like one week’s notice.  Can build it in interpreters’weekly schedules.  But if not a week, can still make the request.  Will try their best to fill the request.  Better with notice, but try to fill anything.

Jonie: Asks about interpreters’ certification levels.

Nancy: Says that’s another really good question.  Have 3 full-time interpreters.  (Other years have had as many as 5)  Total staff of 8 interpreters (full and part-time)  4 are certified and 4 are pursuing a study program to take their certification tests.

Jonie: Ok

Nancy: So it is definitely a goal to have all certified interpreters.

Ketsi: Emphasizes importance of clear communication for education.  Wonders what to do if she can’t understand the interpreter, due to using SEE signs or signs Ketsi doesn’t know?

Nancy: Tries to schedule interpreters to match students.  As mainstreamed University, get variety of students who prefer a variety of sign systems.  Interpreters have a variety of skills, both for subject area and related to student preferences.  Interpreters have different specialty areas:  one in Biology; one in Human Services, one more a generalist.  So, try to match signing skill and content area as well to provide best interpretation.

Jonie: Sounds good.  Nice to have plan in place.  Is there a way to provide feedback to interpreters?  Isit formal or informal?

Nancy: Have both;  After each term, all students get eval form for each interpreter in each class.  Can evaluate same interpreter in different classes.  Can provide very specific feedback.  Encourage students and interpreters to maintain dialogue throughout course.  Provide work time for students and interpreters to meet to prepare for a presentation with interpreter—so interpreter prepared for that situation.  Or meet for technical class to meet and review vocabulary.

Jonie: OK, that’s good.

Ketsi:(To Jonie,) reminds her that  she had told Ketsi about ASL classes here for hearing students wanting ASLas their second langauge…

Jonie:(To Ketsi) Says that they have that here.  Asks Nancy if that is correct.

Nancy:Affirms that offer 5 levels of ASL.  Very popular with students.  Many students on campus across all the colleges and majors.  Encourages Deaf students to take ASL class and serve as a teaching assistant later. Offer tutoring class, and student can earn credit and experience in Tutoring Center as ASL tutor.

Jonie: Asks if she means Deaf students can do that.

Nancy:  Yes.  Hearing students find deaf tutors valuable.  Years with native ASL tutors, hearing students do better in classes.

Jonie: Thinking about previous comments, asks if all support services mentioned are included and they don’t have to pay extra for them.

Nancy: Services mandated by ADA and other state statutes.  No cost to them for appropriate academic services.  UMD does require documentation.  And make sure that it is clear what roles and responsibilities are for both student and Access Center.

Jonie: Expresses uncertainty about the last time Ketsi had an audiogram done.

Ketsi:(To Jonie) Thinks maybe 1 or 2 years ago.

Jonie: Thinks maybe even longer  Asks Nancy how recent the audiogram needs to be.

Nancy: Try to have records within 3-5 years.  With hearing loss, if history in high school of using academic support like interpreters is established, shouldn’t be a problem.  If problem arises, would contact them to have one done, but should be OK.

Jonie: Asks about how tutoring works, if it happens with interpreter.

Nancy: Access Center not required to provide tutoring.  Have Tutor Center, and provide interpreters for visit to the center.  Has been more successful over the years.  Tutors have content area expertise and training on how to tutor.  Rarely, interpreters serve as tutor.  But generally, interpreters and students meet for mutual study session, working on vocabulary or preparing for presentation.  Generally use tutor center which is also free.

Jonie: That’s nice.  Asks Ketsi if she has anything else.

Ketsi: Replies in the negative.

Jonie: Asks if Nancy has anything to add.

Nancy: Has material for them with information about application and admissions.  Invites them to contact via e-mail or tty number.

Jonie: That’s nice.

Ketsi: Thanks.

Jonie: Thanks for your time.

Nancy: Thanks for coming.  Hope to see you in fall.


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Posted in: In Transition