Interpreters on Campus

An interpreter’s role is to facilitate communication and convey all auditory and signed information so that both hearing and deaf individuals may fully interact. This includes questions, answers, comments, and dialogue that occurs on the part of the professor/speaker as well as the other individuals in the class/meeting. The interpreter will “voice” for the deaf student if he/she does not use his or her own voice. In other words, the interpreter will vocally express in English whatever is signed, mouthed, or cued by the deaf student.

All interpreters who interpret for students at Butler University need to abide by the Code of Professional Conduct associated with the National Association of the Deaf – Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner in all campus settings.  Guiding principles include the following:

  • Interpreters shall keep all assignment-related information strictly confidential.
  • Interpreters shall render the message faithfully, always conveying the content and spirit of the speaker, using language most readily understood by the person(s) whom they serve.
  • Interpreters shall not counsel, advise, or interject personal opinions.
  • Interpreters shall accept assignments using discretion with regard to skill, setting, and the interpreting needs of the students involved.
  • Interpreters shall request compensation for services in a professional and judicious manner.
  • Interpreters shall function in a manner appropriate to the situation.
  • Interpreters shall strive to further knowledge and skills through participation in workshops, professional meetings, interactions with professional colleagues, and reading of current literature in the field.
  • Interpreters shall strive to maintain high professional standards as outlined more fully and comprehensively in the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct.

As mentioned above, the interpreter’s obligation is to transmit information and facilitate communication while allowing the student and instructor/facilitator to actually control the communication interaction.  Instructors/facilitators should refrain from asking the interpreter to perform other tasks, such as functioning as a teacher’s aide or a participant in class activities, as this may interfere with the quality of communication provided and could compromise the role of the interpreter.

For further information, please contact Student Disability Services in Jordan Hall 136, by phone at 317-940-9308, or by email at