Disability Services Office

Faculty guide for Zoom classes with interpreters/captioners

Note: Updated March 30, 2020

Instructions have been provided to both the Deaf students and their Interpreter teams in your classes.

Please know that the student/interpreter teams will be in separate concurrent meetings, with one meeting for your class and a second meeting on a 2nd device so that they have a dedicated Deaf Student-Interpreter connection.

This will allow the team to remain visible to each other when things like slides or other screen shares are being presented. The interpreters and the Deaf student will be present in both meetings.

For students getting live captioning, the captioning will happen within one meeting, not two.

Tips for Zoom classes with students who are deaf or hard of hearing

Please be flexible

First and most important: We all want this to be effective! We are all learning together so we ask you to please be flexible as problems arise and are worked out.

  • Please remember that many of us (instructors, interpreters, and students) have never experienced Zoom as a classroom platform.
  • We are a team. Your feedback is important to share so we can figure out anything that may not be working.
If your class is password protected

Please remember that you may have interpreters or captionists connecting to your classes that you don’t recognize.

  • It will be important that they are able to get in to support the students who need them.
  • Please remind your students to share the password with the interpreters/captionists.
If your student is approved for the accommodation of CART Services or Real-Time Captioning

The real-time captioners will be sending a link to the student who needs the captioning and they will be able to open a separate window to receive captioning during the class. Students are also provided with a transcript after the class.

If the accommodation is “Accessible Audio/Video – Closed Captioning”

That refers to the captioning of videos (which still happens through the DRS captioning service). Those videos are sent to drscc@us.edu for service.

Identify yourselves

An important consideration for the Deaf student is that they can’t look around to see who is talking, so developing a culture of beginning a question or comment by saying “Dimitri speaking” and identifying themselves is important for the Deaf student and the interpreters or captionists to follow the conversation.

Raise your hands

Use the feature in Zoom for “raising your hand.” This will level the playing field and allow the Deaf person to contribute by being called on, and allow the momentary pause necessary for the interpreter to make sure they are unmuted to voice for the Deaf student, if they don’t voice for themselves.

Record class sessions

Recording serves as a good back up plan for the potential of technical difficulties between the Deaf student and the interpreters, so that if necessary we can go back and have something interpreted again later, or have a transcript made for the student.

Manually create “Breakout rooms”

If you use the feature “breakout rooms” it will be important to make sure that interpreters are sent to the same breakout as the student. Breakout rooms can be set manually by the instructor or can be done automatically, to have students randomly mixed up.

When you have a student using interpreters or captionists, you will need to do breakout rooms manually to keep the providers with the student. The Interpreters and captionists are being asked to log into the class naming themselves “Interpreter 1” “captionists” etc.

Show, then Pause

If you are referring to something being shared on screen, please give a pause so the Deaf student may turn away from their interpreter or captions and look at what you are referring to.

Also if you are showing the students how to do something such as a different screen with an app, leave time for the interpreter to interpret what you are saying and the Deaf student to receive that information, before you click to begin the process of demonstrating the app.

Chat, then Pause

Similarly, if you are relying on the chat feature in the classroom, the Deaf student will not be able to follow the chat and the interpreter at the same time. If there is something important for them to read there, it would be best to refer to it, then pause to allow them to read it before moving on.

Using alternative solutions? Proactively work with us

As we have been learning zoom to make this successful for students and interpreters, other forums such as google hangouts have not been worked out, so if you cannot use zoom, please give us as much notice as possible, so that we can figure out whether other considerations may be needed.

Zoom is currently the best option if interpreters or captionists are needed. Panopto for pre-recorded lectures often will need to be re-captioned or cleaned up for accuracy. The students will know to forward those links to have that done.

Please contact Dimitri Azadi at dhhreq@uw.edu or (206-453-1415) if you have any questions or concerns regarding ASL interpreting services or CART services in your remote courses.