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Academic Accommodations


Interpreter and Captioning Services

(available in PDF format: Information for Students with Hearing Impairments)

Cornell University will arrange and incur the cost of interpreter and real-time captionist services for classes, related academic requirements, and non-academic, out-of-class activities sponsored by the University for any registered Cornell student.

At the time of the first request, each student will meet with a staff member from SDS to discuss his or her needs and become familiar with the policies and procedures. The student will receive a copy of the Interpreter/Captionist Request Policy which describes the policy and procedures for obtaining interpreters. Students are asked to schedule their classes in such a way as to achieve maximum benefit from minimum interpreter time. Students are urged to finalize their schedules far in advance of the first class day so interpreters can be scheduled.

The following sections outline the responsibilities for students, interpreters/captionists, SDS, and instructors as well as codes of conduct for captionists and interpreters. Detailed policy and procedures for using interpreter or captioning services can be found at Requesting Interpreter and Captioning Services.

Student's Responsibilities

Interpreter/Captionist's Responsibilities

Student Disability Services' Responsibilities

Instructor's Responsibilities

C-Print Captionist Code of Conduct

Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf—Code of Professional Conduct

Student's Responsibilities

  • Students are encouraged to meet with their professors before classes start to discuss the use of the interpreter and the individual student's special learning needs.
  • Students are responsible for introducing the interpreter to the professor on the first day of class, and for introducing the interpreter to any appropriate persons during specially requested assignments.
  • Students are responsible for all information presented in class. The interpreter is not responsible for retaining or repeating information the student missed.
  • The student is responsible for informing the SDS office of any changes in a regularly scheduled assignment.
  • Students should notify the SDS office 24 hours in advance if they will not be able to attend a class or special event.

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Interpreter/Captionists's Responsibilities

  • The interpreter's role is to facilitate communication between student and those in the learning environment.
  • The methods of the speaker will be conveyed faithfully, maintaining the full content and spirit of the message.
  • Questions from students must be directed to the instructor.
  • The interpreter will not release confidential information.
  • Interpreters will wait outside the door until the student arrives in less other arrangements are made. Interpreters will wait five minutes from the official starting time of the class for each half-hour of class time. If the student has not shown up after the waiting time has elapsed, the interpreter will be.
  • The interpreter should notify the SDS office 24 hours in advance if they will not be able to attend a class or special event.
  • Interpreters will adhere to their Code of Professional Conduct.

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Student Disability Services' Responsibilities

  • The university will arrange and incur the cost of interpreter services for classes, related academic requirements, and nonacademic, out of class activities sponsored by the university for students.
  • Disability services will assist faculty with the provision of academic accommodations.
  • SDS will assist faculty with any concerns related to the Interpreter Code of Professional Conduct.
  • SDS will meet with students who miss class three times without advance notification in order for the student to continue to receive interpreter services.
  • University payment for interpreter services may be discontinued in cases of repeated academic failure, or failure to comply with the terms of this policy.
  • The university is not responsible for any interpreter services other than those approved by the SDS staff in accordance with policy.

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Instructor's Responsibilities

  • The instructor must speak directly to the student, not through the interpreter.
  • Provide as much advance notice as possible of canceled classes.
  • Work with the student and interpreter to facilitate communication throughout the class. For instance, provide a list of specialized vocabulary.
  • Instructors will hold students with disabilities to the same academic standards as their peers.

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C-Print Captionist's Code of Ethics

  • The Captionist will accurately represent the content of the material presented in the classroom or other captioning situations to the best of his or her ability.
  • No personal opinions or advice may be interjected.
  • The Captionist will provide services only in settings for which he or she has adequate training and skill.
  • The Captionist will keep all assignment-related information confidential.
  • The Captionist will attempt to facilitate communications between deaf/hard of hearing people and hearing people.
  • The Captionist will behave in a professional manner and abide by the policies and procedures of the agency being served.
  • The Captionist will strive to further knowledge and skills through participation in workshops and/or other continuing education situations.

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Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf - Code of Professional Conduct

  • Interpreters adhere to standards of confidential communication.
  • Interpreters possess the professional skills and knowledge required for the specific interpreting situation.
  • Interpreters conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the specific interpreting situation.
  • Interpreters demonstrate respect for consumers.
  • Interpreters demonstrate respect for colleagues, interns, and students of the profession.
  • Interpreters maintain ethical business practices.
  • Interpreters engage in professional development.

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