Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

DSS hires professionals to provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation or live captioning in the classroom to students with severe to profound hearing loss. Services will be provided for students with documented profound hearing and/or speech impairments but only for required course activities. The DSS office contacts and assigns all captioners and interpreters.

How to arrange for a captioner or sign-language interpreter

It is imperative that you arrange for your services before enrolling in classes.

  1. Schedule an appointment with a DSS Counselor to receive authorization for services by emailing  at Nichole Santamaria (sign-language interpreter).
  2. Have a tentative course schedule planned.
  3. Read and sign the Captioner or Interpreter Services Contract.

If you have already met with a counselor to plan your classes, please email David Hagerty ( and Kellie Conde ( to request an interpreter or a captioner. Please give at least 2 school days (48 hours) notice. Understand that in person interpreters and captioners are in short supply. Late requests will likely be filled through online ASL and captioning service.

Interpreting services policy

In order to receive interpreting services, students must comply with the following conditions:

  1. Captioning and Interpreter services will be provided for class/class activities for students with an audiogram on file with DSS.
  2. The DSS office will contact and assign interpreters and captioners.
  3. Students must report absences at least 24 hours in advance to the DSS office. Please e-mail David Hagerty and Kellie Conde at Reporting absences to inform them that you will be absence (Interpreting services policy). Any absence not reported at least 24 hours in advance will be considered unexcused unless the DSS office receives documentation, (e.g., a doctor's notice documenting illness) that verifies an excused absence.
  4. Three unexcused absences in a class will result in temporary suspension of interpreter services for that class, interpreter services may be reinstated after you meet with a DSS Counselor.
  5. In case of an emergency that prevents a student from attending class, s/he must notify the DSS office as soon as possible. It will be determined at the time of the situation whether the emergency will be considered an excused or unexcused absence.
  6. Captioners and Interpreters will wait only 15 minutes outside of the classroom for a student. Interpreters are required to notify the DSS office when a student is absent from class.
  7. Contact the Program Assistant for approval of Special Event-one time Interpreting Services. Special events includes meeting with instructors, counselor appointments, class related assignments or field trips. Request must be made one week prior to the Special Event. If the request is made in less than one week, interpreting services cannot be guaranteed.
  8. If an interpreter or captioner does not attend a class session, the student should notify the DSS office.
  9. Students must complete 75 percent or more of the units in which they are enrolled as of the last day to enroll in classes.
  10. Students will maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average in all classes.
  11. Students must comply with the above conditions to continue receiving interpreting services. Failure to comply may result in the permanent termination of interpreter services for all classes.
  12. In the event that interpreting is not available, DSS will provide captioning. (Realtime Captioning converts the spoken word into instant text. A highly skilled stenocaptioner uses a laptop computer with stenographic input. Special software translates and transmits the simultaneous text to a computer screen. Students can have a full text record on disc or on paper).