It's a new experience having an interpreter in your classroom. I get it. I've been there (as both the teacher and the interpreter). I'm hoping these tips can help make the transition smoother for all of you.

Tips for working with Deaf Signing students:

If you are working with a Deaf student who uses ASL and an interpreter, please read their IEP and confer with the Teacher of the Deaf and the interpreter. ASL interpreters are highly trained professionals, and invaluable members of your educational team. Remember, while this may be your first time working with a signing student, it isn't theirs.

For some basic info on interpreting in mainstream classrooms, please read up by clicking the link below, produced by Boystown Research hospital:

Also, while captions are a necessity, remember they may not provide adequate access (because of the speed of the speech, the accuracy of the captions, or the student's English skills). So, when showing a movie or video, if the interpreters need to work you will need to leave lights on so that interpreters can be seen. The student will also need to able to see the interpreter during assemblies, plays, readings, etc.

Give your interpreters materials *as early as possible* as they will do a better job if they've read the book/worksheet/test and can ask you content questions if they want to know about what you are asking.

Here are some tips according to Sara Novic (a Deaf author and assistant Professor at University of Stockton):

* Don't talk about us in the 3rd person. The interpreter will translate it that way and you'll look like a doofus. Talk to us, you know, like humans.
* Expect a little lag time.
* Don't say "never mind."
* The interpreter is not an aide, for us or you. They're not helping us with the quiz, or helping you pass back the quiz, k?
* Do not lower your expectations for your deaf students. Offer support/resources where necessary, but don't skimp them out of a learning experience. They paid for it, too.