Content Skip to content.
San Diego State University

Student Disability Services

Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing: Interpreting and Captioning

SDS provides sign language interpreters, real-time captioning, and/or other communication accommodations to deaf and hard-of-hearing students for classes and academically-related activities. 

Support Services Offered

  • Disability-related Advising
  • Priority registration for eligible SDS students
  • Sign Language Interpreters, notetakers, captioning, or other computer- assisted note taking, Test Accommodations, Adaptive Equipment, Physical Access Accommodations

Qualifying for Support Services

  • Individuals requesting services through the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Program must be registered as a student of San Diego State University.
  • Every student requesting services must submit documentation of disability.  A recent copy of an audiogram (within 3 years if progressive) must be provided to Student Disability Services in order to establish eligibility and assign appropriate accommodations. 
  • Once documentation has been reviewed and an SDS Counselor has been assigned, you will be contacted by an SDS representative to schedule an appointment to discuss your needs/options and complete the SDS orientation. Your SDS Counselor will refer you to the appropriate individual for other services, if needed. 
  • If you are requesting sign language interpreters or computer-assisted note-taking, contact the Interpreter and Captioning Coordinator, Natalie Jimenez, at njimenez@mail.sdsu.edu to schedule an interpreting service orientation.

Policy and Guidelines for Using and Requesting Interpreter Services

  • Make your requests early and provide detail.
    • Include professor’s name, course section number, dates, time (beginning and end time), and specific location (building, room number).
    • If the request for interpreting service occurs off campus, provide a name and address.
    • Describe the situation (for example “play rehearsal” or “final exam review”). 
    • If there will be technical or specialized vocabulary, tell the coordinator as early as possible.
    • If you prefer particular interpreters, let the coordinator know. Although it is not always possible to schedule a preferred individual, an attempt will be made.
  • Make your ongoing semester requests as soon as you register. Please make all requests, including one-time and incidental requests, at least one week in advance.
  • If you are unable to keep your appointment, contact the Interpreter Coordinator at least 72 hours in advance. If you are unable to attend a class, know that you will arrive late, or encounter any situation that prevents you from attending your appointment on time, contact the Interpreter Coordinator as soon as possible.If an emergency occurs and you are unable to give 72 hours notice, contact the Interpreter Coordinator as soon as possible, including days you miss class. 
  • Accommodations will be suspended if you miss three classes or appointments without notifying the Interpreter Coordinator. You will be required to meet with your SDS Advisor in order to have your services reinstated.

Student Rights

  • Receive appropriate accommodations
  • Participate in academically-related school activities and programs
  • Receive respectful treatment by faculty and staff
  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Recourse to discrimination against you due to your disability

Student Responsibilities

  • Meet with counselors, academic advisors and other appropriate staff to discuss and arrange accommodations
  • Treat faculty, staff, service providers, peers, and students with respect
  • Provide appropriate documentation in a timely manner
  • Notify the Interpreter Coordinator, your SDS Advisor or the SDS office
    of changes in your schedule including individual class cancellations
  • Request additional and/or incidental accommodations at least one week in advance, including accommodations for field trips, meetings with faculty, and accommodations for Final Exam Week.
  • Report interpreter, captionist, or other service provider No-Shows to the Interpreter Coordinator.
  • If you experience any conflict with your service provider, contact the Interpreter Coordinator or your SDS Advisor immediately.

Role of Service Providers

  • SDS service providers communicate information between all participants. They serve the Deaf, hard-of-hearing individuals, and the hearing. Service providers do not participate, advise, tutor or act as an assistant to the professors. They should not be asked for their opinions or help.
  • Service Providers should be treated with respect. Conversations with Service Providers should be limited to common courtesy.
  • When working with interpreters, it is appropriate to introduce yourself and tell the interpreter about any communication preferences you may have. Interpreters strive to match the communication styles and preferences of their consumers to the best of their abilities.
  • Unless prior arrangements are made, interpreters and other service providers wait 20 minutes outside the class or meeting room for their consumer to arrive. 

Please Help!

Give SDS Your Interpreter & Captionist Requests Early!

SDS employs excellent ASL interpreters and captionists who work with SDSU on an “as needed” basis.  But these skilled professionals are in high demand, and when SDSU’s needs are uncertain, they may take assignments at community colleges and other agencies in the area.

Getting your class schedule to us as soon as possible after you register for classes helps us to keep our SDSU employees working at SDSU, and helps to minimize our reliance on outside agencies whose hourly rates can be significantly higher.

Please give us your class schedule and your request for interpreters and captionists early - right after you register for classes!

photo: sign language interpreter