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Disability Support Services

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FAQ's

 1. What do I need to do to be served by DSS?
     A. You must be admitted as a student to JSU.
     B. You must have current, formal documentation of your disability.

 2. If I am not a VR client, can DSS still work with me?
     Yes.

 3. Does DSS test for learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD?
     No. We maintain a list of people in this area who test.

 4. Does DSS teach sign language classes?
     A. The Department of Continuing Education at JSU conducts sign language classes.
     B. College credit classes are taught through the College of Education and Professional Studies.

 5. Does DSS provide personal care attendants for people in wheelchairs?
     JSU provides only auxiliary services, not personal.

 6. Does DSS provide routine transportation for students with disabilities?
     No. JSU does not have a transportation system, so DSS does not transport.

 7. Does DSS provide Orientation & Mobility (O & M) training as well as sighted guides?
     No. Orientation & Mobility (O & M) is the responsibility of each student that is blind. DSS does not provide personal services.

 8. Are the interpreters "ASL Certified"?
     There is no certification in ASL. The three most common and current types of certification are the Certificate of     Transliteration (spoken English and signed English) from RID; Certificate of Interpretation (spoken English and ASL) from RID, and Certificate of Competence (Level 1-5) from NAD. (CSC and IC/TC are from old RID standards and have been replaced with the above.)

 9. Does DSS pay for all interpreting?
     JSU follows current and legal guidelines, which put the burden of auxiliary services (i.e. interpreting) on the University unless the student is a client of Vocational Rehabilitation. In this case, Vocational Rehabilitation becomes the primary financial source. JSU will also attempt, when possible, to secure outside funding to defray the cost of accommodations.

10. How does DSS choose interpreters?
      Our goal is effective communication. We look at the certification level, educational background, and interpreting experience of each applicant. DSS is constantly seeking to add to our pool of dedicated interpreters.

11. What are the qualifications of the interpreters at JSU?
      In terms of sign language proficiency, we have one interpreter who is nationally certified through both RID and NAD (the Lead Interpreter), and we have two interpreters that are certified through NAD and are candidates for certification through RID. Most of our interpreters have SCPI levels of at least Intermediate. Educationally, most of the current interpreters have a Bachelor's degree. Several have a Master's degree or are working toward one; others are studying for a Bachelor's in Deaf Education. (Don't forget to check out the Interpreters' page at this web site.)

12. How do I request an interpreter for my classes?
      Complete a Notification of Interpreting Services form (#46) located outside the Lead Interpreter's office, and return it to the Lead Interpreter with as much notice as possible. Using ADA/504 Guidelines, all accommodations must be made in a timely manner. Therefore, the more advanced notice you give, the more likely DSS will be able to honor your request.

13. How do I request an interpreter for out-of-class meetings (e.g. tutoring, meeting with an instructor)?
      Complete a Notification of Interpreting Services form (#46).

14. How do I request an interpreter for special events (e.g. plays, poetry readings, graduation)?
      Complete a Notification of Interpreting Services form (#46).

15. Who pays for interpreters?
      JSU follows current and legal guidelines which put the burden of auxiliary services (i.e. interpreting) on the University, unless the student is a client of Vocational Rehabilitation. In this case, Vocational Rehabilitation becomes the primary financial source. JSU will also attempt, when possible, to secure outside funding to defray the cost of accommodations.

16. How do I register a concern about an interpreter (e.g. ineffective skills, unprofessional conduct)?
      Make an appointment with the Lead Interpreter as soon as possible. Be prepared to explain in detail why you have a concern. You will be asked to provide the following information: (1) When - date and time of situation (2) Where - classroom number, building, etc. (3) The situation - class lecture, field trip, meeting, etc. (4) Who were the other people present? (5) What did you (the student) do?

17. Is there a grievance process?
      Yes. See the JSU Student Handbook, p. 27, Section C - "Grievance Procedures."

18. I don't like my interpreter. Can I have another one?
      If you have any problem with your interpreter, discuss the problem with them first. If you both cannot solve the problem, make an appointment with the Lead Interpreter to explain in detail what the situation is. The Lead Interpreter will decide which options are available.

19. Can I have my own interpreter?
      No. Interpreters are assigned on a Needs vs. Availability basis. Therefore, DSS cannot make promises about interpreting assignments.

20. Can my interpreter drive me to and from class?
      Interpreters are professionals. Students are responsible for their own transportation.

21. Why can't I be absent and tardy as much as I want? It's my business!
      As an adult, you do have a right to make your own decisions about your commitment to your education. However, as a consumer who requests and receives support services from one or more agencies, you have a legal responsibility to use these services wisely and consistently. Excessive absences and tardies, especially when DSS is not notified in advance, wastes money, time, and effort. Abuse of support services can result in the suspension of these services.

22. I was late to class, and my interpreter left before I got there. Why didn't they wait for me?
      Interpreters are required to wait 10 minutes after the beginning of a class or appointment for a deaf student. If you know in advance that you will be late, contact the interpreter and DSS.

23. Why do I have to let DSS know when I am going to be absent or tardy?
      Any time you are absent or tardy, you must contact your interpreter and DSS as soon as possible. This way the interpreter will know whether or not to go to the assignment (class, appointment, etc.). The interpreter's pay is based on their being utilized. Therefore, attendance is reported by the interpreters to DSS for referral to the funding agency.

24. Why do I have to let DSS know what my schedule is each semester, and why do I have to let them know if it changes? Doesn't the admissions office tell DSS?
      The only way DSS knows whether or not you need an interpreter and when/where/for what you need an interpreter is if YOU TELL US. The admissions office does not provide us with this information. If your schedule changes in any way (drop/add, room change, time change, etc.),you must inform DSS as soon as possible. This is the only way we can get the information. The law says you must request accommodations for each class, meeting, event, etc.

25. The Lead Interpreter changed my schedule! Why?
      Sometimes it is necessary for the Lead Interpreter to change the times and/or days of some students' classes to accommodate interpreting and to provide the most efficient usage of interpreters.

26. What do I do if my interpreter doesn't show up?
      If your interpreter does not arrive within 10 minutes after the assignment begins (class, meeting, event, etc.), go to the departmental secretary, and call DSS. If a substitute is needed, DSS will make every effort to supply one.

27. Must my interpreter always leave right after class? What if I need to talk to my instructor or notetaker?
      The Interpreters are on a schedule. Interpreters must often leave right after a class in order to get to the next class on time. If you let your interpreter know in advance that you wish to speak to your instructor/notetaker after class, perhaps they can stay a few minutes. If they cannot stay, make an appointment with the instructor/notetaker for another time, then complete a Notification of Interpreting Services form (#46).

28. I think I'm failing my class because my interpreter is lousy. What should I do?
      Anytime you have any problem with an interpreter, it is your responsibility to make an appointment with the Lead Interpreter as soon as possible to discuss the situation. Do not wait until after a test or the end of the semester, and then blame the interpreter.

29. My interpreter doesn't seem to want to be close friends with me. Why?
      Interpreters follow a very strict professional Code of Ethics. As professionals, interpreters know that it is necessary and important to keep business separate from their personal lives. For this reason, many interpreters will discourage a personal relationship with their deaf consumers. Keeping relationships business oriented will help the interpreter do their job better and more effectively.

30. What do I do if my interpreter tries to help me too much or tries to do things for me?
      Interpreters are present only to facilitate communication and assist with cultural conflicts between deaf and hearing consumers. Some interpreters tend to "help" their deaf consumers. Some interpreters might even "take over" for the deaf consumer. This is inappropriate and unprofessional at the university level. If you have an interpreter whom you feel is doing this, contact the Lead Interpreter as soon as possible.

31. What do I do if my interpreter is nosy (e.g. asking about grades or personal information)?
      Interpreters are present only to facilitate communication and assist with cultural conflicts between deaf and hearing consumers. They will need to ask about some information that deals with the interpreting situation to help them understand and prepare; however, you do not have to give personal information to the interpreter.

32. Will my interpreter tell anyone about things that they interpret for me?
      Interpreters follow a very strict professional Code of Ethics. One of the most important and most strictly followed is confidentiality. Interpreters are not to discuss anything about their assignments to anyone at any time. However, in the educational setting, interpreters are part of the educational team. These types of interpreters are asked to discreetly share some information with the other members of the team (at JSU this includes instructors, case managers, DSS director, and the Lead Interpreter). If you feel an interpreter has broken confidentiality, make an appointment with the Lead Interpreter as soon as possible to discuss the situation.

33. Why do I need to schedule interpreters in advance? Why aren't there interpreters available at all times?
      Interpreters are scarce all over the country. Qualified interpreters are even more scarce. Qualified interpreters with any type of special training are the most difficult to find. Until more people enter this field, there will not be enough for every deaf consumer to have an interpreter at any given time. For this reason, DSS asks that you give as much advance notice as possible when you will need an interpreter. By doing so, the Lead Interpreter will have enough time to secure one, or at least will be able to inform you if one is not available.

34. Why do I need to practice with my interpreter before I give a class presentation?
       Anyone who gives a formal presentation is expected to practice several times in preparation. Deaf students and their interpreters are no exception. As a student, you need to practice how and what you will present. If you plan to use your interpreter to voice for you, the interpreter will need to practice with you, so they can do an exceptional performance that helps you sound professional and knowledgeable. Work out a schedule with your interpreter for practice sessions as soon as you know when your presentation will be.

35. Why can't I act like the hearing students do in the classroom (e.g. have personal conversations, sleep, not pay attention)?
      Just as in the case of absences and tardies, as an adult, you do have a right to make your own decisions about your commitment to your education. However, as a consumer who requests and receives support services from one or more agencies, you have a legal responsibility to use these services wisely and consistently. Ignoring the interpreter in any way is a waste of money, time, and effort. Abuse of support services can result in the suspension of these services.

36. Can my interpreter take notes for me?
      Your interpreter cannot sign and take notes at the same time. Interpreters are present only to facilitate communication and assist with cultural conflicts between deaf and hearing consumers. You will need to ask a student in each of your classes to voluntarily take notes for you each day. It is strongly encouraged that you secure two or three notetakers in case one is absent or drops the class, and because no one person can get every piece of information given by the instructor.

37. What do I do if I need an interpreter in an emergency (e.g. hospital, police, court)?
      The hospital and police should have a list of available interpreters to call in cases of emergency. The hospital and police are responsible for finding and hiring an interpreter -if you request one.

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